The District Engineer has received a prospectus to establish a wetland and stream compensatory mitigation bank for Federal and State permits as described below
Ravenscroft Stream Mitigation Bank in Henry County, Virginia Sponsored by: Wildlands Engineering Inc., 1430 South Mint Street Suite 104, Charlotte, NC.
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK
The proposed mitigation bank site is located on approximately 322.6 acres of mixed forested and pastured land. The site is located along Ravenscroft Road (no physical mailing address) in Henry County, Virginia (Lat N36.769312, Long W -79.783202). The proposed bank site is in the headwaters of Leatherwood Creek, which drains to the Smith River, a tributary of the Dan River.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE
The bank sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory wetland and stream mitigation bank to be known as Ravenscroft Stream Mitigation Bank. The purpose of the mitigation bank is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to streams and other waters of the United States in the Roanoke River Drainage basin. The goal of the bank is to protect and enhance water quality, enhance and preserve impaired streams and wetlands, restore native riparian areas for wildlife habitat and ecosystem biodiversity, as well as provide compensatory mitigation for authorized impacts within the authorized service area.
The Bank Sponsor plans to establish this Bank by via protective stream and wetlands easements on approximately 322.6 acres of forested and previously pastured land. A combination of restoration and preservation will be used on the site. The bank will consist of preservation of 4,941 linear feet (LF) of perennial streams, enhancement of 662 LF of perennial streams, and restoration of 8,347 LF of perennial streams. The total length of existing streams included in the project is 13,950. The restoration of 8,346 LF of perennial streams is anticipated to result in 9,183 LF of restored perennial stream. 100-foot buffers are proposed along all of the restoration, enhancement, and preservation reaches. The total credits proposed for the RSMB is 15,559 stream mitigation units (SMU) resulting from the stream preservation, enhancement, and restoration; buffer preservation and heavy buffer planting; and livestock exclusion. Credits are proposed at; 681 SMU’s (4.4% of total credits) are generated from preservation and 14,878 SMU’s (95.6% of total credits) are generated from restoration and enhancement.
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 Code of the Roanoke River sub‐basin (HUC: 03010103). Additionally, contiguous sub‐basins HUC: 03010101, 03010104, and 03010105 will be included as part of the service area. This proposed service area would include Henry, Patrick, Franklin, Pittsylvania, Halifax, Bedford, Roanoke, and Montgomery Counties and their associated Cities.
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.
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) conduct of work will/will not affect species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (PL 93-205); and (3) the project may/may 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. The proposed project is/is not located in Essential Fish Habitat and is/is not likely to affect EFH. Based on comments from the National Marine Fisheries Service in response to this public notice, further EFH consultation may be necessary.
Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-REG), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Va., 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on Jan. 10, 2014. Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.
If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, please contact: Danielle Courtois (540) 651-2088 or Danielle.R.Courtois@.usace.army.mil
FOR THE DISTRICT ENGINEER
/s/ Danielle Courtois
Map ( Figure 1, Vicinity Map; Figure 2, Watershed Map; Figure 3, Stream Map; and Figure 4, Concept Mitigation Map)