Published Dec. 30, 2015
Expiration date: 2/1/2016
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 within three channels that are tributaries of the Rudee Inlet Federal Channel adjacent to Harbour Point Development in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The applicant proposes to hydraulically dredge approximately 4,576 cubic yards (52,061 square feet) at a depth not to exceed -4.5 feet below mean low water (MLW) in order to allow residents to restore safe access to navigable channels in Lake Rudee and remove accumulated sediment in the channels and in the access basins around private owner’s docks, piers, and similar facilities. Approximately 1,471 cubic yards (24,235 square feet) is considered maintenance dredging, and the remaining 3,105 cubic yards (27,826 square feet) is considered new dredging. In addition, the applicant proposes to create three (3) forebays near the stormwater outfalls located at the upstream terminus of each of the three (3) SSD Channels. The forebays are designed to allow settlement of sediment discharged from the stormwater outfalls before it reaches channels used for navigation. Forebays concentrate the accumulation of these pollutants and allow for targeted, and thus more cost-effective, dredging of the sedimentation from the stormwater, rather than along the entire channel. In this manner, the need and frequency of maintenance dredging of the balance of the channel will be minimized.

The waterfront homeowners of Harbour Point have agreed to participate in the City of Virginia Beach Special Service District (SSD) program which helps carry out neighborhood dredging projects. The Harbour Point SSD Dredging project proposes a 16 year three stage dredging cycle with the first dredging cycle in year two (2) and maintenance dredging events taking place every seven years on year nine (9) and year sixteen (16); however, the Corps authorization can only be issued for a maximum of ten (10) years.

The City channel, which leads off of the main navigation channel of the Rudee Inlet Federal Channel and serves multiple neighborhood waterways, does not require dredging. Therefore, the Harbour Point SSD Dredging Project will consist of two distinct types of dredging: 1) neighborhood SSD channels providing access to Harbour Point, and 2) individual access basins that provide access to individual properties.

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 floating portion of the pipeline will be placed to avoid impacts to vegetated wetlands. The submerged pipeline will be secured to the bottom with solid concrete blocks. The minimum clearance over the pipeline will be seven feet to allow for continued navigability of the area. A baffle plate and/or diffuser will be attached at the end of the discharge pipe.

Based on the proposed dredging plan, direct impacts to vegetated wetlands will be avoided. The three (3) SSD channels will total 1,839 feet in length and each will have a 15 to 20 foot bottom width. The nineteen homeowner access basins have been designed with the least practicable encroachment into non-vegetated wetlands. 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 project will impact approximately 46,776 square feet (1.07 acres) of subaqueous bottom and no mitigation is proposed for subaqueous bottom. The project will impact approximately 5,285 square feet (0.12 acres) of tidal non-vegetated wetlands (mudflats) and compensatory mitigation is offered at a 0.5:1 ratio through purchase of advance tidal credits from the Virginia Aquatic Restoration Trust Fund (VARTF) or an operational mitigation bank which lawfully serves the Rudee Inlet/Owls Creek watershed. The project encroaches within the 4x buffer in two areas with potential indirect impacts to 86 square feet (0.002 acres) of tidal vegetated wetlands and compensatory mitigation is offered at a 1:1 ratio through purchase of advance tidal credits from the VARTF or an operational mitigation bank which lawfully serves the Rudee Inlet/Owls Creek watershed. 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 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 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) no known properties 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. 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: . 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: or .

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 20 species including red hake (Urophycis chuss), witch flounder (Glyptocephalus cynoglossus), windowpane flounder (Scopthalmus aquosus), Atlantic sea herring (Clupea harengus), bluefish (Pomatomus saltatrix), summer flounder (Paralicthys dentatus), scup (Stenotomus chrysops), black sea bass (Centropristus striata), spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias) king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla), Spanish mackerel (Scomberomorus maculatus), cobia (Rachycentron canadum), red drum (Sciaenops occelatus), dusky shark (Charcharinus obscurus), sandbar shark (Charcharinus plumbeus), sand tiger shark (Odontaspis taurus), Atlantic sharpnose shark (Rhizopriondon terraenovae), scalloped hammerhead shark (Sphyrna lewini), and Atlantic angel shark (Squatina dumeril). 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. 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, 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 February 1, 2016.

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 or .