Published March 20, 2013
Expiration date: 4/22/2013

Proposed Issuance, Reissuance, and/or Modification of the Norfolk District Regional Permits

The Norfolk District is proposing the issuance of two new Regional Permits (RP-01 and RP-02, formerly LOP-1 and LOP-2, respectfully) and the revision and reissuance of seven Regional Permits (RP-05, RP-15, RP-17, RP-18, RP-19, RP-20, and RP-22).

All of the above-referenced permits are currently in effect, but will expire on August 14, 2013 with the exception of RP-05 and RP-20.  RP-05 and RP-20 are set to expire on October 5, 2016 and May 25, 2017, respectfully.  The Corps intends to reissue RP-05 and RP-20 at this time to allow for all Norfolk District Regional Permits (RPs) to have a consistent expiration date.

These permits are issued for a category of activities in Virginia that have minimal environmental impacts.  The Norfolk District proposes to reissue and modify these permits for five (5) years.  The existing Regional Permits (RPs) and Letters of Permission (LOPs) can be viewed on our web page at .  The proposed changes to each permit may be viewed by clicking on the associated attachments in this public notice web page link.

A brief description of each RP is as follows:

- RP-01 – for certain Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) roadway and railway projects;

- RP-02 – for both new and maintenance dredging (channels and basins) for certain navigationally-related recreational and commercial dredging projects, by either mechanical or hydraulic method, in navigable waters of the United States, and minor non-navigation related dredging/excavation in non-tidal section 10 waters;

- RP-05 – for the discharge of dredged or fill material into non-tidal waters of the U.S., including wetlands, for the construction of small impoundments (excludes urban storm water management ponds);

- RP-15 – for the maintenance of existing drainage ditches originally constructed in and previously authorized in navigable waters and waters of the United States for either mosquito control purposes or to maintain drainage from upland areas for the purposes of storm water management;

- RP-17 – for the installation of open-pile piers, mooring piles, certain covered boat houses/lifts, osprey poles/ platforms, and devices associated with shellfish gardening, for private use;

- RP-18 – for the installation of open-pile piers, mooring piles, mooring dolphins, fender piles, mooring camels, covered boathouses, boatlifts, osprey pilings/platforms, and devices associated with shellfish gardening, for private, commercial, community, and government use;

- RP-19 – for the construction and/or installation of living shoreline projects, low breakwaters, bulkheads, riprap, groins, jetties, spurs and/or baffles, associated sandy fill material, boat ramps, and aquaculture/mariculture, activities. Mariculture is a specialized branch of aquaculture involving the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the open ocean, an enclosed section of the ocean, or in tanks, ponds or raceways which are filled with seawater. An example of the latter is the farming of marine fish, including finfish and shellfish such as prawns, oysters and seaweed in saltwater ponds. Non-food products produced by mariculture include: fish meal, nutrient agar, jewellery (e.g. cultured pearls);

- RP-20 – for the creation of artificial reefs and dredging of old shellfish reefs, when the material will be used to create new or enhance reefs owned, operated or managed by the Commonwealth of Virginia;

- RP-22 – for certain activities within the Virginia portion of Lake Gaston including:  construction of piers, boat docks, boat ramps and boathouses; excavation of boat slips and channels; construction and backfilling of bulkheads and placement of riprap; and installation of submerged and aerial power lines and utility lines.

Below is a summary of the notable changes for each permit:

General Conditions
- New wording was added to clarify General Condition 10 (Historic Properties);
- General Condition 14 :  A web address was added for FWS Online Review Process;
- There were other minor wording changes to help make the RP General Conditions consistent with the NWP and SPGP general conditions.

Regional Permit-1 (13-RP-01)
- RP-01 is a reclassification of Letter of Permission 1 (08-LOP-01), which authorizes certain Virginia Department of Transportation roadway and railway activities.
- Since this LOP was being utilized like a Regional Permit, the Norfolk District deemed it appropriate to reclassify this permit as an RP verses an LOP.
- There were no notable changes to the content of this permit beyond updated General Conditions.

Regional Permit-2 (13-RP-02)
RP-02 was developed to combine all navigationally-related dredging activities, commercial dredging projects and maintenance dredging project in waters of the United States.  This permit combines dredging activities previously authorized under Regional Permit 19 (08-RP-19), Activity # 3 for the maintenance dredging for previously authorized projects, Letter of Permission 2 (08-LOP-02) for certain navigationally-related recreational and commercial dredging projects, and Regional Permit 40 (08-RP-40) for maintenance dredging and/or excavation of non-tidal waters for sediment and debris removal associated with flooding and/or erosion.

