US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

NAO-2018-00095

Published May 22, 2020
Expiration date: 6/22/2020

May 22, 2020
CENAO-WRR-C
NAO-2018-00095

PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a permit application for work described below:

APPLICANT
Brian Hollings
6033 Westwood Terrace
Norfolk, VA 23508

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located in Edgewater Haven, a tributary to the Lafayette River at Norfolk, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to dredge, by mechanical method, no more than 400 cubic yards of material from an 18-foot wide by 164-foot long area to create a new navigation channel from the Edgewater Haven Municipal Channel to his residence in Norfolk.  The new channel, at maximum depths of -4 feet MLW including overdredge, will impact 2,223 square feet of mudflat, 20 square feet of vegetated tidal wetlands and 2,627 square feet of subaqueous bottom.  The applicant has reduced the channel to the minimum necessary to achieve the project purpose.  Mitigation proffered consists of the purchase of 169 square feet of mitigation bank credits.  A general dredged materials management plan has been provided.

In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a permit from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission to encroach upon State bottoms, 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 Norfolk 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).

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 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:  (1) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA 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 and the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table is attached for review and comment by Fish and Wildlife Service or NOAA PRD; 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. 

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).   Edgewater Haven contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the butterfish, windowpane flounder, bluefish, dusky shark, black sea bass, red drum, sandbar shark, cobia, king mackerel, Atlantic Spanish mackerel, summer flounder, and other additional species. The habitat which this project would affect consists of shallow water, mud flats and, intertidal vegetated wetlands. Tidal vegetated wetlands are HAPC area for summer flounder.   The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. 

Our assessment of the project leads us to a preliminary determination that it will not have a substantial adverse effect on EFH and therefore expanded EFH consultation is not required.  Our rationale for this preliminary determination is based on the expected short-term nature of the direct impacts along with minimal increases in turbidity caused by the proposed work, the minimal loss of vegetated wetlands and the absence of both submerged aquatic vegetation and anadromous fish spawning habitat. Based on comments from the National Marine Fisheries Service in response to this public notice, further EFH consultation may be necessary.

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/FederalConsistencyReviews.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.

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to traycie.l.west@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 June 22, 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 Traycie West via telephone at (757) 201-7179 or via email at traycie.l.west@usace.army.mil.

Attachments: Official Species List, Species Conclusion Table, Drawings

The Joint Permit Application and associated attachments can be found on the VMRC Applications website: https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/habitat/additionaldocs.php?id=20180063