November 19, 2012
NAO-2012-00247 (Lower James River Basin)
FEDERAL PUBLIC NOTICE
The District Engineer has received a prospectus to amend a stream compensatory mitigation site for Federal and State permits as described below:
MITIGATION SITE SPONSOR
The Nature Conservancy
VAFO - Richmond
Attn: Karen Johnson
530 East Main Street, Suite 800
Richmond, Virginia 23219
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed mitigation site is located on approximately 287 acres of land to be placed under easement by the Conservancy. The site is located on the Chickahominy River in Henrico and New Kent counties, Virginia. The proposed mitigation site includes 116 acres of non-tidal forested wetlands and approximately 3,500 linear feet of streams, including frontage along both banks of the Chickahominy River and several unnamed tributaries. The proposed amendment to the mitigation site is to conduct restoration on approximately 311 lf of an unnamed tributary to the Chickahominy River and 0.5 acre of riparian buffer. This restoration component was not included in the initial establishment of the mitigation site in 2010.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The site sponsor proposes to design, construct, and steward a compensatory stream mitigation site which is known as LJ-11 Chickahominy River (Wilson). The purpose of the mitigation amended project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to stream and other waters of the United States in the Lower James Drainage basin. The goal of the amended mitigation site is to provide appropriate mitigation for impacts, within the authorized service area, by performing stream and riparian buffer restoration. .
The Mitigation Sponsor plans to amend this mitigation site by restoring 311 linear feet of an unnamed tributary to the Chickahominy River and the associated 0.5 acres f riparian buffer. This effort involves removal of an earthen dam and stabilization of scour and a head cut near the existing embankment.
The sponsor has proposed, for purposes of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and/or Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, that the geographic service area of this amended mitigation site would include the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes 02080206 and 02080208. This proposed service area would include portions of the Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, Charles City, New Kent, James City, Prince George, and Isle of Wight counties as well as portions of Suffolk, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Hampton Roads.
Oversight of this amended mitigation site 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 amended mitigation site 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 and 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) in southern Virginia.
The actual approval of the use of this amended mitigation site for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors 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 amended mitigation site to compensate for unavoidable wetland 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 sites 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 site amendment. 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 will not have an effect on properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Additional information might change any of these preliminary findings.
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 proposed project is described above in Proposed Work and Purpose. 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 – Warrenton Field Office (ATTN: Anna Lawston), PO Box 578, Amissville, Virginia 20106 or to firstname.lastname@example.org with the project name and number in the subject line. Comments must be received by the close of business on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.
If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Anna Lawston in the Warrenton Field Office at PO Box 578, Amissville, Virginia 20106, at (540) 937-4197 or email@example.com. For and on behalf of, Nicholas L. Konchuba, Chief, Northern Virginia Regulatory Section;
FOR THE DISTRICT ENGINEER:
Anna R. Lawston
Northern Virginia Regulatory Section