- A condition was added to advise applicants of potential requirement to evaluate sediment contamination.
- The requirement for coordination with Federal and State agencies was removed in order to provide for consistency with the procedures for other RP’s and due to the limited number of agency comments received on dredging projects under LOP-2 in past years.
- Special conditions of the previous permits were incorporated as specific activity limitations, where applicable.
- Permit allows for periodic maintenance dredging with certain limitations.
- The requirements for use of Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area (CIDMMA) and Craney Island Rehandling Basin (CIRB) were updated.
- Permit allows for use of dredged material for sandy fill material, provided that activity qualifies under RP-19.
- The General Conditions were updated.

Regional Permit-15 (13-RP-15)
The permit includes additional phrases in main description for activities: not otherwise exempt; originally constructed in and previously authorized in; and for the purposes of storm water management.

Permit activities were broken into two categories:
-Maintenance activities in tidal and navigable waters regulated under Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. § 403), and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1344).
- Maintenance activities in non-tidal waters regulated only under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. § 1344).
- The wording was changed to clarify that the discharge of fill was what was being regulated under Section 404 work, not excavation.

Special Conditions were changed as follows:
- The restriction to excavate below the OHWM in non-tidal areas was removed.
- The removal of material should be limited to the minimum necessary and the grade and depth of the ditch bottom will not exceed the previously maintained grade or depth.
- Any spoils or discharge of fill in wetlands should be spread as thinly and evenly as possible so as not to impede lateral flow.
- When re-shaping side slopes the ditch banking/embankment should be left intact.
- The condition addressing the discharge of material onto berms was expanded and clarified.
- The statement ‘This RP does not authorize construction of new ditches or the channelization, re-channelization, realignment, or relocation of streams or other waterways” was moved from the beginning paragraph to the Special Conditions.

Regional Permit-17 (13-RP-17)
- RP-17 has been updated to clarify the notification requirements and special conditions of the permit.
- The installation of osprey poles/platforms has been added as an approved activity under this permit.
-The FWS Online Review process information was added to Notification Requirement #1 and the notification requirements for sensitive joint vetch and the bald eagle were removed.
- Special Condition #3 was changed to clarify the limit of cumulative boat slips is two (2).
- Craney Island and Gathright Dam were added to Special Condition #6.
- The General Conditions were updated.

Regional Permit-18 (13-RP-18)
- RP-18 has been modified to include the installation of open-pile piers, mooring piles, mooring dolphins, fender piles, mooring camels, covered boathouses, boatlifts, osprey pilings/platforms, and devices associated with shellfish gardening, for private, commercial, community, and government use.
- Activity #5 and Activity #8 of the 08-RP-19 have been removed from the RP-19 and added to this permit in order to reduce redundancy in the RPs.  The corresponding conditions have been added to the 13-RP-18, accordingly.
- The General Conditions were updated.

Regional Permit-19 (13-RP-19)
Two new activities have been added (living shoreline activities have been added and closely follow those currently being considered for general permit by the Commonwealth of Virginia which is under development by VMRC):

- Living Shoreline Group 1: Non-structural activities that improve growing conditions for wetlands and/or riparian buffer vegetation
- Living Shoreline Group 2: Submerged sill with tidal marsh
- The following activities have been omitted from the RP-19:
- #1-Aerial transmission lines: This activity is covered under the NWP-12.
- #3-Maintenance dredging: This activity is included in the new RP-02.
- #5-Open-pile piers: This activity is included in RP-18 revision.
- #7-Boathouses and covered boatlifts: This activity is included in RP-18 revision.
- #8-Mooring piles/dolphins: This activity is included in RP-18 revision.
- #10-Submerged sills: This activity was replaced with activity #2-Living Shoreline Group 2.
- #13-Temporary structures: This activity is covered under the NWP-33.

The following activities have been combined:
- Activity #7 for crab pounds was combined with the activity for aquaculture/mariculture
- Changes have been made throughout the permit to achieve consistency in allowable impacts.  For example:

The total amount of vegetated wetlands which may be filled, graded, or excavated, in square feet, may not exceed the length of the activity along the shoreline in linear feet. All impacts to existing wetland vegetation must be offset by new plantings and result in no net loss of areal vegetated wetlands.

