March 1, 2022
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Engineer received a prospectus to modify a stream compensatory mitigation site for federal and state permits as described below:
Northern Virginia Stream Restoration L.C.
c/o Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc.
5300 Wellington Branch Drive, Suite 100
Gainesville, Virginia 20155
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed Fountainhead compensatory mitigation site is located on approximately 739 acres of combined regional park and private land. The project is located adjacent to the existing Northern Virginia Stream Restoration Mitigation Bank (Bank), along the Wolf Run stream reach, along unnamed tributaries to the Occoquan and in Fairfax County, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The Sponsor proposes to modify the existing Bank by adding the Fountainhead preservation area which includes 19,720 linear feet of stream channel and 193.2 acres of riparian buffer. The purpose of the compensatory mitigation project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to nontidal streams and other waters of the United States in the Potomac River Drainage Basin.
The Sponsor is requesting 4,253 stream compensation credits. The stream preservation will be paired with previous restoration work that has been successfully completed within the Bank limits. The preservation will provide additional protection for the tributaries that are currently under threat of development and will help reduce nutrient non-point source pollution into the Occoquan River.
The sponsor proposed, for purposes of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, that the geographic service area (GSA) for this site will be consistent with the GSA that was approved in the Banks’s executed Mitigation Banking Instrument dated February 28, 2006 and modified January 2, 2021.
Oversight of this compensatory 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 (Corps) and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) chair the IRT.
This compensatory mitigation site may be one of several 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 compensatory mitigation site for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and/or by DEQ pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The Corps and DEQ provide no guarantee that any individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this compensatory mitigation site 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 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, 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 as no work is proposed. Based on this no effect determination, no further coordination with the US Fish and Wildlife Service is required 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 as no work is proposed. 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). No groundwork is proposed and therefore is not likely to affect EFH.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers- (ATTN: Anna Lawston), The Amissville Field Office, PO Box 489, Amissville, Virginia 20106, and should be received by the close of business on Wednesday, March 16, 2022. The 2022 Modification #10 Prospectus and Drawings can be viewed at: https://ribits.ops.usace.army.mil/ords/f?p=107:278::::RP,278:P278_BANK_ID:577
If you have any questions about this mitigation site, please contact: Ms. Anna Lawston by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 540-764-4459.