Dec. 20, 2019
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Public Works
c/o Michael S. Bumbaco, PE
2437 N. Landing Road, Building 23
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF PROPOSED WORK: The project is located south of South Boulevard and east of Mount Trashmore Park Road within Thalia Creek, a tributary to the Lynnhaven River's Western Branch, in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to install four sluice gates and supporting structures across Thalia Creek south of South Boulevard and within Mount Trashmore Park. A superstructure will be constructed on top of the tide gate structure, which would bridge the gap across Thalia Creek. The design includes installation of six intake structures. The intake screens would be designed to limit the intake velocity to a maximum of 0.5 fps. The applicant proposes to construct bulkhead walls paralleling each side of Thalia Creek, immediately upstream and downstream of the tide gate, and fill Lake Windsor's western bank and build a bulkhead extending into Lake Windsor from Thalia Creek's eastern bank to ensure slope stability. The applicant also proposes to mechanically dredge about 3,000 cubic yards of sediment to facilitate construction of the tide gate. The dredge material will be disposed of at an approved location. As proposed, the project would permanently impact 0.03 acres (1,312 square feet) of tidal vegetated wetlands for construction of the tide gate structure, bulkhead, and riprap for slope stabilization and 0.49 acres (21,395 square feet) of tidal open water for construction of the tide gate, supporting and intake structures, bulkhead and embankment. The work would also temporarily impact 0.20 acres (8,530 square feet) of open water for construction access.
The proposed project's purpose is to reduce flooding within upstream Windsor Woods residential areas, which have experienced property damage during large storms. The gates would only be closed in anticipation of a storm event and the pump station would only operate when the gates are closed. Once the tide gates are closed, the proposed 50-cfs pump station would operate to draw down Lake Windsor, using submerged intake screens to make more room for advancing stormwater. The proposed bulkhead would prevent soil from sloughing off around the pump station pad, which can cause significant structural issues and instead route water around the pump station to Thalia Creek.
The applicant considered several on-site designs for the prosed project. However, other designs would have additional wetland impacts or cause greater land disturbance. The proposed location places intake structures in one of Lake Windsor's deepest parts. To compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts, the applicant is proposing to mitigate for the tidal vegetated wetland impacts, at a 1.5:1 ratio for scrub/shrub wetland impacts and 1:1 for emergent wetland impacts, by purchasing 0.05 credits from an approved mitigation bank or in-lieu fee within the service area.
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, assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated, and a permit from the Virginia Beach 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 a probable-impact evaluation, including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. It will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits that 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, fish, wildlife and flood-plain values; flood hazards, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation; water supply, conservation and quality; energy and mineral needs, safety, food and fiber production, property ownership and, in general, the people's needs and welfare. 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 proposed activity's direct, indirect and cumulative impacts. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps 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, the general environment and other public-interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. They are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and overall public interest in the proposed activity. Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this permit application by writing to the district commander within 30 days of this notice date, stating specific reasons for holding it. The district commander will then decide if a hearing should take place.
Preliminary review indicates: (1) no Environmental Impact Statement will be required; (2) after conducting Norfolk District's Endangered Species Act Project Review Process, there may be an effect to listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973. The Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table are 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 Tidewater projects, 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 and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review. The Corps has not received applicant certification prior to this public notice's publication. It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a consistency certification to the Office of Environmental Impact Review for concurrence or objection, and proof must be submitted to the Corps before final permit issuance. A federal consistency certification template can be found at www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview/FederalConsistencyReviews.aspx#cert. For more information or to obtain a list of the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program's enforceable policies, contact the Department of Environmental Quality's Office of Environmental Impact Review at 804-698-4330 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-267), requires 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. Thalia Creek contains essential fish habitat for all life stages of 15 species, including red hake (Urophycis chuss), Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), scup (Stenotomus chrysops), Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), sand tiger shark, butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), black sea bass (Centropristis striata), summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), sandbar shark, cobia (Rachycentron canadum), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) and Atlantic Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus). The habitat this project would affect consists of tidal scrub/shrub and emergent wetlands along the bank of the creek and tidal open waters within the creek and Lake Windsor. The proposed project is described above in "Proposed Work and Purpose." The Corps project assessment leads to a preliminary determination it will not have a substantial adverse effect on essential fish habitat. Therefore, expanded consultation is not required. This preliminary determination's rationale is based on the expected short-term nature of the direct impacts/minimal increases in turbidity/changes in water temperature or salinity caused by the proposed work/absence of submerged aquatic vegetation, as well as anadromous fish spawning habitat, existing poor water quality and unsuitable substrate. The proposed work would occur behind a turbidity. Based on National Marine Fisheries Service comments in response to this public notice, further essential fish habitat consultation may be necessary.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing. They can be sent by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or regular mail, addressed to: Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front St., Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1011. All comments should be received by close of business Jan. 20.
PRIVACY & CONFIDENTIALITY: Comments and information, including submitter identity, provided in response to this public notice may be disclosed, reproduced and distributed at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers discretion. Information submitted in connection with the public notice cannot be maintained as confidential by USACE. Submissions should not include any information the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.
If you have questions about this project or the permit process, contact Melissa Nash at email@example.com or 757-201-7489.