February 8, 2021
NAO-2020-2373; VMRC #20-V2232
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:
City of Norfolk Department of Public Works
c/o Richard Broad, P.E.
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is in the Chesapeake Bay, along the Ocean View bayfront, in Norfolk, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The City of Norfolk proposes to construct a beach nourishment project at four different reaches along its Ocean View and Willoughby Spit shoreline. The proposed fill at Reach 1 is between 24th Bay Street and Bay Point Drive, the fill at Reach 2 is between Chesapeake Boulevard and Atlans Street, the fill at Reach 3 is between 6th View Street and Norfolk Avenue, and the proposed fill at Reach 4 is between 12th View Street and 9th View Street. The purpose of the project is to restore and enhance coastal storm protection to residential, public and commercial structures by increasing the beach width and establishing a beach berm at +4.0 feet NAVD88. The project will accomplish this purpose by placing approximately 393,000 cubic yards of sand along 14,400 linear feet of shoreline. The sand material will be obtained from the Thimble Shoals Channel as part of the Norfolk Harbor Navigation Improvement projects. Approximately 73.13 acres of waters of the U.S. will be impacted by this project: 61.3 acres below Mean Low Water and 11.80 acres between MLW and Mean High Water. The replenishment fill will be pumped to placement sites on the beach with pipelines and pump-out buoys; the floating offshore transfer stations will most likely be secured by anchors. Specific details regarding construction equipment and procedures will be determined by the contractor.
Project impacts have been minimized by limiting the fill footprint to the Storm Damage Reduction project that was originally built in May 2017. Also, pipelines will be equipped with spreaders to reduce discharge velocities during sand-slurry placement, and temporary longitudinal sand dikes may be used to contain and direct the horizontal sand-slurry flow along the beach. Both measures would minimize surf-zone turbidity effects. Lastly, all material placed on the beach would consist of sand that is compatible with the native beach sand and the sand material that has been previously placed on the beach.
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 Norfolk Wetlands Board. Project drawings are attached. The entire permit application is available on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission website address:
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 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. 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 National Marine Fisheries 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.
For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects located in Virginia’s Coastal Zone , 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’s Coastal Zone Management Program (Virginia CZM Program),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 OEIR 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 in the Federal Consistency Manual here: https://www.deq.virginia.gov/permits-regulations/environmental-impact-review/federal-consistency . For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the Virginia CZM Program, contact the DEQ-OEIR at (804) 698-4204 or e-mail: email@example.com.
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 several life stages 11 species including butterfish, windowpane flounder, bluefish, dusky shark, black sea bass, summer flounder, red drum, sandbar shark, cobia, king mackerel, and Atlantic Spanish mackerel. The habitat which this project would affect consists of inshore sandy habitat and littoral zone. 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 and minimal increases in turbidity caused by the proposed work. Vegetated wetlands and submerged aquatic vegetation are also absent, and anadromous fish spawning is lacking. 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 email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R; George Janek), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on March 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 about this project or the permit process, contact
George Janek at 757-201-7135.