August 05, 2022
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint permit application for Federal and State permits as described below:
Mr. Brian Morris
4600 Wedgewood Boulevard, Suite A
Frederick, MD 21703
PROJECT LOCATION: An approximately 545-acre property located west of the intersection of Route 58 and Route 460 (Pruden Boulevard), extending to Pitchkettle Road in Suffolk, Virginia.
PROJECT SIZE: 545 acres
NEAREST WATERWAY: Murphy Pond / Lake Meade
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 36.768135°, -76.622982°
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to construct the Port 460 Logistics Center comprised of ten large-volume industrial warehouse and distribution buildings and 5 commercial retail buildings. Supporting infrastructure includes 18 wet retention stormwater management ponds, a potable water supply tower, two sanitary sewer pump stations, access roads, employee parking, and trailer storage areas. The applicant proposes to develop the site in two phases, and is requesting a 15-year permit to allow for full site development.
The applicant’s stated project purpose is to provide industrial warehouses with co-located trailer storage and employee parking facilities within proximity to the Port of Virginia.
As currently proposed, the project would result in the permanent loss of 5.23 acres of non-tidal wetlands (4.01 acres of non-tidal emergent wetlands and 1.22 acres of non-tidal forested wetlands), 4875 linear feet (0.11 acres) of non-tidal streams, and 1.9 acres of non-tidal open water.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: In Section 4 of the Joint Permit Application (JPA), the applicant submitted an offsite alternatives analysis that examined three other potential locations for this project. The applicant considers these alternative sites to not be practicable because they did not meet their approximately 11 site selection screening criteria as well as the current project site.
Onsite avoidance and minimization are described in Section 5 of the JPA. The applicant designed the project to avoid the higher quality onsite wetlands (e.g., bald cypress swamp) and to focus development in the existing farmland areas. The proposed impacts to aquatic resources are largely limited to disturbed linear systems that are bordered by existing cropland.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: To compensate for the proposed impacts to wetlands (2:1 ratio for forested wetland impacts and 1:1 ratio for emergent wetland impacts) and open water (1:1 compensation ratio), the applicant proposes to purchase credits from an approved wetland bank. To compensate for stream impacts, the applicant proposes permittee responsible mitigation (PRM) because stream credits are not available in the Hampton Roads HUC (02080208). The PRM proposes removal of stormwater control structures within two existing farm ponds within the project limits to establish a stable streambed and floodplain within the former pond footprints. A planted 100-foot wide riparian buffer would be planted adjacent to these reestablished historic stream channels.
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 JPA can be found on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s website (https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/habitat/getPDF.php?id=20221494).
( ) 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:
There may be an effect to listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the ESA of 1973. The IPaC Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table are attached for review and comment by the FWS and the NMFS.
Additional information might change any of these findings.
HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES: Historic Resources eligible for inclusion or included in the 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).
There is no EFH in the Corps area of responsibility.
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: email@example.com.
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 121.12, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 September 05, 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 Mr. David Knepper at email@example.com or (757) 201-7488.