NAO-2008-02691 (Cheatham Annex)

Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Published May 9, 2022
Expiration date: 6/8/2022

May 9, 2022  

The District Commander has received a joint permit application for Federal and State permits as described below:

Captain Christopher T. Horgan, Commander
Naval Weapons Station Yorktown
Attn: Tom Olexa, Natural Resources Manager
160 Main Road, Bldg 406
Yorktown, Virginia 23691

PROJECT LOCATION:  The work will occur within the York River adjacent to the CAD-A Pier at Naval Stations Yorktown Cheatham Annex, located along Sanda Avenue in Yorktown, Virginia.

PROJECT SIZE: 8.68 Acres


LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 37.293644°, -76.586245°

PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE:  The project consists of maintenance dredging, to restore previously permitted depths, to allow for safe approach and docking of vessels at the CAD-A Pier slips at U.S. Naval Stations Yorktown Cheatham Annex near Williamsburg, VA. Dredge Area "B" consists of an approximately 0.3-acre area to be dredged to a maximum depth of -22' MLLW. For the initial maintenance dredging event approximately 1,994 CY of material will be removed via clamshell dredge. Dredge Area "C1" consists of an approximately 0.95-acre area to be dredged to a maximum depth of -22' MLLW. For the initial maintenance dredging event approximately 5,384 CY of material will be removed via clamshell dredge. Dredge Area "C2" consists of an approximately 2.2-acre area to be dredged to a maximum depth of -22' MLLW. For the initial maintenance dredging event approximately 26,992 CY of material will be removed via clamshell dredge. Dredge Area "D" consists of an approximately 4.04-acre area to be dredged to a maximum depth of -37' MLLW. This request will also expand the footprint of the Area “D” dredging to include an additional 0.60 acres of new dredging if needed to tie into the -35 ft MLLW contour adjacent to the pier. For the initial maintenance dredging event approximately 40,941 CY of material will be removed via clamshell dredge. Dredge Area "E" consists of an approximately 0.38-acre area to be dredged to a maximum depth of -34' MLLW. For the initial maintenance dredging event approximately 11,267 CY of material will be removed via clamshell dredge.  All dredged material will be placed into and transported by bottom dumping scows and disposed in the Norfolk Ocean Disposal Site (NODS). Maintenance dredging will be required every 3 to 4 years. These impacts are detailed on the attached drawings entitled “FY 2022 Maintenance Dredging At: Cheatham Annex, Williamsburg, Virginia, Pier CAD-A and Yorktown Naval Weapons Station Yorktown, Virginia Pier R-3.,” dated January 9, 2022, and stamped as received by our office on January 22, 2022.

This public notice is being issued for the planned transport and disposal of dredged material at the Norfolk Ocean Disposal Site that will result from the proposed maintenance dredging of the CAD-A Pier at Naval Stations Yorktown Cheatham Annex. Dredged material from the project site that meets Section 103 evaluation criteria is being proposed for placement at the NODS. The NODS was designated by the USEPA pursuant to Section 102(c) of MPRSA for the ocean placement of suitable dredged material. The final rule was promulgated by the USEPA on July 2, 1993 (FR. Vol. 58 No. 126), effective July 2, 1993. Dredged material proposed for transport for the purpose of discharge in at the NODS must be evaluated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in accordance with part 227 of the MPRSA, Section 103 and processed in accordance with 33 CFR 324. The use of NODS is contingent upon USEPA, Region 3 review and concurrence that the dredged material meets MPRSA criteria (40 CFR 227).The applicant is seeking concurrence from the Corps and EPA that dredged material may be transported to and disposed of at NODS if a permit is issued for the maintenance dredging activities.

Approximately 88,000 cubic yards (cy) of dredged material from each maintenance dredging cycle is proposed for transport and placement at NODS. The NODS is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 17 miles east of Cape Henry. The center of NODS is located at latitude 36°59’00” north and longitude 75°39’00” west and has a four nautical mile radius, with an area of approximately 50 square nautical miles. Water depths at the site range from -43 to -85 feet MLLW. The site has unlimited capacity and is designated to provide capacity for long-term management of dredged material from the lower Chesapeake Bay and suitable materials from Norfolk Harbor (USEPA 1992). Any dredged material that passes ocean placement criteria may be placed at the NODS.

