US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

NAO-2019-01587

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Nov. 20, 2019
Expiration date: 12/20/2019

CENAO-WR-R

NAO-2019-01587 / VMRC 19-V1496

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

APPLICANT
YMCA of South Hampton Roads

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in the Chesapeake Bay, at 9272 Ymca Lane, Jamesville, Northampton County, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to construct two (2) off shore breakwaters to be constructed 140’ south of the existing sill (the new breakwaters would be 216’ and 460’ in length and spaced 160’ apart), make modifications to one (1) existing breakwater to the north (extend an additional 60’ in length).  The breakwaters would be composed of 1,500 to 3,000 lb armor stone. A living shoreline would be installed landward of the breakwaters (8,316 cubic yards of sand of a D50 value between 0.4 and 0.7 mm in diameter planted with Spartina patens), and provide improvements to the existing pond outfall drainage system.

The project would impact 61,323 square feet of subaqueous bottom for the breakwaters and sand fill, 24,753 square feet of intertidal area for the sand fill, 15,031 square feet of beach, and 4,175 square feet of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) would be impacted by the breakwaters.  The new drainage system would impact 325 square feet of permanent impacts to freshwater wetland, and 57 square feet of temporary impacts to freshwater wetland.

The purposed of the shoreline improvements is to stabilize a high erosion area by installing a living shoreline with rock breakwaters, sand fill, and planting areas.   The project footprint is the minimum necessary to achieve a stable living shoreline. Given the high energy regime of the project area, it is necessary to establish a wet and dry sand terrace of sufficient width and height to dissipate wave energy during storm events.

The applicant proposes to compensate for impacts to SAV through a contribution to the VIMS SAV planting project. In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit/401 certification from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated and a permit from the Northampton County Wetlands Board. Project drawings are attached.

 AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), 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, the following 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) may be affected: northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis), northeastern beach tiger beetle (Cicindela dorsalis dorsalis), fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), north Atlantic right whale (Eubalaena glacialis), Atlantic sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus oxyrinchus), shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum), green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), and loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta).  Based on this “may affect” determination, the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table is attached for review and comment by 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.

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/FederalConsistency Reviews.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: bettina.sullivan@deq.virginia.gov or john.fisher@deq.virginia.gov.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The Chesapeake Bay contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the juvenile, and adult life stages of seventeen species including long finned squid (Loligo pealei), Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), Scalloped Hammerhead Shark (Sphyrna lewini), Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), Sand Tiger Shark (Carcharias taurus), red hake (Urophycis chuss), Black sea bass (Centropristis striata), scup (Stenotomus chrysops) Butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), Sandbar Shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), Cobia (Rachycentron canadum), King mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), and Atlantic Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus). The habitat which this project would affect consists of subaqueous bottom, SAV, intertidal area, and beach. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. There will be temporary turbidity during the placement of the stone and sand fill impacting benthic communities. The Corps assessment of the project leads us to a preliminary determination that it may have a substantial adverse effect on EFH expanded consultation may be required. This preliminary determination’s rationale is based on the amount of subaqueous bottom impacts, as well as impacts to SAV. Based on comments from the National Marine Fisheries Service in response to this public notice, further EFH consultation may be necessary.

COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to sara.e.bahnson@usace.army.mil, 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 December 20, 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 Sara Bahnson at (757) 201-7182 or sara.e.bahnson@usace.army.mil.

Attachment: Drawings Species, Conclusion Table, Official Species List