Aug. 28, 2020
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:
Virginia Department of Transportation
Lindsey S. Hodges
4219 Campbell Ave.
Lynchburg, VA 24510
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in Childress Creek and its unnamed tributaries, McGuff Creek, and Dan River and all tributaries, between Route 58 and Route 311, south of Oak Ridge and north of Buford, Pittsylvania County, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to construct the "Berry Hill Connector Road" on new alignment from the Oak Ridge Farms Road Interchange at Route 58 to Berry Hill Road in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. The preferred alternative new road is a 2-mile, two-lane divided highway with grading for a future four-lane divided highway and will provide access to Berry Hill Industrial Park. The project has 15 wetland and stream crossings, impacting Childress Creek and its tributaries, as well as tributaries to the Dan River, McGuff Creek and associated wetlands. Total permanent wetland impacts are 89,746 square feet (2.06 acres) of forested wetlands, 74,961 square feet (1.72 acres) of scrub-shrub wetlands and 9,414 square feet (0.22 acres) of emergent wetlands. Total temporary wetland impacts are 23,222 square feet (0.53 acres) of forested wetlands, 15,579 square feet (0.36 acres) of scrub-shrub wetlands and 2,842 square feet (0.07 acres) of emergent wetlands. Total permanent stream impacts are 1,915 linear feet, and total temporary stream impacts are 360 linear feet. Total stream excavation is 10,611.5 square feet (357.8 cubic yards); permanent fill is 8,772.2 square feet (333.2 cubic yards); and temporary fill is 2,000 square feet (24.6 cubic yards).
The applicant has avoided and minimized impacts to streams and wetlands. This includes design efforts to incorporate the smallest practicable horizontal and vertical roadway footprint, practicable roadway grades, curves, and fill slopes to avoid and minimize the impact to wetlands and streams. All pipe culverts throughout the corridor have been countersunk and aligned with the existing stream’s configurations to minimize channel tie-in lengths. All temporarily impacted areas will be restored to preconstruction conditions.
To mitigate for unavoidable impacts to streams, the applicant proposes to provide compensation through purchase of wetland credits through the Banister Bend Wetland Bank Advance Credit Purchase and stream credits through the Roanoke River Mitigation Bank Advance Credit Purchase. The project will provide 179,492 square feet (4.12 acres) for forested impact, 112,442 square feet (2.58 acres) for scrub-shrub impacts and 9,414 square feet (0.22 acres) of emergent impacts for a total of 6.92 wetland credits. The project stream impacts were assessed using Unified Stream Methodology, and the project will provide 2,258 stream credits.
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 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 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 ESA Project Review Process, no listed/proposed/candidate native freshwater mussel 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) will be affected. Based on this “no effect” determination, no further coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Service or National Marine Fisheries Service is required for native freshwater mussels. The northern long-eared bat may be affected, but the 4(d) key was completed and no further coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Service is required; (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 in writing. They can be sent by email to Traycie.L.West@usace.army.mil 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 Sept. 28.
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 Traycie West at 757-201-7179.