Published May 22, 2013
Expiration date: 6/21/2013

The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:

Attn: Mr. Tommy Pruitt
1801 Bayberry Court, Suite 100
Richmond, Va 23226

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located along the James River, a tributary to the Chesapeake Bay, at Curles Neck Farm south of Rt. 5, in Henrico County, Va.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to construct sheet pile wall with associated rip rap along the southern boundary of the property known as Curles Neck Farm in order to manage the wetland and open water area of the farm for waterfowl habitat.  The sheet pile wall would be 2,376 feet in length and be constructed in between an existing dredge disposal area and an existing levee.  Rip rap would be utilized to prevent scour along the wall.  To gain access to the project area the applicant proposes to construct a temporary loading area, which will include a bulkhead, to allow a barge to dock at the property.  A channel would be dredged in the river to gain access to the area where the wall would be constructed.  The barge would be used to transport material and equipment from the upland docking area to the project location.  The area to be dredged is 500 feet long and 40 feet wide.  Approximately 1,114 cubic yards of material would be dredged for access, which would be deposited within upland fields on Curles Neck Farm. 

To manage the area for water fowl the applicant would install an additional flap gate structure to work with the two existing gates to manage the water levels within the project area throughout the year.  The gates would be managed in a way that takes into account annual anadromous fish passage in and out of the management area. 

Project implementation would see permanent impacts to approximately 0.24 acre of tidal forested wetlands and 0.11 acre of subaqueous water bottom. Temporary impacts associated with access to the project area consist of 0.65 acre of tidal forested wetland and 0.08 acre of subaqueous bottom.  In addition 1,114 cubic yards of material would be dredged from the James River.     

To compensate for temporary project related impacts the applicant has proposed to restore these areas to original contours and reseed with native vegetation wetland mix. In addition the applicant is proposing to construct a 0.5 acre tidal forested mitigation area adjacent to the project site utilizing an existing drainage ditch to the James River to facilitate tidal exchange.   

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 a permit from the Henrico 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 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 (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:

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 James River contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the larvae, juvenile and adult  life stages of five species including windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), bluefish(Pomatomus saltarix), Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), summer flounder (Paralicthyus dentatus), and black sea bass (Centropristus striata).  The habitat which this project would affect includes shallow water and vegetated wetlands.  The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above.  Impacts would be to temporarily increase turbidity, and affect feeding areas for juvenile fish and invertebrates.  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/minimal increases in turbidity and anadromous fish spawning habitat.  The applicant has incorporated procedures into the construction plans to allow work to be conducted behind a temporary dam to minimize sediment and erosion from entering the James River.  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: Todd Miller), 9100 Arboretum Pkwy, Ste 235, Richmond, Virginia  23236, and should be received by the close of business on June 21, 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 about this project or the permit process, contact Todd Miller 804-323-3782 or


                                                                        Lynette R. Rhodes
                                                                       Chief, Southern Virginia
                                                                        Regulatory Section