The District Engineer has received a prospectus to expand an existing stream compensatory mitigation bank for Federal and State permits as described below:
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK
The proposed mitigation bank site is located on approximately 18 acres of agricultural land. The site is located approximately 6 miles northwest of Remington in Culpeper, Virginia. The proposed bank site drains to Bee Branch a tributary of Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock Drainage basin.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE
The bank sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory stream mitigation bank to be known as Lakota Mitigation Bank – Phase II. This proposed Phase II mitigation bank is located adjacent to the existing approved Lakota 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 Rapidan-Upper Rappahannock Drainage basin.
The Bank Sponsor plans to establish this phase of the Bank by proposing a combination of restoration, enhancement, and preservation of riparian systems and the associated streams and wetlands on approximately 18 acres of existing agricultural land. Restoration is proposed for approximately 1,100 linear feet of stream channel resulting in a compensation credit of 1,708. Buffer enhancement is proposed for an additional 1,501 linear feet of stream channel yielding approximately 1,230 compensation credits.
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 02080103, 02080104. This proposed service area would include portions of the City of Fredericksburg, and Culpeper, Fauquier, Stafford, Rappahannock, Madison, Greene, Orange and Spotsylvania 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 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 not located in Essential Fish Habitat and is/is not likely to affect EFH.
Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-REG), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on January 19, 2014. Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.
If you have any questions about this project or the permit process, please contact: Hal Wiggins in the Fredericksburg Field Office at (540) 548-2517 or Harold.j.wiggins@.usace.army.mil
Lakota Phase II Prospectus (Exhibit 1)
Lakota Phase II Prospectus (Exhibit 4)