CENAO-WRR December 14, 2022
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint permit application for Federal and State permits as described below:
4675 East Princess Anne Road
Norfolk, Virginia 23502
PROJECT LOCATION: 3301 Shipwright Street, Portsmouth, Virginia
PROJECT SIZE: This shipyard property has 754 linear feet of frontage along Shipwright Street.
NEAREST WATERWAY: Western Branch of the Elizabeth River
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: 36.859, -76.346
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE: This project involves the removal of a marine railway in a shallow water area of the shipyard, filling of that area, and the construction of a steel sheet pile bulkhead. The proposed bulkhead will be approximately 340 forty feet long; 237 linear feet of this structure will be constructed in front of existing bulkheads. The project purpose is to create a berthing area for shipyard operations, control shoreline erosion, and encapsulate a potential source of contamination around the existing marine railway.
A new timber pile system will be constructed in front of the new bulkhead, and repairs will be made to three existing piers with dimensions of 67 feet by 6 feet, 73 feet by 5 feet, and 84 feet by 6 feet.
This project will impact approximately 11,440 square feet of subaqueous bottom, 9,657 square feet of which is considered shallow water area (less than 6.6 feet deep). Approximately 1,090 square feet of estuarine emergent wetlands (vegetated by common reed) and 40 square feet of estuarine scrub-shrub wetlands will be impacted. Approximately 2,553 square feet of rocky intertidal shoreline will be impacted.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: The applicant has minimized impacts by locating the bulkhead within 24 inches of sections of existing bulkhead. He will remove a potential source of contamination by filling in the cove with the marine railway and by locating future ship maintenance operations in uplands instead of over the water. He has avoided a large stand of Phragmites australis along the western property line.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has proposed 1:1 compensation for the 40 square feet of estuarine scrub-shrub impacts. No compensation is proposed for the 1,090 square feet of Phragmites impacts or the 9,657 square feet of fill in shallow water areas.
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.
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 if 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.
The applicant must obtain a permit from the Portsmouth Wetlands Board.
A copy of the joint permit application can be found on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s website at:
(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:
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:
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 Western Branch of the Elizabeth River contains EFH for various life stages of 11 species including little skate, Atlantic herring, red hake, winter skate, clearnose skate, windowpane flounder, sandbar shark, bluefish, Atlantic butterfish, summer flounder, and black sea bass. The habitat which this project would affect consists of shallow water areas with depths less than 6.6 feet. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. The project may affect foraging areas for these fish species, but due to its location along an industrialized shoreline, habitat value may be limited. 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, the suitability of the shallow water habitat. 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: email@example.com.
The applicant has not 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 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 January 13, 2023.
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. George Janek at email@example.com or by telephone at (757) 201-7135.
Official species list
Species conclusion table