US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

NAO-2019-01927

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Dec. 6, 2019
Expiration date: 1/6/2020

December 06, 2019

CENAO-WR-R NAO-2019-01927 (19-V4165)
(VDOT Number 0501-041-762 C501 P101 R201)

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

APPLICANT
Virginia Department of Transportation
c/o Mr. Justin K. Hsieh
4219 Campbell Avenue Lynchburg, VA 24501

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project will cross multiple unnamed tributaries to Terrible Creek and the Banister River in Halifax County, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to abandon and replace five mainline culverts and extend two existing culverts to facilitate widening the existing road prism to construct an approximately 2-mile passing lane section to increase safety and operations along the US 501 corridor. This passing lane section would generally extend from 0.975 miles south of the US 501 intersection with Route 610 (Woodbourne Road), to 0.985 miles north of this same intersection.

The project would result in 2,779 linear feet (LF) of permanent impacts to perennial and intermittent streams (relocation of 1,610 LF of natural stream channel into 1,560 LF of stabilized drainage ditch, and 1,169 LF of stream channel being placed into culverts), 145 LF of stream channel being temporarily impacted by construction activities, 15,028 ft² (0.34 acres) of scrub/shrub wetland impacts, and 6,000 ft² (0.14 acres) of emergent wetland impacts. Cumulative volume of impacts below ordinary high water are: 129 yd³ of excavation, 302 yd³ of permanent fill, and 7 yd³ of temporary fill.

Steps the applicant has taken to reduce impacts include: 
• Design waiver was granted for a reduction in the paved shoulder and ditch widths which allowed for a deviation from the VDOT Standard 10' graded shoulder (8' of which is paved) to a 8' graded shoulder (6' of which is paved) and a deviation from VDOT Standard ditch width of 10' with a 6:1 front slope to a ditch width of 4'-10' with a 3:1 front slope. Utilizing the reduced graded and paved shoulder width is an accepted Value Engineering (VE) recommendation for similar projects to reduce impacts to the adjacent properties and reduce the overall footprint of the right of way needed for the project. Using the minimum ditch width of 4' with 3:1 foreslopes is an accepted VE recommendation for similar projects to reduce impacts to the adjacent properties and reduce the amount of right of way needed. Using the steeper maximum grade will reduce project footprint and lessen impacts.

• All work will be conducted in the dry using non-erodible cofferdams. Strict E&S controls will be used. Areas of temporary impacts will be restored to predisturbance conditions upon completion of work in those areas.

As compensation for the permanent loss of waters of the U.S., the applicant proposes to purchase wetland credits for 28,542 ft² (0.655 acres) (compensation ratio of 1:1 for emergent wetland impacts and 1.5:1 for scrub-shrub impacts) from the Banister Bend Wetland Mitigation Bank and 2,072 stream credits (per USM assessment) from the Roanoke Mitigation Bank and the Graham & David Mitigation 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: [NOTE: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead Federal agency for this project] (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) After accessing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) database for Information, Planning, and Conservation System (IPaC), it was determined the project site lies within the range of the Northern Long-eared Bat (NLEB; Myotis septentrionalis) a federally listed Threatened species under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884, as amended). Relying upon the findings of the 05 January 2016 Programmatic Biological Opinion (PBO) for Final 4(d) Rule on the NLEB and Activities Excepted from Take Prohibitions to fulfill their project-specific Section 7 responsibilities, the FHWA evaluated the project using the online NLEB decision key in IPaC. It was determined this federal action may affect the NLEB in a manner consistent with the description of activities addressed by the USFWS’s PBO dated January 5, 2016. Any taking that may occur incidental to this project is not prohibited under the final 4(d) rule at 50 CFR §17.40(o). Therefore, the PBO satisfies FHWA’s responsibilities for this project under ESA Section 7(a)(2) relative to the NLEB; and (3) FHWA coordinated with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) and FHWA determined that the project would have no effect on cultural resources. Additional information might change any of these findings.

COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to david.a.knepper@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 January 06, 2020.

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 Mr. David Knepper.

Attachment: Drawings