March 17, 2022
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint permit application for Federal and State permits as described below:
Kelly Mills, PE
City of Virginia Beach, Public Works Engineering
484 Viking Drive, Suite 200
Virginia Beach, VA 23452
PROJECT LOCATION: Proposed Cripple Creek Dredged Material Transfer Station at 2540 Virginia Beach Boulevard in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The property is located between Cripple Creek Court (to the west) and the Eastern Branch of the Lynnhaven River (to the east).
PROJECT SIZE: The project site is approximately one acre.
NEAREST WATERWAY: Eastern Branch of the Lynnhaven River
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 36.841936, -76.058814
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE: The City of Virginia Beach proposes to impact wetlands and Waters of the U.S. for the construction of the Cripple Creek Dredged Material Transfer Station. The impacts are associated with the construction of 30 linear feet of bulkhead (with 23-foot returns), shoreline revetment, two 7-pile mooring dolphins and dredging for a basin to support the transfer of dredged material from barges to trucks. The bulkhead and fender would impact 90 square feet of non-vegetated tidal wetlands and 65 square feet of scrub/shrub vegetated tidal wetlands. The City of Virginia Beach would remove an estimated 625 cubic yards of dredged material from the proposed 4,350-square foot basin. The dredging (-7.5-foot NAVD) would impact 4,870 square feet of subaqueous bottom, and 495 square feet of nonvegetated wetlands in the 2X buffer and 390 square feet of vegetated wetlands (240 square feet in 2x and 150 square feet in 4X buffer).
The purpose of the Cripple Creek Dredged Material Transfer Station is to provide a permanent location for the transfer of dredged material generated from multiple
municipal and private navigation projects on the Eastern Branch of the Lynnhaven River. The projects throughout the Eastern Branch of the Lynnhaven River are typically dredged mechanically. The material is placed in barges and then transported to a location where the dredged material can be transferred from the barges to sealed trucks. The material is then trucked to an approved facility for disposal. A permanent station would service the long-term dredging needs of the Eastern Branch and minimize environmental impacts, since the City of Virginia Beach would only need to construct one location to assist with maintaining navigation as opposed to constructing multiple temporary locations.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: Since 2017, the City of Virginia Beach has reviewed two other proposed locations and developed project plans for those sites. Both sites would result in larger nonvegetated or vegetated wetland impacts and the Corps requested that other sites be reviewed as part of that review process. The City’s proposed Cripple Creek project reduces the wetland impacts compared with the other two alternatives.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The City proposes to mitigate for the impacts to 585 square feet of non-vegetated wetlands at a 0.5:1 ratio and for impacts to 455 square feet (0.010 acres) of scrub/shrub and emergent tidal wetlands at a 1:1 ratio via an approved in-lieu fee or credits from a municipal wetland bank. Therefore, they would purchase 292.5 square feet (0.007 acres) and 455 square feet (0.010 acres) for a total of 0.017 acres worth of credits.
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.
A copy of the joint permit application can be found on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s website (VMRC 2022 0302).
(X) 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 Eastern Branch of the Lynnhaven River contains EFH for juvenile and adult life stages of 16 species, including 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), and Atlantic Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus). The habitat which this project would affect consists of subaqueous bottom, nonvegetated wetlands and vegetated wetlands. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. The proposed project involves dredging subaqueous bottom, nonvegetated wetlands and vegetated wetlands. The dredging will cause temporary impacts. The project also involves filling nonvegetated and vegetated tidal wetlands and the fill will result in permanent impacts to a small amount of potential EFH habitat. 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/minimal increases in turbidity/changes in water temperature or salinity caused by the proposed work/the absence of vegetated wetlands, submerged aquatic vegetation, and anadromous fish spawning habitat/ existing poor water quality/unsuitable substrate. 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) 659-1915 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The applicant has submitted concurrence or will submit concurrence soon.
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.
Pursuant to 33 CFR 325.2(b)(1)(i), this Public Notice serves as the Corps’ CWA § 401(a)(2) notification to the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Pursuant to 40 CFR 121.11-13, the EPA shall notify the Corps, the Virginia DEQ, and the applicant, within 30 days of receipt of the application and certification, if the Regional Administrator determines that the proposed discharge may affect the quality of the waters of any neighboring jurisdiction.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to email@example.com, 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 April 18, 2022.
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 Ms. Melissa Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org or 757-201-7489.
Attachments: Drawings, Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table