The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:
Plains Marketing, L.P.
c/o Dean Gore- Director, Environmental
333 Clay Street, Suite 1600
Houston, Texas 77002
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located along the York River, at 2201 Goodwin Neck Road in Yorktown, Va.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to convert an existing idled petroleum refinery into a crude oil transportation terminal. This project will require upgrades and expansions to the existing rail track within the facility, modifications to the existing intra-facility piping to allow for unloading of crude oil from trains to existing storage tanks, and upgrades and additions to the existing pier, dock piping and loading/unloading equipment to allow for the loading of crude oil onto marine vessels, including the addition of mooring dolphins.
The proposed facility has been designed to avoid onsite wetlands and waters to the greatest extent practicable while meeting the minimum requirements necessary to operate a modern rail terminal. Minimization was achieved by redesigning the project so the majority of the work is to occur in areas which were previously developed and currently consist of rail tracks, roadways, holding tanks, a pier and other existing similar use facilities on the property. The applicant proposes impacts resulting in the discharge of fill material to 3.58 acres of jurisdictional wetlands and 1.49 acres of jurisdictional ditches, including impacts to 2.44 acres of emergent wetlands, 0.73 acres of scrub/shrub wetlands and 0.41 acres of forested wetlands. The majority of the impacts are to occur in low value wetlands and the applicant has agreed to off-set any unavoidable wetland impacts through the purchase of wetland credits from an approved wetland mitigation bank that services the project area. The applicant has proposed to compensate at a 2:1 ratio for forested wetland impacts, a 1.5:1 for scrub/shrub wetland impacts and a 1:1 for emergent wetland impacts.
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 may require a permit from the York County 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 15 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) no 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) no known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area, or would likely be affected by the proposal. 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 York River contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the life stages of 12 species including whiting (Merluccius bilinearis), 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), red drum (Sciaenops occelatus), dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus) and sandbar shark (Charcharinus plumbeus). The habitat that this project would affect consists of sub-tidal waterway with average ambient depths of -20 to -40 feet at mean low water. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. The depths in remainder of the waterway will not be affected. No submerged aquatic or vegetated intertidal wetlands are expected to be impacted. 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. 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-REG), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on Dec. 18, 2012.
If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, please call Nicole Woodward at 757-201-7122
FOR THE DISTRICT COMMANDER:
Lynette R. Rhodes
Chief, Southern Virginia