August 11, 2021
NAO-1995-08595 (James River)
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a project proposal to establish a Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund stream and wetland compensatory mitigation site for Federal and State permits as described below:
Ms. Karen Johnson
The Nature Conservancy of Virginia (Sponsor)
Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund (VARTF)
530 East Main Street
Richmond, VA 23219
PROJECT LOCATION: The proposed compensatory mitigation site (Site) is located on property owned by the Virginia Department of Corrections on Route 6, west of the town of Crozier and east of the intersection of Route 6 and Route 522 in Powhatan County, Virginia.
PROJECT SIZE: The 43.9-acre Site is located, in the floodplain of the James River, on a portion of an approximately 258-acre property owned by the Virginia Department of Corrections.
NEAREST WATERWAY: The Site drains to the James River.
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 37.640, -77.851
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE: The Sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate the MJ-13 James River (DOC-State Farm) Mitigation Site (Project) on property historically used for agricultural purposes. The Sponsor proposes to restore wetland hydrology to a portion of the 43.9-acre Site for the purpose of restoring nontidal wetlands and to restore approximately 25 acres of agricultural field to a forested floodplain condition. The Project is proposed to generate 18.36 nontidal wetland credits. In addition, the Sponsor proposes to restore stream channels and their associated upland buffers as future phases.
The purpose of the proposed Project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation, through the restoration, enhancement, and preservation of the streams and wetlands located on the Site, for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to streams and wetlands in the Potomac River basin.
The Sponsor proposes, for the purposes of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act that the geographic service area for this Site include the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes 02080203, 02080204, 02080205, 02080207.
The Interagency Review Team (IRT), a group of federal and state agency representatives, has oversight of this proposed compensatory mitigation site. The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) chair the IRT.
The proposed compensatory mitigation site may be one of a number of practicable options available to applicants to compensate for unavoidable impacts to stream and wetlands associated with permits issued under the authority of Section 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The actual approval of the use of this mitigation site for a specific project is the decision of the Corps and/or DEQ. The Corps and DEQ provide no guarantee that a particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this mitigation site to compensate for unavoidable stream and/or wetland impacts associated with a proposed permit.
The complete project proposal and all necessary documents can be located at https://ribits.ops.usace.army.mil/ords/f?p=107:278:9112235552751::NO:RP,278:P278_BANK_ID:6083
AUTHORITY: Issuance of a public notice regarding proposed compensatory mitigation sites is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule,” (Rule) as published in the April 10, 2008, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332).
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION: The decision whether to approve this compensatory mitigation site will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed compensatory mitigation site 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 proposed compensatory mitigation site must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All of the proposed compensatory mitigation site 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 Corps 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 compensatory mitigation site. THIS IS NOT AN APPLICATION FOR WORK IN WATERS OF THE UNITED STATES. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to approve, modify, or deny this compensatory mitigation site. 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 project proposal 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 compensatory mitigation site. Anyone may request a public hearing to consider this project proposal 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.
A preliminary review indicates:
ENDANGERED SPECIES: 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.
VIRGINIA’S COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT PROGRAM: No concurrence with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972 is required because the proposed Project is not located within Virginia’s Coastal Zone.
VIRGINIA’S SECTION 401 WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM: The Sponsor has not requested a Pre-Filing Meeting with DEQ as this is not an application for work.
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), P.O. Box 3100, Lynchburg, VA 23510-1011, and should be received by the close of business on September 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 Corps. Information that is submitted in connection with this Public Notice cannot be maintained as confidential by the Corps. Submissions should not include any information that the submitter seeks to preserve as confidential.
If you have any questions about this Project or the compensatory mitigation site approval process, contact Ms. Jeanne C. Richardson by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 434.609.3648.
Species Conclusion Table
Official Species List