The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:
Cherry Hill Construction, Inc.
c/o Roger Lant
8211 Washington Boulevard
Jessup, Maryland 20794
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project will impact tributaries and wetlands associated with Boush Creek, which is located within the Mason Creek-Willoughby Bay drainage basin in Norfolk, Virginia.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to construct the Interstate 564 (I-564) Intermodal Connector. The I-564 connector is a four-lane divided highway which will begin east of the Elizabeth River, west of Hampton Boulevard, and south of D Avenue. The project will run approximately 1.3 miles to the east before turning to the southeast and running approximately 1.2 miles along existing I-564 before terminating at the I-564/Terminal Boulevard interchange. The project purpose is to improve access to the Naval Station Norfolk and the Norfolk International Terminals and to improve traffic congestion. The project also includes the relocation of Naval Station Norfolk Gate 6 (entry control point), and a reconfigured commercial vehicle inspection station for Naval Station Norfolk.
The permanent impacts associated with the proposed I-564 connector are to 4.74 acres of waters of the U.S., which includes 0.93 acres of palustrine emergent (PEM) wetlands, 0.71 acres of palustrine scrub-shrub (PSS) wetlands (including 0.40 ac. of reed grass), 0.57 acres of palustrine forested (PFO) wetlands, 1.16 acres of tidal wetlands (including 1.03 ac. of reed grass), 0.33 acres of tidal waters, 0.09 acres (116 linear feet) of stream channel, and 0.95 acres (5,149 linear feet) of jurisdictional ditch.
Direct impacts to the Boush Creek crossing were avoided by spanning the channel with both east- and west-bound bridges. These bridges will minimize channel disturbance in Boush Creek by approximately 10,000 square feet. An additional 8,276 square feet of wetland impacts were avoided in the long-term parking area through the use of upland areas and by utilizing an existing bridge to access the area. Finally, changes were made to the project’s erosion and sediment controls which further avoided another 5,662 square feet of wetland impacts. These avoidance and minimization efforts resulted in 0.55 acres of avoided impacts to aquatic resources. The applicant is proposing to compensate for unavoidable wetland impacts through the purchase of 4.35 wetland credits, or 3.19 nontidal credits and 1.16 tidal credits, from wetland mitigation banks which service hydrologic unit code 02080208.
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 and a permit from the Norfolk Wetlands Board. Project drawings are attached.
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, no listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884), as amended) will be affected. Based on this “no effect” determination, no further coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required; and (3) the following properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area: archaeology site 44NR0031, the Norfolk Naval Base Golf Club Historic District, the Norfolk Naval Base Historic District, and the Battle of Sewell’s Point. Further coordination with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources will determine whether these historic resources may be affected by the proposal. 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). The applicant submitted his consistency certification to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality for their concurrence on May 28, 2015. 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). Mason’s Creek may contain Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) for the egg, larval, juvenile, and adult life stages of twelve species including the egg, juvenile, and adult stages of windowpane flounder (Scophthalmus aquosus); the juvenile and adult stages of bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix); the egg, larval, juvenile, and adult stages of Atlantic butterfish (Peprilus triacanthus); the larval, juvenile, and adult stages of summer flounder (Paralichthys dentatus); the juvenile and adult stages of black sea bass (Centropristis striata); the egg, larval, juvenile, and adult stages of king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla) and Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus); the egg, larval, juvenile, and adult stages of cobia (Rachycentron canadum); the egg, larval, juvenile, and adult stages of red drum (Sciaenops occelatus); the larval, juvenile, and adult stages of dusky shark (Carcharhinus obscurus); the larval, juvenile, and adult stages and habitat areas of particular concern for the same life stages the of sandbar shark (Carcharhinus plumbeus).
The habitat, which this project would affect, consists of primarily tidal tributaries to shallow water areas with silty bottoms, and is not likely to adversely affect EFH. The value of the EFH is further limited by the fact that Mason’s Creek connects through a 1840-foot long aqueduct before flowing into Willoughby Bay. The proposed project is described in Proposed Work and Purpose, above. Our assessment of the project leads us to a preliminary determination that it will not have a substantial adverse effect on EFH and therefore expanded EFH consultation is not required. Our rationale for this preliminary determination is based on the expected short-term nature of the direct impacts, as well as the lack of anadromous fish spawning habitat and unsuitable substrates within the impact areas. 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 should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R, George Janek), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on Aug. 13, 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 George Janek at 757-201-7135 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.