US Army Corps of Engineers
Norfolk District Website

NAO-2012-00080

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published Dec. 17, 2020
Expiration date: 2/10/2021

December 17, 2020
CENAO-WRR
NAO-2012-00080

FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
ANNOUCING A PUBLIC HEARING AND COMMENT PERIOD EXTENSION

On November 27, 2020, a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for Dominion Energy’s proposed Surry – Skiffes Creek – Whealton Aerial Transmission Line “Project” was released in the Federal Register. On November 30th, we issued a public notice announcing its release and request for comment. To date we have received several requests for a comment period extension. After consideration, we are extending the current suspense date an additional 30-days to February 10, 2021 and announcing that a virtual public hearing will be held on January 20, 2021 between the hours of 4PM – 7PM EST.  

APPLICANT
Virginia Electric & Power Company
c/o: Dominion Energy
Mr. Robert M. Blue; President & CEO
701 E. Cary Street; 12th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The proposed project begins in Surry County near Surry Nuclear Power Plant, crosses the James River towards Skiffes Creek in James City County, and continues through Newport News, York County, and Hampton to an existing substation in Whealton. The Project is located within the Lower James River and Lynnhaven-Poquoson watersheds; specifically, the James River, Skiffes Creek, Lee-Hall Reservoir, Harwood’s Mill Reservoir, Woods Creek, Jones Run, Brick Kiln Creek, Newmarket Creek and Whiteman Swamp.

PROPOSED PROJECT:  Construct 17 in-stream transmission towers and fender protection systems to support a 500 kiloVolt (kV) aerial transmission line over navigable waters and placement of 26 transmission towers in non-tidal wetlands. In total, the Project permanently impacts 2712 square feet (0.06 acres) of subaqueous river bottom, 271 square feet (0.006 acres) of non-tidal wetlands, and converts 0.67 acres of palustrine forested non-tidal wetlands to palustrine scrub shrub non-tidal wetlands.

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 for impacts to jurisdictional wetlands and waters of the United States.

COMMENT PERIOD EXTENSION:  This announcement services notice that the previous 45-day comment period has been extended an additional 30-days to provide ample time to comment on the DEIS. The revised comment period will now close on February 10, 2021. Comments on the DEIS may still be submitted by email to randy.l.steffey@usace.army.mil, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WRR), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia  23510-1011. 

Please remember that comments on the DEIS should be as specific as possible. It is also helpful if comments refer to chapters, pages, and line numbers of the DEIS (e.g., Chapter 1, page 1-3, line 10), along with any sources that support your comments. Comments may address the adequacy of specific analyses in the DEIS and the merits of the alternatives formulated and discussed in the document (40 CFR 1503.3). Please note that the preferred alternative may not be the final decision, so it is best to comment on what you like/do not like about each alternative. Additionally, if you identify a new proposed alternative, identify how it would avoid/reduce/mitigate resource impacts better than the alternatives already analyzed in the DEIS.  Include in your comments potential mitigation options that could be considered for the Project. Substantive comments (40 CFR 1503.3) will be addressed in the Final EIS.

PUBLIC HEARING: In addition, we will conduct a VIRTUAL Public Hearing on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 4:00PM to 7:00PM EST to receive verbal comments on the DEIS. Federal, State and Local agencies as well as private individuals, organizations or groups are invited to attend. Prior to the event, please visit https://www.nao.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory/SkiffesCreekPowerLine.aspx for access to the DEIS.

To speak during the event, you must pre-register at the following link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/TJNB5W9 by January 11, 2021. Before the hearing, registered speakers will be contacted and provided additional instructions needed to participate. Each registered speaker will be given (2) minutes to present their views, opinions, and information on the DEIS that will be captured by a court reporter for the administrative record. To ensure as many people are afforded the opportunity to speak, we request that groups, where appropriate, consolidate comments and elect one representative speaker. Otherwise, interested parties can simply watch the hearing via YouTube at the following link: https://youtu.be/UuT5erZ1kSg and submit written comments after the hearing should they desire.               

Please know that the NEPA process offers no preference be given to spoken comments received during the hearing versus those submitted in writing before or after the event. Please know that all comments received are given the same level of consideration, therefore if you should miss the opportunity to speak at the hearing please be sure to submit your written comments to us so they can be used to inform the decision-making process as we work towards development of a Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision. Should you miss the hearing all together, we will make the official transcript and any video recordings available on the project webpage within approximately one week after the hearing and will accept comments up until February 10, 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 regarding this notice or need additional information about the Project, please contact Randy L. Steffey, Project Manager at (757) 201-7579, or randy.l.steffey@usace.army.mil.