Published April 10, 2013
Expiration date: 5/10/2013

The district engineer has received a prospectus to establish a wetland compensatory mitigation bank for federal and state permits as described below:

Eastern Shore Mitigation Bank, LLC
P.O. Box 1595
Virginia Beach, Va 23451

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The proposed mitigation bank site is located on approximately 162 acres of forested and agricultural land. The site is located off Broadwater Road in Exmore, Northampton County, Va. The proposed bank site drains to Nassawadox Creek a tributary of Chesapeake Bay.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The bank sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory wetland mitigation bank to be known as Tidewater Mitigation Bank.  The purpose of the mitigation bank is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to wetlands and other waters of the United States in the Chesapeake Bay Drainage basin.  The goal of the bank is to restore and perpetually preserve self-sustaining wetland ecosystems and associated upland buffers within the authorized service area by providing compensatory mitigation for anticipated unavoidable impacts to resources protected by the Clean Water Act, Section 404.

The Bank Sponsor plans to establish this Bank by installing ditch plugs in existing drainage ditches, and planting hydrophytic tree and shrub species in farm fields on approximately 67 acres of the site.  Restoration/enhancement/creation/preservation will be accomplished by plugging existing drainage ditches, planting hydrophytic vegetation, encouraging recruitment of natural vegetation, preserving existing wetlands and upland buffers to create/restore/preserve/enhance a palustrine wetland system.

The sponsor has proposed, for purposes of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, that the geographic service area of this mitigation bank would include the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes 02080109, 02080102, and 02080108. This proposed service area would include portions of the Cities of Poquoson, Newport News, Norfolk, Hampton, Virginia Beach; and Accomack, Northampton, Mathews, Gloucester, Northumberland, Lancaster, Essex, Middlesex, Kind and Queen, Richmond, and York Counties.

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 and 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) in southern 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/or 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 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 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) 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.  Based on this no effect determination, no further coordination with the Fish and Wildlife Service is required 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.  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) and obtain concurrence from the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review.  We have not received a certification statement from the applicant prior to publication of this public notice.  It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a certification statement to the Office of Environmental Impact Review for concurrence or objection and proof of concurrence must be submitted to the Corps prior to final permit issuance. A template federal consistency certification statement can be found here:

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:

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.  The proposed project is not located in Essential Fish Habitat and is not likely to affect EFH.

COMMENT PERIOD:  Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN:  CENAO-REG), P.O. Box 125, Greenbackville, Virginia 23356, and should be received by the close of business on May 10, 2013.  Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.

If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, please contact:  Robert Cole at Phone: (757) 903-1562.
E mail:

Kimberly A. Prisco-Baggett, MBA  
Chief, Eastern Virginia
Regulatory Section