July 28, 2021
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:
Mr. Daniel Adams, P.E.
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Public Works
4525 Main Street, Suite 700
Virginia Beach, VA 23467
PROJECT LOCATION: The Whitehurst Dredged Material Management Area (DMMA)is located approximately 2,890 ft north of Credle Road off of the east side of Oceana Blvd in the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia.
PROJECT SIZE: 31 acres
NEAREST WATERWAY: Great Neck Creek
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 36.831642, -76.006504
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE: The City of Virginia Beach has requested authorization to fill 20 acres of excavation induced surface waters at the Whitehurst
Borrow Pit DMMA. Dredge disposal has been reclaiming the Borrow Pit since 2010. The attached plan entitled Whitehurst Lake Placement Area prepared by Waterway
Surveys and Engineering, Ltd. sheets 1-17 revision dated April 28, 2020 show proposed dredged material discharge activities. As the DMMA is filled, two turbidity curtains will
remain, one in the forebay area at the south end of the project site and one at the mouth of the drainage outfall to protect the receiving waters. The DMMA was designed
primarily as the disposal site for dredged material from municipal and small neighborhood dredging projects. As a result, the scheduled time frame for filling
Whitehurst DMMA was twenty or more years. More recently, however, with the implementation of the Special Service District (SSD) neighborhood dredging program
and the stormwater maintenance dredging program, the City has expressed accelerated need for filling of the DMMA with clean, inert dredged material.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: The City will maintain efforts to ensure protection of downstream waters from secondary impacts by maintaining turbidity curtains, active
testing of material to be disposed of prior to disposal and routine testing of water quality within the project area per DEQ guidelines. The entire artificial borrow pit lake will not be
filled, a watercourse will remain on the western edge to provide a continued hydraulic connection to Great Neck Creek and to maintain the existing wetlands fringe along the
western edge of the pit.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The initial authorized fill resulted in the loss of 0.27 acres of non-tidal shrub/ scrub fringe wetlands along the south and east sides of the
lake and a 0.25 acre loss of non-tidal emergent wetlands for an access road. The applicant purchased 1.21 credits form the Middle Peninsula Environmental Bank, bill of
sale dated July 3, 2013 is on record. The City of Virginia Beach also recorded a declaration of restrictive covenants to preserve 5.123 acres alongside the Whitehurst
DMMA on September 21, 2010. In anticipation of additional filling required to meet the ongoing need for dredge disposal, 0.12 advance non-tidal wetland credits were secured
through The Nature Conservancy January 9, 2020 for secondary impacts to wetland fringe on the west side of the DMMA. No additional mitigation is proposed at this time.
In addition, the applicant must obtain an Individual Section 401 Water Quality Certification or waiver from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)
assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated. Copy of the joint permit application can be found on the Virginia Marine Resources
Commission’s website (https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/habitat/search_permits.php?id=20200749>).
( ) Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403).
(X) Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and
Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
( ) Section 103 of the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972
(33 U.S.C. 1413).
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 (EIS) pursuant to the National Environmental Policy
Act. Preliminary review of the application indicates that no EIS will be required. 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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: after conducting the Norfolk District Endangered Species Act (ESA) Project Review Process, the Corps has made the preliminary determination that:
No listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the ESA 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) or National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) is required.
Additional information might change any of these findings.
HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:
No known Historic Resources eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) are in or near the Corps permit area or would likely be
affected by the proposal.
Additional information may change any of these findings.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT: 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 NMFS on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely
affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH).
The applicant has stated that the tidal waters of Great Neck Creek do not extend to the outfall point where the historic borrow pit drainage ties into the swamp. Great Neck
Creek contains EFH per Grid 34. The following species may utilize the tidal portion of the creek downstream near the rail bridge to the north of the DMMA: Red hake
(Urophycis chuss), Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus), scup (Stenotomus chrysops) Atlantic Sharpnose Shark (Rhizoprionodon terraenovae), Sand Tiger Shark, Butterfish
(Peprilus triacanthus), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), Bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix) dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), Black sea bass
(Centropristis striata), Summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), Sandbar Shark, Cobia (Rachycentron canadum), King mackerel
(Scomberomorus cavalla), Atlantic Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus).
The proposed DMMA fill plans specify the deployment and maintenance of turbidity curtains. Sediment Control and Virginia Department of Environmental Quality Water and Material testing requirements will remain an ongoing condition for dredge disposal thereby offering protection to the flooded swamp upstream of the rail bridge. Anadromous species may travel upstream to a point near the outfall in the spring if rainfall permits passage through the unnamed tributary to Great Neck Creek. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. Given the existing & ongoing DEQ monitoring requirements at the DMMA and inclusion of turbidity curtains as shown on the proposed construction plans, 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 indirect impacts which may include minimal increases in turbidity. The Whitehurst DMMA has
been authorized to receive dredged material from approved sources since 2010. Based on comments from the National Marine Fisheries Service in response to this public notice, further EFH consultation may be necessary.
VIRGINIA’S COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: 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). 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 applicant has not submitted concurrence.
VIRGINIA’S SECTION 401 WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM: The applicant must obtain, from the Virginia DEQ, a Clean Water Act Section 401 Water Quality Certification for any federal license or permit that authorizes an activity that may result in a discharge into waters of the U.S. (40 CFR Part 121). As the Certifying Authority, the Virginia DEQ may grant, grant with conditions, or deny a certification request. Alternatively, the Virginia DEQ may waive, expressly or implicitly, its authority to act on a certification request. In either case, a written notice of waiver from DEQ (expressly waived) or from the Corps (implicitly waived), satisfies the project proponent’s requirement to obtain certification.
PRE-FILING MEETING (PFM)
The applicant has requested a PFM with DEQ. DEQ extended dredge disposal to 12/21/24. The applicant has not responded to DEQ request for additional information transmitted May 15, 2020.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by regular mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WRR), 803 Front Street,
Norfolk, VA 23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on August 11, 2021.
PRIVACY AND 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 Mr. Steve Gibson, email@example.com, and #757-201-7418.
IPAC official Species List
Species Conclusion Table
Plans for Whitehurst DMMA complete fill and stabilization sheets 1-17 revision dated April 28, 2020.
VCRIS historic resource review