Published Aug. 20, 2015
Expiration date: 9/21/2015

The district commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:

U.S. General Services Administration
Attn: Abby Low
20 N. 8th Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in the headwaters of Birchin Creek and Hurricane Branch, tributaries of the Nottoway River, Chowan River and the Albemarle Sound on Fort Pickett Military Reservation south of West 10th Street, Nottoway County, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The U.S. General Services Administration, acting as the agent for the U.S. Department of State, proposes to construct the Foreign Affairs Security Training Center that will include the following infrastructure:  administrative buildings, fitness center, high-speed driving track area, off-road/unimproved driving track area, mock urban training facilities, explosives training facilities, fire arms training ranges, roads, and parking. The proposed project will impact 3.88 acres of palustrine forested wetlands (PFO) and 2,930 linear feet of stream channel. The applicant demonstrated avoidance and minimization by removing residential facilities, bridging two larger tributaries, using bottomless culverts at two crossings and utilizing existing roads instead of constructing new roads for a total wetland impact reduction of 2.62 acres. Impacts will be compensated for by purchasing 7.76 wetland credits for PFO (2:1 ratio) from the White Marsh Environmental Bank and 3,412 stream credits from Reedy Creek Mitigation Bank.

In addition to the required Department of the Army permit, the applicant must obtain a Virginia Water Protection Permit from the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) assuring that applicable laws and regulations pertaining to water quality are not violated.  Project drawings are attached.

AUTHORITY: Permits are required pursuant to 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 US 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 US 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) there may be an effect 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 is attached for review and comment by US Fish and Wildlife Service; and (3) the following known properties are eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the permit area, or would likely be affected by the proposal: 44NT0210, 44NT0212, 44NT0219, 44NT0220, 44NT0221, 44NT0222, 44NT0045, 44NT0056, and 44NT0072. Additional information might change any of these findings.

COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, US Army Corps of Engineers (ATTN:  CENAO-WRR-S), 9100 Arboretum Parkway, Suite 235, Richmond, Virginia, 23236, and should be received by the close of business on Sept. 21, 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. Julie S. Hamilton at 804-323-3783; or