Published Aug. 29, 2013
Expiration date: 9/29/2013

August 29, 2013

NAO-2013-01661 (LJ-15 Chippokes Creek (Bacon’s Castle))

The District Engineer has received a prospectus to create a stream and wetland compensatory mitigation site 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

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The mitigation site encompasses approximately 388 acres of a 1271-acre property to be placed, in its entirety, under easement by the Virginia Outdoors Foundation. The site is located on Lower Chippokes Creek and Castle Mill Run off of Route 10 and surrounding Bacon’s Castle historical site in Surry County, Virginia. The mitigation site includes 71 acres of tidal and non-tidal wetlands and approximately 43,835 linear feet of streams, including frontage along Lower Chippokes Creek, Castle Mill Run and a number of unnamed tributaries.    The proposed mitigation project is to conduct preservation of the wetland and stream resources, including 314 acres of buffer preservation; and to conduct stream enhancement and restoration on approximately 2,822 lf of  tributaries and 13 acres of riparian buffer.  The entire property (1,271 acres) will be placed under a conservation easement to be held and monitored by VOF.  However, the Nature Conservancy will serve as the long term steward for the mitigation portion of the site (388 acres) which is subject to USACE/DEQ restrictions.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The site sponsor proposes to design, construct, and steward a compensatory wetland and stream mitigation site which is known as LJ-15 Chippokes Creek (Bacon’s Castle).  The purpose of the mitigation project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to stream and other waters of the United States in the Lower James Drainage basin.  The goal of the mitigation site is to provide appropriate mitigation for impacts, within the authorized service area, by performing stream, wetland and riparian buffer preservation and restoration.

The sponsor has proposed, 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 site would include the USGS Hydrologic Unit Codes 02080206 and 02080208. This proposed service area would include portions of the Hanover, Henrico, Chesterfield, Charles City, New Kent, James City, Prince George, and Isle of Wight counties as well as portions of Suffolk, Norfolk, Chesapeake and Hampton Roads.

Oversight of this mitigation site 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 site 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 site 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 amended 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 mitigation site amendment.  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 or requests for hard copies 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 with the project name and number in the subject line.  Comments must be received by the close of business on Monday, September 29, 2013.  Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.       

If you have any questions, please contact Ms. Anna Lawston in the Warrenton Field Office at PO Box 578, Amissville, Virginia 20106, at (540) 937-4197or  For and on behalf of, Anna R. Lawston, Acting Chief, Northern Virginia Regulatory Section;


 Anna R. Lawston
 Project Manager 
 Northern Virginia Regulatory Section

Attachment: Drawings