July 26, 2019
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The district engineer received a prospectus to establish a wetland and stream compensatory mitigation site for federal and state permits as described below:
Oxbowe Farm LLC
Asher and Laura Jean Brand
1768 Rockfish Road
Waynesboro, VA 22890
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF PROPOSED WORK: The proposed mitigation site is about 105 acres on an approximately 435-acre parcel currently being used for a mixture of pasture and crop fields with homes located inside the property limits. The site is within the South Fork Shenandoah River watershed in Augusta County, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory wetland and stream-mitigation site known as the Oxbowe Farm Mitigation Bank. Its purpose is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to wetlands, streams and other waters of the United States.
The sponsor plans to restore 2,000 linear feet of stream channel and preserve, enhance and establish about 40 acres of buffer along the stream and South River. Plans call for 100-foot forested buffers to be planted on each restored and enhanced stream segment. These restoration, enhancement and preservation activities are proposed to generate approximately 5,000 stream credits, which were estimated using Virginia Unified Stream Methodology.
The sponsor plans to restore, create and enhance 5 acres of wetland adjacent to the streams and river. These activities are proposed to generate about 10 wetland credits. Approximately 40 acres of wetlands will be preserved.
The sponsor proposed, for purposes of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the bank's Geographic Service Area is the South Fork Shenandoah River watershed, as defined by Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 02070005. Adjacent HUCs include the North Fork Shenandoah HUC 02070006 and Shenandoah HUC 02070007.
Oversight of this mitigation site would come from an existing group of federal and state agency representatives known as the interagency review team. Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality chair the IRT.
Actual approval of this mitigation-site use for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Virginia Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The Corps and DEQ provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this mitigation site to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts associated with a proposed permit. Virginia Marine Resources Commission authorization may also be required for its specific-project use.
AUTHORITY: Issuance of a public notice regarding proposed mitigation sites is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule” (Rule), as published in the Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332), dated April 10, 2008.
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSAL: 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 this proposed mitigation site. This is not an application for work in waters of the United States. In evaluating this proposal, the Corps of Engineers will consider any comments received. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands; fish, wildlife and flood-plain values; flood hazards, land-use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation; water supply, conservation and quality; energy and mineral needs, safety, food and fiber production, and property ownership.
Preliminary review indicates: (1) no environmental impact statement would be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, there may be an effect to species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table are attached for review and comment by the Fish and Wildlife Service; and (3) no 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. Additional information might change any of these findings.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing, addressed to: Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: Charlottesville Field Office), Mr. Vinny Pero, at the address below. All comments should be received by close of business Aug. 26. The prospectus and drawings can be viewed at https://ribits.usace.army.mil/.
If you have questions about this mitigation site, please contact:
920 Gardens Blvd., Suite 103-B
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901