FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Commander has received a joint application for Federal and State permits as described below:
Mr. Charles A. Smith
Smith Iron and Metal, Inc.
3000 Bells Road
Richmond, Virginia 23234
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located at 1304 and 1308 Bellwood Road on the James River in Chesterfield County, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to mechanically dredge 2.77 acres within a man-made cove (0.32 acres within the James River), construct a 400 ft bulkhead, dry dock, large truck parking and storage on approximately 32 acre parcel off the James River. The purpose of the project is to construct a marine terminal to allow for barge access; unloading and storage of large recyclable materials and other commodities; and stormwater management. A vegetative buffer will be placed around storage areas to prevent sediment or contaminants from entering the water. The proposed project will impact 0.08 acres of tidal fresh water emergent wetlands, 0.02 acres of palustrine scrub-shrub wetlands, 0.01 acres of tidal fresh water non-vegetated wetlands and 68 linear feet of stream channel. The applicant has demonstrated avoidance and minimization by reducing the foot print of dredging from 3.6 acres to 2.77 acres, removing a stormwater pond from the intermittent stream on-site and reducing the stream to be culverted to 68 linear feet. Impacts will be compensated for by purchasing 0.08 wetland credits (1:1 ratio) for emergent and 0.03 wetland credits (1.5:1) for scrub-shrub from the Scandia Mitigation Bank and 39 stream credits (USM) from the Elk Island Mitigation Bank.
In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit/401 certification from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated and a permit from the WHAT Wetlands Board. Project drawings are attached.
AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. 403), Sections 401 and 404 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) and
Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia.
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 classification, 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 pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act. 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.
Preliminary review indicates that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) It does not appear that any species of fish, wildlife, or plant (or their critical habitat) listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205) will be affected; and (3) the following properties which may be eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area, or would likely be affected by the proposal: 020-0147-Drewery’s Bluff, 020-5320-Fort Darling, 44CF0112-Camp, and 043-0307-Battle of Chaffin’s Farm, . Additional information might change any of these findings. For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended, the applicant must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal zone (Tidewater) will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Resources Management Program (VCP). For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable programs of the VCP, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review at (804) 698-4330 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 National Marine Fisheries Service on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). The James River contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the larvae, juvenile, and adult life stages of nine species including: windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), black sea bass (Centropristus striata), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), and red drum (Sciaenops occelatus). The primary habitat which this project would affect consists of subaqueous bottom and a small portion of tidal emergent wetlands. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. 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 because of the use of a turbidity curtain, changes in water temperature caused by the proposed work, absence of submerged aquatic vegetation, and anadromous fish spawning habitat and unsuitable substrate. Based on comments from the National Marine Fisheries Service in response to this public notice, further EFH consultation may be necessary.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 9100 Arboretum Parkway, Suite 235, Richmond, Virginia 23236, and should be received by the close of business on Oct. 19, 2012.
PRIVACY & 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 Ms. Julie S. Hamilton at 804-323-3783 or via email at Julie.S.Hamilton@usace.army.mil.
FOR THE DISTRICT COMMANDER:
Lynette R. Rhodes
Chief, Southern Virginia