NAO-1999-02470 (Yorktown Naval Weapons Station)

Published May 26, 2022
Expiration date: 6/25/2022

May 26, 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 Pier R 3 at Naval Weapons Stations Yorktown, located along Colonial Parkway in Yorktown, Virginia.

PROJECT SIZE: 2.21 Acres


LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 37.254015°,     -76.533376°

PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE:  The project consists of maintenance dredging the outboard slips and approaches of Pier R3 at U.S. Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Virginia.  The project involves maintenance dredging 96,480 square feet of subaqueous bottom to a maximum depth of – 44 feet mean low water, including overdredge. Each maintenance dredging event will remove approximately 76,600 cubic yards of material via clamshell dredge. In total, up to 110,000 cubic yards of dredged material may be removed from NSS Yorktown in the next three years. The dredge material will be transported via bottom dump scow to be disposed of in the Norfolk Ocean Disposal site (NODS). The project was authorized by the Corps on July 26, 2017, and these impacts are detailed on the attached drawings entitled “Maintenance Dredging at: Yorktown Naval Weapons Station," dated March 29, 2017, and stamped as received by our office on March 30, 2017. 

This public notice is being issued for the planned transport and disposal of dredged material at the NODS that will result from the proposed maintenance dredging of the Pier R3 at U.S. Naval Weapons Station, Yorktown, Virginia. 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 for the maintenance dredging activities.

Approximately 76,600 cubic yards (cy) of dredged material from each maintenance dredging cycle is proposed for transport and placement at NODS. In total, up to 110,000 cubic yards of dredged material may be removed from NSS Yorktown in the next three years. 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 Pier R3 at U.S. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown project will occur intermittently in phases over an approximate 3-year period. Sediments proposed for dredging for the Pier R3 at U.S. Naval Weapons Station Yorktown project consist of alluvium material. Grain size of the dredged material is predominantly fine-grained material and consisted of 95.9 and 96.5 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 metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), semi-volatile organic compound (SVOCs), 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.

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 to issue a permit was based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest.  The decision reflects 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 were 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 was 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.

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 25, 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