NAO-2021-01175 (Briery Creek Mitigation Bank)
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Engineer received a prospectus to establish a wetland and stream compensatory mitigation site for Federal and State permits as described below:
Mr. Doug Sowers
1475 Oakbridge Court
Powhatan, VA 23139
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed 87 acres compensatory mitigation site is currently being used for a mixture of pasture, hay production, and mature hardwood forest. The compensatory mitigation site is located within the Middle James River watershed. Briery Creek is a tributary to the Hardware River, which flows to the James River in Fluvanna County, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The Sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a wetland and stream compensatory mitigation site known as the Briery Creek Mitigation Bank (BCMB). The purpose of the compensatory mitigation project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to wetlands and streams and other waters of the United States.
The Sponsor plans construct the Bank in one Phase. The Sponsor proposes to restore 13 acres of Palustrine Forested wetlands (PFO) and enhance 0.3 acres of Palustrine Emergent wetlands PEM) by converting to PFO wetlands. The restoration, enhancement, and buffer restoration activities propose to generate 13.15 wetland credits. Of those credits, 5.72 credits will be removed from the bank crediting for a proposed permittee responsible mitigation site. With the wetland activities and conservation easement lift, the total wetland credits propose to generate 8.95 wetland credits.
The Sponsor also proposes to restoration on 1815 linear feet (LF) of stream channel, enhance 1800 LF of stream channel and preserve 5490 LF of stream channel. These restoration, enhancement and preservation activities proposes to generate approximately 4490 stream credits which is estimated using the Virginia Unified Stream Methodology (USM).
The Sponsor proposes, for purposes of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act the following Geographic Service Area (GSA). BCMB is located within Hydrologic Unit Code (HUC) 02080203. The primary service area includes only parts of HUC 02080203 lying east of the CSX Railroad, including all of Lynchburg. The bank will also serve the
adjacent HUC’s including 02080204, 02080205, and 02080207. These HUC’s include all of Amelia, Buckingham, Cumberland, Goochland, and Powhatan Counties; most of Appomattox, Albemarle, Fluvanna, Chesterfield Counties; and portions of Amherst, Campbell, Dinwiddie, Henrico, Greene, Louisa, Nelson, Nottoway, Orange, and Prince Edward Counties. These counties include the major cities of Richmond, Lynchburg, Petersburg, Charlottesville, and Farmville.
Oversight of this Site would be by an existing group of federal and state agency representatives. This interagency oversight group is known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT). The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) chair the IRT.
The actual approval of the use of this Site for a specific project is the decision of USACE pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or by DEQ pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. USACE and DEQ provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this Site to compensate for unavoidable wetland or stream impacts associated with a proposed permit. Authorization by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission may also be required for its use for specific projects.
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 PROPOSAL: USACE 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 this proposed mitigation site. This is not an application for work in waters of the United States. USACE is evaluating this proposal and will consider any comments received. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, flood plain values, land use classification, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, and consideration of property ownership.
Preliminary review indicates that: (1) no environmental impact statement would be required; (2) after conducting the Norfolk District ESA Project Review Process, there may be an affect to species listed under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table located at Cyber Repository Tree (army.mil) for comment by US Fish and Wildlife Service; and (3) no known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the bank site, or would likely be affected by the proposal. Additional information might change any of these findings.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers-(ATTN: Charlottesville Field Office), Mr. Vinny Pero, at the address below, and should be received by the close of business on September 27, 2021. The Prospectus and Drawings can be viewed at Cyber Repository Tree (army.mil) .
If you have any questions about this mitigation site, please contact:
Mr. Vinny Pero
920 Gardens Blvd., Suite103-B
Charlottesville, Virginia 22901