Prior to 2008, the only prior use of the NODS was by the U.S. Navy in August 1993. Approximately 51,000 cy of dredged material from the Naval Supply Center Cheatham Annex and 475,000 cy of dredged material from the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown were placed at the site.  Since 2010, other projects that have been recently placed at the NODS include the VDOT-Midtown Tunnel (1,121,642 cy placed October 2013 to October 2014), Joint Base Langley Eustis (JBLE) Skiffes Creek Channel (128,244 cy placed November 2014 to December 2014), JBLE-Fuel Pier Basin (57,122 cy placed February 2019 to July 2019), and the JBLE-Back River Channel (125,723 cy placed February 2019 to July 2019). Since 2009, additional projects have received authorization to place dredged material at the NODS including the Craney Island Eastward Expansion (CIEE) (24.5 mcy), Norfolk Inner Harbor Channel 50-feet element (1 mcy), Baltimore Harbor Upper Bay Approach Channels, Joint Base Langley Eustis – Fuel Pier Replacement Project, the Yorktown Naval Weapons Station (65,000 cy), Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel – Parallel Thimble Shoals Tunnel Project (1.7 mcy) and Langley Back River Project (125,723 cy). There have been no documented effects from the authorized discharges that have been made in the placement area.

It is estimated that placement operations for the CAD-A Pier at Naval Stations Yorktown Cheatham Annex project will occur intermittently in phases over an approximate 3-month period. Sediments proposed for dredging for the CAD-A Pier at Naval Stations Yorktown Cheatham Annex project consist of alluvium material. Grain size of the dredged material is predominantly silty clay material with embedded fine sands consistent with the native bed sediments in the surrounding area. The grain size consisted of 95.5 and 95.8 percent silt and clay. The dredged material proposed for placement at NODS does not meet the testing exclusionary criteria set forth under 40 CFR 227.13(b). Subsequent dredged material testing detected the presence of ammonia as nitrogen, several metals, several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), a semi-volatile organic compound (SVOCs), a chlorinated pesticide, and several PCB and dioxins/furans congeners at the site. Dredged material was tested for liquid phase, liquid and suspended particulate phase, and solid phase ((e.g., benthic toxicity and benthic bioaccumulation) using criteria and procedures developed by the Administrator of the EPA in accordance with 40 CFR 220-228. Evaluation of the liquid phase of the dredged material has determined that the material complies with the Limiting Permissible Concentration (LPC) and is in compliance with 40 CFR 227.6(c)(1) and 227.27(a)(1). Evaluation of the liquid and suspended particulate phase of the dredged material has determined the material complies with LPC and is in compliance with 40 CFR 227.6(c)(2) and 227.27(b). Evaluation of the benthic toxicity solid phase of the dredged material has determined the material complies with the LPC and is in compliance with 40 CFR 227.13(c)(3), 227.6(c)(3), and 227.27(b). The dredged material meets the LPC for benthic bioaccumulation and complies with the benthic criteria of 40 CFR Part 227.13 (c)(3) for placement at NODS. Accordingly, the proposed dredged material from the Pier R3 at U.S. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown meets the Ocean Disposal Criteria (40 CFR 227).

Maps of the project location and NODS are attached.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  The project will maintenance dredge areas with prior disturbance adjacent to an existing pier to restore the areas to previously authorized depths for safe navigation and access to the pier. The dredging will follow best management practices for the operation of mechanical clamshell dredge equipment, including incorporating a time of year restriction to protect the migration and spawning of anadromous fish. The applicant had proposed disposal of the material at NODS, which is the disposal site used during previous maintenance dredging cycles of the areas.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: No compensatory mitigation is proposed as impacts associated with the dredging are often considered temporary due to the fact the areas will continue to shoal in over time, and the impacts associated with the maintenance dredging will be minor and temporary given the dredging methods and type of material to be removed within an area with a prior history of dredging impacts. The impacts to the proposed dredged material placement areas will also be temporary and minor.  The NODS is a previously approved dredged material management area and the conditions at the site will remain subaqueous after the material is deposited.

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.  

The applicant must obtain a permit from the York County Wetlands Board.

A copy of the joint permit application can be found on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s website (


(X)       Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403).
(  )        Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
(X)       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.

The Navy is funding the project and therefore has been designated by the Corps as the lead Federal agency to fulfill the collective Federal responsibilities under Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205), Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 (PL 89-665), and the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (PL 104-267). The Navy has preliminarily determined that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) after conducting informal consultations with the NOAA Protected Resources Division, it was determined that 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 not be adversely affected. Based on this not likely to adversely affect determination, no further coordination with the NOAA is required; (3) after conducting informal consultations with the National Marine Fisheries Service, it was determined that project will not have a substantial adverse effect on Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and therefore expanded EFH consultation is not required; and (4) 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. Additional information might change any of these findings.

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: .  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:

The applicant has not submitted concurrence.

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, 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 June 8, 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 Nicole Woodward at 757-201-7122 or

Attachments: Drawings