May 19, 2020
NAO-2020-00713 (Maybreys Meadows)
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:
Highland Conservation Group, LLC
Mr. Preston Breeding
140 Hilltop Avenue
Lebanon, Virginia 24266
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed 577 acres compensatory mitigation site is currently being used for a mixture of pasture, hay production, and unmanaged forest. The compensatory mitigation site is located within the Dry Fork watershed, a tributary to the Tug River, in the Big Sandy River watershed, in Tazewell County, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The Sponsor proposes to add land to the established Dry Fork Mitigation Bank. The Sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate an additional wetland and stream compensatory mitigation site known as the Maybreys Meadows Mitigation Bank. The purpose of the compensatory mitigation project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to wetlands and streams and other waters of the United States.
The Sponsor plans construct the Bank in two Phases. Phase One proposes to restore 5,200 linear foot of stream, enhance 1,690 linear foot of stream, and preserve 4,970 linear foot of stream. Phase One proposes to generate 13,784 Compensation Credits (CC). Phase Two proposes to restore 2,240 linear foot of stream, enhance 320 linear foot of stream, and preserve 4,620 linear foot of stream. Phase Two proposes to generate 5,648 Compensation Credits (CC). All cattle would be excluded from the Site limits. These restoration, enhancement and preservation activities for Phase one and Phase two are proposed to generate approximately 19,432 stream credits which were estimated using the Virginia Unified Stream Methodology (USM).
The Sponsor plans to restore approximately 3.2 acres of emergent wetland adjacent to the streams and preserve 1.7 acres of existing wetlands in Phase 1.
The Sponsor proposes, for purposes of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, the Geographic Service Area (GSA) for the Bank is the Big Sandy River watershed in Virginia, including the Upper Levisa Fork River and Tug Fork River Drainages (HUCs 05070202 and 05070201).
Oversight of this Site would be by an existing group of federal and state agency representatives. This interagency oversight group is known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT). The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) chair the IRT.
The actual approval of the use of this Site for a specific project is the decision of USACE pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or by DEQ pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. USACE and DEQ provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this Site to compensate for unavoidable wetland or stream impacts associated with a proposed permit. Authorization by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission may also be required for its use for specific projects.
AUTHORITY: Issuance of a public notice regarding proposed compensatory mitigation sites is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule,” (Rule) as published in the April 10, 2008, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332).
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSAL: USACE 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. USACE is evaluating this proposal and will consider any comments received. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, and consideration of property ownership.
Preliminary review indicates that: (1) no environmental impact statement would be required; (2) after conducting the Norfolk District ESA Project Review Process, there may be an affect to species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table is attached for review and comment by US 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 made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers-(ATTN: Charlottesville Field Office), Mr. Vinny Pero, at the address below, and should be received by the close of business on June 19, 2020. The Prospectus and Drawings can be viewed at https://ribits.usace.army.mil/.
If you have any questions about this mitigation site, please contact:
Mr. Vinny Pero
920 Gardens Blvd., Suite103-B
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901