March 06, 2023
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE The District Commander has received a joint permit application for Federal and State permits as described below:
Ms. Laura Murphy P.E., Project Manager
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Public Works
2405 Courthouse Drive #2
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
PROJECT LOCATION: The project corridor extends from approximately 100 feet west of the intersection of Dam Neck Road and Landstown Road, southward for approximately 4,500 linear feet along existing Landstown Road in proximity to the Virginia Beach Sportsplex in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
PROJECT SIZE: The project corridor is approximately 4,500 linear feet long.
NEAREST WATERWAY: North Landing River
LATITUDE AND LONGITUDE: LAT 36.765380°, LONG -76.093101°
PROJECT DESCRIPTION AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to make improvements to Landstown Road that would provide additional capacity, improve safety, and better facilitate movement of motor vehicles at intersections and entrances in the project corridor. Proposed improvements include creation of a southbound right turn lane from Landstown Road onto Landstown Centre Way; expansion of Landstown Road south of Landstown Centre Way to four lanes, creating an additional travel lane in both directions; adding a paved and graded shoulder and sidewalk on both sides of the roadway; and creation/expansion/relocation of stormwater management facilities and associated infrastructure. The proposed work would result in the permanent loss of 1.47 acres of non-tidal emergent wetlands.
An application for this same project was previously submitted for review under this same project number, and an Individual Permit was issued by our office on 09 July 2018. The permittee did not do the work nor did they request a permit extension before that permit expired on 09 July 2021, so they are re-applying for a new permit.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION: The applicant provided the following description of avoidance and minimization measures in their submittal:
“Alternative Roadway Alignment and Improvements.
The majority of wetland impacts are the result of the roadway expansion and the adjoining paved and graded shoulder. A paved and graded shoulder must be included in the project design as they are required under current road safety standards, further increasing the roadway section and necessitating wetland impacts in some areas. Consideration of alternative alignments in an effort to avoid wetland impacts was limited due to the linear nature of the project, the location of the current road, and the proximity of roadside ditch features containing wetlands. Expansion of the road either entirely westward or eastward in an effort to avoid impacts to the eastern or eastern series of roadside ditches was considered impractical due to the width of the right-of-way, proximity to recreational facilities, and location of above and below ground utilities located on both sides of the roadway. Expansion of the roadway exclusively westward would impact several recreational fields and a below grade, 16-inch (in) force sewer main. Expansion of the roadway exclusively eastward would impact above grade distribution and high-tension power lines (Note: High tension Dominion Energy poles/towers have a 25-FT radial buffer that restricts significant construction activities like utilities and/or swales within this area. The utility has indicated that minor grade adjustments may be considered on a case-by-case basis). These impacts would result in unreasonable costs associated with relocating and/or realigning utilities networks and recreational fields and facilities.
Project-related impacts to the current stormwater ditch network and the increases to impervious surfaces necessitate the inclusion of expanded and additional stormwater management features including the creation of a new stormwater management facility, expansion of an existing stormwater management facility, and construction of a network of open and closed stormwater ditches and sewers to convey drainage to these facilities. These improvements avoid impacts to regulated wetlands. The new stormwater management facility (SWMF #1), which is to be located to the southwest of the project area, has been placed to avoid wetlands impacts. The existing stormwater management facility (SWMF #2) is exempted for permitting requirements as a review of site soils, design drawings, and maintenance records indicates that this facility is a stormwater control feature constructed to store stormwater, was constructed in non-wetlands, and is regularly maintained by the City. Closed stormwater infrastructure was included in the project design where hydrologic restraints deemed them necessary and where there was insufficient space to safely locate open ditches. The relatively low topographic relief in the vicinity of the project resulted in limited design options for the stormwater ditches and infrastructure.
In addition, revised stormwater management plans allowed for the avoidance of additional wetland impacts. Initial project plans called for increasing the area of stormwater swales to the west of Landstown Road and immediately south of Landstown Centre Way. This expansion would have resulted in the additional impact of approximately 0.41 acres of PEM wetlands. However, a Comprehensive Plan of Water Quality conducted in connection with the project revealed that the increased swale area was not necessary to meet regulatory water quality requirements and impacts to these wetlands were avoided.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: To compensate for the proposed permanent impacts to 1.47 acres of non-tidal, emergent wetlands, the applicant proposed the purchase of 1.47 wetland credits (1:1 compensation ratio) from an approved wetland bank that covered the project’s service area. On 08 May 2019 the permittee purchased these credits from The Great Dismal Swamp Restoration Bank, LLC when the previously issued permit was still valid.
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 DEQ permit for this project (WP#-16-1040) was issued on 15 June 2018 and is valid until 01 August 2026.
A copy of the joint permit application can be found on the Virginia Marine Resources Commission’s website (https://webapps.mrc.virginia.gov/public/habitat/getPDF.php?id=20161040).
( ) 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 U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) Information and Planning and Consultation (IPaC) Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table are attached for review and comment by the FWS and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS).
Additional information might change any of these findings.
HISTORIC AND CULTURAL RESOURCES:
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. Per letter from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (DHR) dated 17 May 2017 for the previously issued permit (DHR File No. 2016-3783), the DHR opined 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: 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 05 April 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. David Knepper, email@example.com, (757) 201-7488.