US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

NAO-2003-02984

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Dec. 10, 2020
Expiration date: 1/9/2021

December 10, 2020
CENAO-WR-R
NAO-2003-02984

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

APPLICANT
City of Hampton
Attn: Brian Lewis, PE
22 Lincoln Street
Hampton, Virginia 23669

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located in the Chesapeake Bay north of the James River, along Buckroe Beach in Hampton, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to construct a beach replenishment (nourishment) project along 3,483 linear feet of shoreline at Buckroe Beach.  Sandy beach nourishment material would be placed along the channelward side of the existing bulkhead at Buckroe Park and would extend no more than 465 feet channelward of mean high water into the Chesapeake Bay.  The proposed beach nourishment would result in impacts to approximately 4.99 acres of intertidal non-vegetated wetlands and 25.37 acres of subaqueous bottom.  During the initial beach nourishment cycle, the applicant proposes to hydraulically dredge approximately 275,000 cubic yards of material from Horseshoe Shoals borrow area located approximately 2 miles offshore, to a maximum depth of -30 below feet mean low water, including overdredge. The amount of sandy dredged material needed to restore the beach to the original design parameters during each future maintenance beach nourishment cycle will be dependent on the amount of erosion that occurs along shoreline over the life of the permit.  The exact locations of future borrow areas within the Horseshoe Shoals borrow area would be determined based on site conditions at the time of the proposed beach nourishment cycle.  These impacts are detailed on the drawings entitled "City of Hampton Buckroe Beach Re-Nourishment Project," dated November 12, 2020 and stamped as received by our office on November 12, 2020.

In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain 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 Hampton Wetlands Board.  Project drawings are attached and the application can be found at https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/habitat/additionaldocs.php?id=20201504.

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 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:  (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process no listed/proposed/candidate 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; 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 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.

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).   The Chesapeake Bay contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the egg, larvae, juvenile and adult life stages of fourteen species including little skate (Leucoraja erinacea), Atlantic sea herring (Clupea harengus),red hake (Urophycis chuss), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), Winter skate (Leucoraja ocellata), Clearnose skate (Leucoraja garmani), sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus), Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), sand tiger shark (Carcharias taurus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), scup (Stenotomus chrysops), and black sea bass (Centropristus striata).  The habitat which this project would affect consists of intertidal non-vegetated wetlands and waters up to -15 feet mean low water with sandy bottom.  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, minimal increases in turbidity, changes in water temperature or salinity caused by the proposed work, and the absence of vegetated wetlands, 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.

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to nicole.l.woodward@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 9, 2021.

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 Nicole Woodward at 757-201-7122 or nicole.l.woodward@usace.army.mil.

Attachment: Drawings