Requirements for impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) and shellfish are covered in Section VI Special Conditions for Discharges, so the special condition that read, “the beach nourishment material will not be placed in or affect submerged aquatic vegetation or shellfish beds” was removed from each activity.

New wording was added to replace the term “beach nourishment” with “sandy fill material”.

The General Conditions were updated.

Regional Permit-22 (13-RP-22)
RP-22 has been revised to clarify the activities authorized and now allows for two (2) non-reporting activities provided the applicant obtains a valid permit from Dominion North Carolina Power.  These activities include:
- Construction of piers, boat docks, boat ramps and boathouses using materials commonly acceptable for their construction such as unsinkable flotation materials, pressure treated lumber, creosoted pilings, and concrete.
- Construction and backfilling of bulkheads and placement of riprap along eroding shorelines for shoreline stabilization and erosion control.

A written Department of the Army permit will still be required for the following two activities:
- Excavation of boat slips and channels (channelward of the normal high pool elevation) for recreational boating.
- Installation of submerged and aerial power lines and utility lines where U. S. Coast Guard requirements for aerial lines are met and where bottom elevations are restored to pre-project contours for submerged lines.
- The General Conditions were updated.

Regional Permit-40 -RP-40 will not be reissued, but instead has been incorporated into the new Regional Permit 2 (RP-02).

Regional Permit -5 (11-RP-05) and Regional Permit-20 (12-RP-20) –
The effective date and expiration date of these two RPs will be changed to reflect the same effective date and expiration date of the above mentioned RPs.  This change will allow the Norfolk District to manage the reissuance and/or modification of all the RPs in a more efficient manner.  There will be no changes to content of the 11-RP-05 and the 12-RP-20 beyond the proposed date changes, with the exception of an update to the General Conditions to be consistent with all of the RPs.

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 approve the proposed modifications and re-issue the above mentioned RPs will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts including cumulative impacts of the proposed activities 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 by extending and/or modifying the RPs must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All 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 reissuance and/or modification of the RPs.  Any comments received will be considered by the Corps of Engineers to determine whether to issue, modify, condition or deny these RPs.  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) no species of fish, wildlife, or plant (or their critical habitat) listed as endangered or threatened under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL93-205) is anticipated to be affected per General Condition #14.  The reissuance of the RPs is being sent to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service via this public notice for additional review and comment; (3) In order to comply with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, the Norfolk District proposes to operate in accordance with the current Programmatic Agreement between the District, VDHR, and the ACHP, entitled "Programmatic Agreement Among U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Norfolk District Regulatory Branch, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation, and the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office Regarding Implementation of the Norfolk District Regulatory Program," dated 5 February 1996, and the "Norfolk District Standard Operating Procedures for Section 106 Coordination with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR)" dated June, 2007. In addition, these Regional Permits are conditioned to require that in cases where the District Commander determines that the activity may affect properties listed, or eligible for listing, in the National Register of Historic Places, the activity is not authorized, until the requirements of Section I 06 of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHP A) have been satisfied; (4) For compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, as amended for projects located in Tidewater, the applicant must certify that federally licensed or permitted activities affecting Virginia's coastal uses or resources will be conducted in a manner consistent with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (VCP) and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Office of Environmental Impact Review (OEIR).  Coordination with VCP will be conducted under separate cover.
Additional information might change any of these findings.

The Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 1 04-267), requires all Federal agencies to consult with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NOAA) on all actions, or proposed actions, permitted, funded, or undertaken by the agency, that may adversely affect Essential Fish Habitat (EFH). Some of Virginia's waterways contain Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the egg, larvae, juvenile, and adult life stages for a variety of species. An EFH Assessment for each applicable RP will be provided to NOAA under separate cover for consultation.  Any required permit conditions will be added as deemed necessary based upon the conclusion of the consultation.

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be made in writing, either via U.S. Mail, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia  23510-1096, or via email to and should be received by the close of business on APRIL 22, 2013.

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 regarding this public notice you may contact Ms. Kimberly Baggett via telephone at 757-201-7873 or via email at or Ms. Katy Damico via telephone at 757-201-7121 or via email at

William T. Walker
Chief, Regulatory Branch