The district commander has received a permit application for work described below:
Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel District
c/o Michael Crist
32386 Lankford Highway
Cape Charles, Virginia 23310
WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The project is located in the Thimble Shoals Channel of the Chesapeake Bay, west of the existing Chesapeake Bay-Bridge Tunnel (CBBT), at portal islands 1 and 2 of the structure. The area proposed for dredging is located between Northampton County and Virginia Beach. The Norfolk Ocean Disposal Site (NODS) is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 17 miles east of Cape Henry and is approximately 50 square miles in size. The NODS was designated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a dredged material placement site on July 2, 1993. This site is intended for the placement of suitable dredged material from the Inner Harbor channels within Norfolk Harbor and other lower Chesapeake Bay dredged materials.
PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: This public notice is being issued for the planned transport and disposal of dredged material at the Norfolk Ocean Disposal Site that will result from the proposed construction of a new two-lane parallel tunnel to the west of the existing CBBT Thimble Shoal Tunnel. Dredged material from the project site that meets Section 103 evaluation criteria is being proposed for placement at the NODS. Dredged materials proposed for transport for the purpose of discharge in ocean waters must be evaluated and permitted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) in accordance with parts 225 and 227 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA), and processed in accordance with 33 CFR 209.120. The applicant has not yet submitted an application for the tunnel construction activities, but is seeking concurrence from the ACOE and EPA that dredged material may be transported to and disposed of at NODS if a permit is issued for the new tunnel. The permit application for the dredge and fill activities will be submitted to the regulatory agencies after the project design has advanced; that proposed permit will also be public noticed.
Approximately 1.7 million cubic yard (cy) of dredged material from the CBBT – Thimble Shoals Channel project is proposed for transport and placement at NODS. The NODS is located in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 17 miles east of Cape Henry. The center of NODS is located at latitude 36°59’00” north and longitude 75°39’00” west and has a four nautical mile radius, with an area of approximately 50 square nautical miles. Water depths at the site range from 43 to 85 feet.
The NODS has been designated for the placement of suitable dredged materials in 40 CFR Part 228.15 by the EPA Administrator pursuant to section 102(c) of the MPRSA. NODS was previously used by the U.S. Navy in August 1993 when it placed approximately 51,000 cy of dredged material from the Naval Supply Center Cheatham Annex and 475,000 cy of dredged material from the Naval Weapons Station Yorktown. The NODS was also used for dredged material placement from the VDOT Midtown Tunnel project from October 2013 through October 2014. Approximately 1.12 million cy of dredged material was placed on the site during that time span. There have been no documented effects of other authorized discharges that have been made in the placement area.
It is estimated that placement operations for the CBBT – Thimble Shoals Channel project will occur intermittently in phases over a 24-month period. Sediments proposed for dredging for the parallel tunnel section for the CBBT – Thimble Shoals Channel project consist of multiple native geologic formation materials (i.e. Baymouth shoal, Norfolk Formation, and Yorktown Formation) and alluvium material. Grain size of the dredged material is predominantly silty clay material with embedded fine sands consistent with the native geologic formation. The dredged material proposed for placement at NODS does not meet the testing exclusionary criteria set forth under 40 CFR 227.13(b). Subsequent dredged material testing detected the presence of ammonia as nitrogen, several metals, several polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), several semi-volatile organic compounds (SVOCs), several chlorinated pesticides, and dioxins/furans at the site.
Dredged material was tested for liquid phase, suspended particulate phase, and solid phases using criteria and procedures developed by the Administrator of the EPA in accordance with 40 CFR 227.13(c) and 227.32. Evaluation of the liquid phase of the dredged material has determined that the material complies with the Limiting Permissible Concentration (LPC) and is in compliance with 40 CFR 227.12(c) (2) and 227.27(a) (1). Evaluation of the liquid and suspended particulate phase of the dredged material has determined the material complies with LPC and is in compliance with 40 CFR 227.13(c) (3) and 227.27(b). Evaluation of the solid phase of the dredged material has determined the material complies with the LPC and is in compliance with 40 CFR 227.13(c) (3) and 227.27(b). Accordingly, the proposed dredged material from the CBBT – Thimble Shoals Channel meets the Ocean Disposal Criteria (40 CFR 227).
Maps of the project location and NODS are attached.
AUTHORITY: Permits will be 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 part 227 of the Marine Protection, Research, and Sanctuaries Act (MPRSA).
FEDERAL EVALUATION OF APPLICATION: The decision whether to issue 103 concurrence for the transport and disposal of dredged material in ocean waters 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.
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 concur, modify, condition or deny the Section 103 permit for the proposed transport and disposal of dredged material 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.
Preliminary review indicates that: (l) the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead Federal agency for this project and prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact; (2) Potential effects to listed/proposed/candidate species and/or designated/proposed critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act of 1973, and to Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) under the authority of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act of 1996 (Public Law 104-267) will be considered during the Section 10 and 404 permit review process after that application has been submitted; and (3) no known properties eligible for inclusion or included in the National Register of Historic Places are in or near the NODS area, or would likely be affected by the proposal. 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-WR-R, George Janek), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia 23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on Nov. 27, 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 email@example.com.