The district commander has received a permit application for work described below:
City of Virginia Beach
Department of Public Works
c/o Mr. Phillip J. Roehrs
2405 Courthouse Drive
Virginia Beach, VA 23456
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in a tributary of Lake Rudee in the Shadowlawn Subdivision in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to hydraulically dredge approximately 10,017 cubic yards (111,127 square feet) at varying depths not to exceed -5.5 feet below mean low water (MLW) in order to enhance navigation and remove siltation from the existing channel adjacent to the Shadowlawn neighborhood in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The waterfront owners of Shadowlawn have agreed to participate in the city of Virginia Beach Special Service District (SSD) program which helps carry out neighborhood dredging projects. The project is composed of three distinct types of channels: the neighborhood SSD channel which will provide access to Shadowlawn residents; the spur channel which leads off of the SSD channel to serve multiple homeowners; and the individual access channels which provide access to individual properties. The Shadowlawn SSD Dredging project proposes a 16-year, three- stage dredging cycle with the new dredging in year two (2), maintenance dredging events taking place every seven years on year nine (9) and year 16; however, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorization can only be issued for a maximum of 10 years.
The channel dredging will be accomplished via hydraulic dredge, with the dredged material being piped and deposited within the Lake Rudee dredge disposal area. This dredge disposal area was created for the purpose of depositing dredged material from projects within the Lake Rudee drainage area.
The applicant has designed the dredging to minimize impacts to tidal vegetated and tidal non-vegetated wetlands (mudflats) that are not associated with the navigability of the Shadowlawn Channel. The proposed design depicts the minimum amount of impacts necessary to provide safe navigability to the homeowners within the Shadowlawn SSD.
The SSD channel is 2,310 feet in length. The entrance of the SSD channel is 25 feet wide and a maximum of -5.5 feet below MLW. It narrows to 20 feet wide and a maximum of -5.5 feet below MLW as a transition leading to a 15 foot wide channel that is -4.5 feet and -3.5 feet below MLW. This gradual reduction in dredging depth and width reduces the impacts to subaqueous bottom, tidal non-vegetated wetlands (mudflats) and vegetated wetlands as the natural channel narrows and wetlands increase towards the upstream end.
The Spur channel is 180 feet in length and is 15 feet wide and a maximum of -3.5 feet below MLW. The spur channel is designed to be as narrow as possible to avoid impacts to wetlands and still allow homeowners to safely navigate around existing structures and other boaters.
The 18 homeowner access channels are designed to avoid and minimize impacts to subaqueous bottom, tidal non-vegetated wetlands (mudflats) and vegetated wetlands, while still allowing homeowners to access piers and boat lifts. Dredge depths range from -1 to -5 feet below MLW in order to reduce the impacts whenever possible.
Avoidance and minimization is also achieved, to the greatest extent practicable, by incorporation of the 4x Buffer Rule into the design process providing buffer equal to four times the cut depth in the channel. The proposed channel location was designed to avoid the wetlands to the greatest extent possible by positioning the channel close to the developed shoreline without undermining these structures. The existing channel is narrow and located adjacent to the north of vegetated wetlands which parallel almost the entire length of the channel. Additionally, many of the properties have bulkheads, rip rap, and existing piers and/or structures along the shoreline. These limiting factors make it not feasible to completely avoid vegetated wetlands within the 4x Buffer.
The proposed project will impact approximately 86,758 square feet (1.99 acres) of subaqueous bottom and no mitigation is proposed for subaqueous bottom. The project will impact approximately 24,119 square feet (0.55 acres) of tidal non-vegetated wetlands (mudflats) and no mitigation is proposed; however, the city of Virginia Beach acknowledges that there may need to be mitigation for impacts to tidal non-vegetated wetlands (mudflats) and is willing to work on a mitigation strategy for this project with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The project will impact approximately 250 square feet (0.006 acres) of emergent tidal vegetated wetlands and compensatory mitigation is offered at a 1:1 ratio through purchase of advance tidal credits from the Virginia Aquatic Restoration Trust Fund (VARTF). The project encroaches within the 4x buffer with potential indirect impacts to 4,256 square feet (0.10 acres) of tidal vegetated wetlands and no mitigation is proposed for the 4x buffer encroachment. All impacts are depicted on the attached drawings and Impact Summary Table.
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. A permit from the Virginia Marine Resources Commission and/or the city of Virginia Beach Wetlands Board may also be required.
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 U.S. Army 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 U.S. Army 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) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, there may be an affect to listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table are attached for review and comment by Fish and Wildlife Service; and (3) one known property proposed for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places is in or near the permit area, but would not likely be affected by the proposal. Coordination with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources will be conducted separately from this public notice. 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). We have not received a certification from the applicant prior to publication of this public notice. 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: http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview/FederalConsistencyReviews.aspx#cert . 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: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
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). This tributary of Lake Rudee contains Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the egg, larval, juvenile, and adult life stages of 21 species including red hake (Urophycis chuss), witch flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus), yellowtail flounder (Scophthalmus aquosus), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), Atlantic sea herring (Clupea harengus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus), summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), scup (Stenotomus chrysops), black sea bass (Centropristus striata), king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), red drum (Sciaenops occelatus), sand tiger shark (Odontapsis taurus), Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizopriondon terraenovae), dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), sandbar shark (Charcharinus plumbeus), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), and tiger shark (Glaeocerdo cuvieri). The habitat which this project would affect consists of shallow water areas, tidal non-vegetated wetlands (mudflats), and tidal vegetated wetlands. There is an absence of submerged aquatic vegetation and anadromous fish spawning habitat. The project is adjacent to residential development on the east side, and undeveloped forest and marsh on the west side. Coordination with NOAA Fisheries Service will be conducted separately from this public notice.
COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ATTN: Nancy Hankins, CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on June 1, 2015.
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 Ms. Nancy Hankins at (757)201-7044; firstname.lastname@example.org.