FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Engineer has received a prospectus to establish a wetland and stream compensatory mitigation bank for Federal and State permits as described below:
Mossy Creek Cattle LLC (Sponsor) proposes to establish the Mossy Creek – North River Umbrella Mitigation Bank (MCNRUMB) to provide compensation for unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States in the South Fork Shenandoah watershed.
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed mitigation bank properties are located on approximately 1266 acres of land on nine properties. The sites are located approximately 10 miles north of the City of Staunton, Augusta County, Virginia. The proposed bank site drains to the South Fork Shenandoah River and includes many tributaries including portions of Mossy Creek and the North River.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The bank sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory wetland and stream mitigation bank to be known as the MCNRUMB. The purpose of the mitigation bank is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to non-tidal wetlands and streams in the South Fork Shenandoah River watershed. The goal of the bank is to provide compensation for the unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States within the authorized service area.
The Bank Sponsor plans to establish this bank by restoring approximately 15,340 linear feet of stream, enhancing 7,419 linear feet of stream and preserving/buffer planting approximately 3,216 linear feet of stream. Also, the sponsor plans on restoring 10 acres of wetlands and preserving/buffer planting 16 acres of wetlands. Work will included preservation, buffer planting, enhancement and livestock exclusion.
The sponsor has proposed, for purposes of Section 404 and Section 10 of the Clean Water Act, that the geographic service area of this mitigation bank would include the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes 02070005, 02070001 (South Branch Potomac River), 02070006 (North Fork Shenandoah), 02070007 (Shenandoah River), and 02070004 (Conocheague-Opequon).
Oversight of this mitigation bank will be by a group of federal and state agency representatives. This interagency oversight group will be known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT). The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers shall chair the IRT.
This mitigation bank may be one of a number of practicable options available to applicants to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts associated with permits issued under the authority of Section 404/10 and 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) in Virginia.
The actual approval of the use of this mitigation bank for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The Corps and the Department of Environmental Quality provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this mitigation bank to compensate for unavoidable impacts associated with a proposed permit, even though compensatory mitigation may be available. Authorization by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission may also be required for its use for specific projects.
AUTHORITY: Issuance of a public notice regarding proposed mitigation banks is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule,” (Rule) as published in the April 10, 2008, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332).
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSAL: 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 this proposed mitigation bank. This is not an application for work in Waters of the United States. The Corps of Engineers in evaluating this proposal will consider any comments received. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, 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, and consideration of property ownership.
Preliminary review indicates that: (l) no environmental impact statement will be required; (2) conduct of work will not affect species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205); and (3) the project may not have an effect on properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additional information might change any of these preliminary findings.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers Western Virginia Field Office (ATTN: Vincent Pero), 920 Gardens Boulevard, Suite 200, Charlottesville, VA 22901 and should be received by the close of business on October 26, 2011. Copies will be forwarded to the IRT.
If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, please contact:
Vinny Pero (434)973-0568
E mail: Vincent.d.pero@.usace.army.mil
FOR THE DISTRICT ENGINEER:
Chief – Western Regulatory Section