The District Engineer has received a request to allow VARTF to purchase stream compensatory mitigation credits for Federal and State permits as described below:
The Nature Conservancy
VAFO - Richmond
Attn: Karen Johnson
530 East Main Street, Suite 800
Richmond, Virginia 23219
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The Mitigation Sponsor proposes to purchase 2,500 stream credits from the Roanoke River Stream and Wetlands Mitigation bank to satisfy existing impacts and liabilities that have accrued to the Virginia Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. The Roanoke River Stream and Wetland Mitigation bank has an approved MBI and credits released for sale which can satisfy this need. These credits will only be used to satisfy existing VARTF liabilities within the approved bank service area.
The bank sponsor has been approved, 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 mitigation bank would include the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes 03010101 (except Montgomery, Roanoke, and Botetourt Counties), 03010103, 03010104, and 03010105 within the State of Virginia.
Oversight of the mitigation bankis by a group of federal and state agency representatives. This interagency oversight group is known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT). The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers chairs the IRT.
The VARTF 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 Virginia.
The actual approval of the use of VARTF 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 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 action. 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 Friday, Jan. 4, 2013. Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.
If you have any questions, please contact Anna Lawston in the Warrenton Field Office at PO Box 578, Amissville, Virginia 20106, at (540) 937-4197or 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