Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published July 15, 2019
Expiration date: 8/14/2019

 July 15, 2019

The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:

Mr. Garett Hart
Chesterfield Economic Development Authority
9401 Courthouse Road
Suite B
Chesterfield, Virginia 23832

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located on unnamed tributaries to the James River and Shand Creek a tributary to the Appomattox River all tributaries to the Chesapeake Bay adjacent to Bermuda Hundred Road and Discovery Drive, Chesterfield County, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to provide a development site for buildings, parking areas, connecting roadways, utilities and stormwater management facilities known as the American Tobacco site on 324 acres.  The applicants stated purpose is to construct a large scale data center. The project will permanently impact 2.4 acres of palustrine forested wetlands (PFO), conversion of 2.57 acres of PFO to palustrine emergent wetlands (PEM) and 1,038 linear feet of stream channel.  The applicant has shown avoidance and minimization by not impacting two large forested wetlands areas and an intermittent stream channel system in the center of the site.  The applicant proposes to compensate for unavoidable impacts by purchasing 4.8 wetland credits (a 2:1 ratio) for PFO, 2.57 wetland credits (a 1:1 ratio) for conversion of PFO to PEM, and 1,161 stream credits (USM).  The applicant will purchase 7 wetland credits from the Chickahominy Environmental Bank, 0.37 credits from the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund and 1,161 stream credits from the Amelia Environmental Bank.

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, a verification letter from the USFWS was obtained for the northern long-eared bat under the January 5, 2016, Programmatic Biological Opinion on Final 4(d) Rule for the northern long-eared bat no other listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884), as amended) will be affected; and (3) the following known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area, or would likely be affected by the proposal (44CF0204-Dale’s Pale).   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: .  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: or

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to, 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 14, 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:
Ms. Julie S. Hamilton at (804) 436-4725 or

Attachment: Drawings