NAO-2013-00418 (Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW), Virginia)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District
Published May 6, 2024
Expiration date: 5/21/2024

May 6, 2024

This Public Notice is related to three earlier U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Public Notices identified as NAO-2013-00418, published by the Norfolk District on September 15, 2022, December 16, 2022, and July 20, 2023. The District Commander has received a modification to a joint permit application for Federal and State permits as described below:

Dominion Energy Virginia
c/o Joshua J. Bennett
707 East Main Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

PROJECT LOCATION:  Atlantic Ocean, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia

Atlantic Ocean, Owl Creek, West Neck Creek, Northlanding River, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway. 

Offshore Lease Area: 36.9955, -75.2157
Onshore Route Start: 36.8162, -75.9701
Onshore Route Terminus: 36.6909, -76.1894

On January 25, 2024, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorized Dominion Energy Virginia to construct a 2,587-megawatt (MW) offshore wind project, known as the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind (CVOW) Commercial Project, located within the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Virginia, which included associated infrastructure within the cities of Virginia Beach and Chesapeake, Virginia via a Department of the Army (DA) Individual Permit. BOEM, as the lead federal agency, completed its National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process pursuant to Title 23 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 771 and Title 40 of the CFR Parts 1500–1508. BOEM published the Final EIS (FEIS) in September 2023, and signed a Record of Decision (ROD) on October 30, 2023, that officially documented the selection of its Preferred Alternative and the mitigation measures to be incorporated into the CVOW Commercial Project that will avoid, minimize, and/or mitigate adverse impacts. The Corps adopted the FEIS in accordance with 40 CFR § 1506.3, inclusive of these mitigation measures.

Dominion Energy Virginia proposes to modify the DA Individual Permit to increase the amount of cable protection needed to protect the 9 Offshore Export Cables where they intersect with 3 existing subsea fiberoptic cables at 27 individual locations approximately 14 to17 miles off the coast of Virginia. The 27 individual cable crossings are all located within a 0.9-mile radius of each other and within water depths ranging from 59.9 to 64.8 feet at Mean Lower Low Water. The revised cable protection includes the placement of two concrete mattress layers around the offshore export cables where they cross the fiberoptic cables and will result in additional 2.04 acres of impacts to subaqueous bottom. All other aspects of the project, including the onshore work, remain unchanged.

The impacts associated with this modification are detailed in the attached Project Drawings entitled “Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind- Commercial: Export Cables Crossings,” dated April 17, 2024, and Corps date stamped as received April 23, 2024. Additional information regarding January 25, 2024 Individual Permit authorization for the CVOW project can be found at

The revised cable protection design is needed to strengthen the cable crossing protection measures to address risks associated with seabed mobility and burial depths at the three existing telecommunications cable crossings. Updated bathymetry data indicates that shoaling has occurred at the cable crossing locations and the existing telecommunication cables are now located at shallower depths than originally anticipated. The applicant has designed the proposed crossings to be as close to the substrate as possible while still providing adequate protection to the existing telecommunications cables as well as the proposed export cables and will construct the crossings in areas of deeper water to avoid and minimize impacts to navigation. The concrete mattresses will not be placed within any areas containing complex habitats and will be designed with tapered edges to avoid catching fishing gear.

The impacts associated with the modification request fall within the scope of effects previously evaluated in the FEIS and Corps ROD for the issued Individual Permit. The proposed modification includes the installation of structures on the seafloor within an area with documented shoaling, and the dynamic seafloor has the potential to bury the proposed cable protection over time resulting in seafloor conditions similar to those currently present within the area, therefore, no additional mitigation is proposed for this modification.

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).
(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).
(X)      Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 408 (Section 408))

The decision whether to issue a permit modification 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.  The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is the lead federal agency for this project, responsible for coordinating review in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act. Pursuant to 40 CFR 1501.8, the United States Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District (Corps of Engineers) acted as a cooperating agency with BOEM to prepare the FEIS. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.  Any person may request, in writing, to the District Engineer, within the comment period specified in this notice, that a public hearing be held to consider this application. BOEM previously held public hearings on January 25th, January 31st and February 2nd, 2023, which also served as Corps public hearings.

As the lead federal agency, BOEM will be responsible for fulfilling 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). See Docket No. BOEM-2021-0040. BOEM has determined that: (l) an environmental impact statement will be required; (2) 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) may be affected; (3) the project may have an effect on Essential Fish Habitat (EFH); and (4) 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. Upon completion of the FEIS, BOEM assessed the effects of the proposed project on these resources and coordinated the findings with the public and our office. Additional information might change any of these findings.

The authority to grant permission for temporary or permanent use, occupation, or alteration of any USACE civil works project is contained in Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 408 (Section 408)). Section 408 authorizes the Secretary of the Army to grant permission for the alteration or occupation or use of a USACE project if the Secretary determines that the activity will not be injurious to the public interest and will not impair the usefulness of the project.

The Norfolk District Operations Branch has determined that this proposed permit modification will require a modification to the Section 408 permission granted as part of the DA Individual Permit on January 25, 2024. Interested parties are hereby notified that this permission modification request (Section 408 Request ID: 408-NAO-2022-0056) for permission is to alter the Atlantic Ocean Channel segment of the Norfolk Harbor and Channels Federal Project. Specifically, the Norfolk District is evaluating the impacts to navigation associated with installing submarine cables and related cable protection measures in the vicinity of the federal navigation project. Written comments, including any objections to the proposed alteration, stating reasons therefor, are being solicited from anyone having an interest in the requested alteration. Written comments specific this Section 408 review should be submitted directly to Katy Damico at and copied to the Section 408 Inbox at and the Regulatory contact noted in the Comment Period section below.

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: .  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:

The applicant received their federal consistency certification for the project on September 21, 2023.

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 (EPA) 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.

The applicant obtained an Individual Section 401 Water Quality Certification or waiver from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for the project on December 8, 2023.  The EPA determined on December 21, 2023, that the project would not affect water quality in neighboring jurisdictions.

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 May 21, 2024.

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 permit modification, contact Mrs. Nicole Woodward at 757-201-7122 or