December 1, 2021
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Engineer received a prospectus to establish a stream compensatory mitigation site for federal and state permits as described below:
Restoration Systems, LLC.
c/o George Howard, Jeff Corbin, John Preyer and Wes Newell
1101 Haynes Street, Suite 211
Raleigh, North Carolina 27604
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed mitigation site is located on approximately 2.6 acres of private, commercial and public land. The site is located in the South Anna River in Hanover, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The sponsor proposes to establish, design,construct, and operate a compensatory stream mitigation site to be known as the South Anna River at Ashland Mill Dam Mitigation Bank. The purpose of the mitigation project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to streams and other waters of the United States in the Pamunkey River and Lower Chesapeake Bay Drainage Basins.
The Sponsor plans to restore approximately 12,250 linear feet and 21 acres of instream, aquatic habitat long the South Anna River in Hanover County, Virginia. To do so, the Sponsor proposes to dewater the impoundment and deconstruct the existing Ashland Mill Dam. After removal of the dam, the Sponsor will regrade and seed the banks in the vicinity of the construction activity, as well as modify the stream bed within the project area as needed to provide a stable transition between the upstream and downstream areas.
The sponsor proposed, for purposes of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, that the geographic service area of this mitigation site would include the National Watershed Boundary Dataset Hydrologic Unit Codes 02080101, 02080102, 02080103, 02080104, 02080105, 02080106, 02080107, 02080108, 02080201, 02080202, 02080203, 02080204, 02080205, 02080206, 02080207, 02080208. This proposed service area would include portions of the Cities and Counties of Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, Suffolk, Isle of Wight, Surry, Prince George, Hopewell, Chesterfield, Colonial Heights, Petersburg, Dinwiddie, Amelia, Nottoway, Prince Edward, Appomattox, Campbell, Amherst, Lynchburg, Bedford, Nelson, Charlottesville, Cumberland, Buckingham, Albemarle, Cullpepper, Stafford, Fredericksburg, King George, Richmond, Westmoreland, Essex, Lancaster, Spotsylvania, Orange, Fluvanna, Goochland, Powhatan, Louisa, Hanover, Henrico, Richmond City, Charles City, New Kent, James City, Williamsburg, York, Newport News, Hampton, Poquoson, Gloucester, Mathews, Middlesex, Fauquier, Rappahannock, Madison, Greene, King and Queen, King William, Caroline, Northumberland, Highland, Bath, Alleghany, Craig, Botetourt, Rockbridge, and Augusta.
Oversight of this mitigation 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 and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality chair the IRT.
This mitigation site may be one of a number of practicable options available to applicants to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts associated with permits issued under the authority of Section 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) in Virginia.
The actual approval of the use of this mitigation site for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The Corps and the Department of Environmental Quality provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this mitigation site to compensate for unavoidable wetland 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 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: 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 this proposed mitigation site. This is not an application for work in Waters of the United States. The Corps of Engineers in evaluating this proposal 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, 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 NAO ESA Project Review Process, there may be an affect to listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973; and (3) known properties potentially 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.
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). Review of the NOAA EFH mapper indicates the South Anna River does not contain Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The habitat which this project would affect consists of an impounded riverine system with a course substrate.
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 associated with the dam removal project and the long-term benefits that the dam removal project will have on the waterway by improving water quality and reopening historic reaches of the South Anna River for resident, diadromous and anadromous fish species. 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 made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers- (ATTN: CENAO-WRR), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on December 31, 2021. The Prospectus and Drawings can be viewed at https://ribits.ops.usace.army.mil/ords/f?p=107:10:::::P10_BANK_ID:6063 (recommended to view link in Chrome).
If you have any questions about this mitigation site, please contact: Nicole Woodward at 757-201-7122 or firstname.lastname@example.org