July 08, 2019
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:
City of Suffolk
Department of Public Works
ATTN: Robert Lewis
442 W. Washington St., 2nd Floor
Suffolk, VA 23434
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project includes portions of a corridor on either side of Nansemond Parkway (SR 337) that extends eastward from the Nansemond River High School to a point approximately 900 feet east of the intersection of Nansemond Parkway and Sportsman Boulevard in Suffolk, Virginia. The existing intersections of Nansemond Parkway with the Nansemond River High School entrance, Sleepy Hole Road (SR 629), Bennetts Pasture Road (SR 627), and Sportsman Boulevard are included in the project limits, as well as a section of Bennetts Pasture Road in proximity to the Nansemond Pre-Cast Concrete facility. The project includes approximately 14 acres of developed and undeveloped properties and portions of the Nansemond River High School property including existing parking facilities and maintained field areas. The project would impact aquatic resources associated with Cross Swamp and Star Creek, which is a tributary to Oyster House Creek and the Nansemond River.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The City of Suffolk proposes to construct a new roadway extension from the existing Bennetts Pasture Road to an existing portion of Nansemond Parkway, the replacement of the existing intersection of Bennetts Pasture Road and Nansemond Parkway with a new cul-de-sac disconnecting the roads, and the widening of the associated section of Nansemond Parkway.
The applicant’s stated project purpose is “to enhance safety, improve traffic operations with added capacity, and provide a more robust roadway network to meet existing and future traffic demands in this portion of Suffolk”.
This project (Nansemond Parkway Intersection Improvements project) would result in 3.15 acres of permanent impacts to non-tidal wetlands; which is comprised of 2.61 acres of non-tidal forested wetland impacts, 0.13 acres of non-tidal emergent wetlands, and 0.41 acres of non-tidal ditches. The applicant proposes to compensate for these wetland losses by purchasing 5.35 credits from the Great Dismal Swamp – Lewis Farm Mitigation Bank (2:1 compensation ratio for forested wetland impacts and 1:1 ratio for non-tidal emergent wetland impacts). No compensatory mitigation is proposed for the ditch impacts.
The applicant states that complete avoidance of aquatic resource impacts is not possible due to the limited alignment options that would meet the project objectives, but they considered five different alternative designs to evaluate opportunities to minimize aquatic resource impacts (see attached). Their preferred alternative is Concept 2.
In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated. Project drawings are attached.
AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits which reasonably may be expected from the proposal must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All of the proposal's relevant factors will be considered, including conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, cultural values, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, consideration of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The Environmental Protection Agency's "Guidelines for Specification of Disposal Sites for Dredged or Fill Material" will also be applied (Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act).
The Corps of Engineers is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the direct, indirect, and cumulative impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity. Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this permit application by writing to the District Commander within 30 days of the date of this notice, stating specific reasons for holding the public hearing. The District Commander will then decide if a hearing should be held.
Preliminary review indicates that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, there may be an effect to listed species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table is attached for review and comment by Fish and Wildlife Service; and (3) the project lies within the Civil War Siege of Suffolk- Hill’s Point Battlefield resource (DHR 133-5039) which is potentially eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. DHR 133-0224, a circa 1890 home, is mapped as adjacent to the project area but appears to no longer be extant. Additional information might change any of these findings.
For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects located in Tidewater, the applicant must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal uses or resources will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VCP) and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Environmental Impact Review (OEIR). We have not received a certification from the applicant prior to publication of this public notice. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a consistency certification to the Office of Environmental Impact Review for concurrence or objection and proof of concurrence must be submitted to the Corps prior to final permit issuance. A template federal consistency certification can be found here: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview/FederalConsistencyReviews.aspx#cert . For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the VCP, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review at (804) 698-4330 or e-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to email@example.com or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on August 07, 2019.
PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY: Comments and information, including the identity of the submitter, submitted in response to this Public Notice may be disclosed, reproduced, and distributed at the discretion of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.
If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, contact
David Knepper at 757-201-7488 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.