Published April 21, 2014
Expiration date: 5/21/2014

The district engineer has received a prospectus to expand a 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, Va., 23219 

The mitigation site is located within a 154-acre property which is under conservation easement held by the Conservancy. The property is located along the North and South Forks of the Rivanna River in Albemarle County, Virginia. The property contains previously restored wetlands, upland buffers, and stream restoration/enhancement areas. The mitigation site includes the addition of 15.23 acres of wetland buffer restoration adjacent to previously restored wetlands.  The conservation easement on the property permits agricultural activities within the field proposed for buffer restoration.  Additional restrictions will be placed on the field to prohibit future agricultural use.

The site sponsor proposes to expand a compensatory wetland mitigation site which is known as MJ-1 Rivanna River (Lamb).  The purpose of the mitigation project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to waters of the United States in the Middle James drainage basin.  The goal of the mitigation site is to provide appropriate mitigation for impacts, within the authorized service area, by performing wetland buffer 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 02080204, 02080203, and 02080205. This proposed service area would include Nelson and Amherst County, the City of Charlottesville and Lynchburg, as well as portions of Albemarle, Appomattox, Bedford, Buckingham, Campbell, Chesterfield,Cumberland, Greene, Fluvanna, Goochland, Henrico, Louisa, Powhatan counties, and the City of Richmond.  

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 and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality shall co-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.

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).

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.

Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers – Warrenton Field Office (ATTN:  Anna Lawston), PO Box 911, Warrenton, Virginia 20188 or to with the project name and number in the subject line.  Comments must be received by the close of business on Wednesday, May 21, 2014.  Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ.

If you have any questions, please contact Anna Lawston at (540) 937-4197 or   

Anna R. Lawston
Project Manager
Northern Virginia Regulatory Section