Published Aug. 19, 2013
Expiration date: 9/17/2013

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

Commander, Navy Region Mid-Atlantic
Attn: Mr. W. David Noble
Code N45, Regional Environmental Group
1510 Gilbert Street
Norfolk, Va 23511

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located along the Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex beach along the Atlantic Ocean in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to repair the shoreline protection system (SPS) at the Naval Air Station Oceana Dam Neck Annex.  The SPS was installed in 1996 and consisted of a manmade sand dune reinforced by a buried stone seawall, with beach replenishment on the seaward side. The manmade dune is 5,282 feet long, 20 feet high and 50 feet wide. The beach replenishment portion of the SPS is 2 miles long, including the approximately 1-mile area in front of the manmade dune, with additional approximately one half-mile portions extending north and south of the manmade dune.  Approximately 700,000 cubic yards of sand for replenishment of the beach and repair of the constructed dune will be dredged from a Department of Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM)-approved borrow area within Sandbridge Shoal, which is located approximately 3 miles offshore of the project location, outside of Virginia’s state territorial waters.  To minimize impacts on threatened and endangered sea turtle species, shaping of the beach and dune would be conducted only from December 1 through May 15.  There will be no impacts to any special aquatic sites with the project, so no mitigation has been proposed.

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 Virginia Marine Resources Commission (VMRC) and/or the Virginia Beach 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) the Navy, as the lead federal agency, has completed formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and a biological opinion was provided to the Navy on May 25, 2012. (3) the Navy completed coordination in accordance with Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources (VDHR).  VDHR provided concurrence with a no effect determination on September 8, 2011.  Additional information might change any of these findings. 

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). The applicant’s consistency certification is attached to this Public Notice and we are requesting review by DEQ-OEIR for concurrence or objection (the six-month consistency review clock begins when OEIR receives complete information to coordinate the review).  It is the applicant’s responsibility to submit a consistency certification 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 can be found here: .  For more information or to obtain a list of the enforceable policies of the VCP, contact the Department of Environmental Quality, Office of Environmental Impact Review at (804) 698-4330 or e-mail: or

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).   Atlantic Ocean contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the larval, juvenile, and/or adult life stages of 20 species including:  red hake (Urophycis chuss), witch flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), Atlantic sea herring (Clupea harengus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), scup (Stenotomus chrysops), black sea bass (Centropristus striata), spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), red drum (Sciaenops ocellatus), dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), sandbar shark (Charcharinus plumbeus), sand tiger shark (Odontaspis taurus), tiger shark (Galeocerdo cuvieri), Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizopriondon terraenovae), scalloped hammerhead (Sphyrna lewini), Atlantic angel shark (Squatina dumeril).  The habitat which this project would affect consists of shallow and deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean.  The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above.  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.  The Navy has already completed consultation with NOAA Fisheries Service Habitat Conservation Division (NOAA).  NOAA provided concurrence on August 16, 2012 with the Navy's determination that the proposed 2012 maintenance cycle of the Dam Neck Annex shoreline protection project will not have a substantial adverse effect on EFH or HAPC for sandbar shark.  However, NOAA is concerned that long-term cumulative impacts to EFH and managed species may result from the continued, future mining of Sandbridge Shoal. Therefore, given the project's 7-9 yr. maintenance cycle for beach nourishment across the projected 50-yr. project life of the Dam Neck Annex SPS, NOAA provide conservation recommendations pursuant to Section 305 (b) of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act (MSA) to help avoid and minimize individual and cumulative adverse impacts to EFH, managed species and their prey..  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-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia  23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on September 17, 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 Melissa Nash via telephone at 757-201-7489 or email at


                                                                        Lynette R. Rhodes 
                                                                        Chief, Southern Virginia
                                                                        Regulatory Section