CENAO-WRR, NAO-2019-00649

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District
Published Nov. 2, 2022
Expiration date: 12/2/2022

CENAO-WRR                        November 2, 2022        

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

Henrico County
Attn: Terrell Hughes
P.O. Box 90775
Henrico, Virginia 23273

PROJECT LOCATION:  Along the Richmond-Henrico Turnpike from E. Laburnum Avenue to Hummingbird Road in Henrico County, Virginia.

PROJECT SIZE: 19.86 acres


LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 37.593549, -77.427857

PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE:  The primary purpose of the
project is to increase capacity as the current facility would not accommodate forecasted 2045 traffic volumes. Richmond Raceway and warehouses along Carolina Avenue generate much of the travel demand in the project area. An additional need is to improve safety by providing turn lanes the highway currently lacks and addressing inadequate access control. Lack of turn lanes and access control both contribute to conflict points and rear-end collisions. The project’s secondary purpose is to improve
pedestrian and bicycle facilities as sidewalks and bicycle paths are discontinuous in the project area, contributing to increased vehicle and pedestrian/bicycle conflicts. Laburnum Elementary is accessed by the Richmond-Henrico Turnpike in the project area and improvements would benefit the school. There is a need to improve drainage, as the existing Horse Creek culvert near the center of the project area is in poor condition.

The proposed project would permanently impact 0.84 acres of wetlands, temporarily impact 0.21 acres of wetlands, permanently impact 1,194 linear feet of streams and temporarily impact 46 linear feet of streams.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION:  The applicant removed a proposed BMP pond across from Pinalto Drive, avoiding wetland and stream impacts.  

Originally, the BMP 1 detention basin’s placement and orientation would have impacted wetlands to the east of the Richmond-Henrico Turnpike and north of the Richmond Raceway access road across from Oronoco Avenue. The BMP was redesigned and shifted to avoid impacts to wetlands and streams.  Approximately 0.28 acre of wetland impacts and 195 linear feet of stream impacts were avoided with the redesign.

Wetland and water delineations were extended to enable designers to nearly eliminate all impacts to wetlands and waters with the placement of BMP 2.  Only 108 square feet of impacts are necessary for construction of the outfall from the BMP in adjacent wetlands.

An additional BMP was proposed to the east of Richmond-Henrico Turnpike and north of Horse Creek on the Richmond Raceway property on the edge of the forested area/raceway parking area. This BMP would have required impacts to wetlands. However, the BMP was removed from the design, and it was replaced with a level spreader in the same general area of the project, and which requires no impacts to wetlands or waters.

At the Horse Creek crossing, the project design was modified to eliminate approximately 0.09 acre of wetland impacts to the west of the Richmond-Henrico Turnpike, south of Horse Creek.  Additionally, with prior designs, there would be additional wetland impacts, however, these impacts will now be temporary and restored and approximately 0.19 acre of permanent wetland impacts were avoided.

For the Horse Creek crossing, impacts to the stream and surrounding environment were minimized by the placement of the proposed 10-foot x 10-foot triple box culvert over the footprint of the existing 10- foot x 10-foot double box culvert. This reduced excavation and further impacts to the stream and wetlands if placement of the proposed box culvert was offset from the existing box culvert.

The bottom of the proposed culvert will be countersunk which will establish a natural stream bed when completed. The oversized and countersunk culvert will accommodate or enhance aquatic organism passage and would reduce impacts to aquatic wildlife passage.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant proposes to purchase 1.48 acres of wetland credits from a wetland mitigation bank approved to mitigate impacts in the watershed and purchase 1,854 stream credits from a mitigation bank approved to mitigate impacts in the watershed.

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 at https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/habitat/ and search for
20222385 and click on additional docs to access the permit application and drawings.


( )     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:

The Northern long-eared bat may be affected, but the FWS Information and Planning and Consultation (IPaC) 4(d) determination key was completed and no further coordination with the FWS is required.

Additional information might change any of these findings.


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.  Federal Highway Administration is the lead federal agency, coordination with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR) was conducted and on January 7, 2022, VDHR determined that no further identification efforts were warranted for the project and that no historic properties would be affected by the project.

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: bettina.rayfield@deq.virginia.gov.

The applicant has submitted concurrence.

VIRGINIA’S SECTION 401 WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION PROGRAM: The Clean Water Act (CWA) Section 401 Certification Rule (Certification Rule, 40 CFR 121), effective September 11, 2020, requires certification, or waiver, for any license or permit that authorizes an activity that may result in a discharge. The scope of a CWA Section 401 certification is limited to ensuring that a discharge from a Federally licensed or permitted activity will comply with water quality requirements. To comply with the Virginia Section 401 Water Quality Certification Program and the Certification Rule, the applicant is responsible for adhering to the procedures outlined in the Certification Rule when requesting certification from the certifying authority, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality. In accordance with Certification Rule part 121.12, the Corps will notify the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator when it has received a Department of the Army (DA) permit application and the related certification. The Administrator is responsible for determining whether the discharge may affect water quality in a neighboring jurisdiction. The DA permit may not be issued pending the conclusion of the Administrator’s determination of effects on neighboring jurisdictions.

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be in writing and can be sent by either email to robert.a.berg@usace.army.mil, 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 December 2, 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 Robert Berg at robert.a.berg@usace.army.mil or by telephone at (757) 201-7793.