Published May 2, 2016
Expiration date: 6/2/2016

May 2, 2016

The District Commander has received a joint application for federal and state permits as described below:

Virginia Department of Transportation
ATTN:  Mr. Paul T. Nishimoto
4975 Alliance Drive
Fairfax, VA  22030

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK:  The project is located in unnamed tributaries to Austin Run and Aquia Creek, which are tributaries to the Potomac River, at I-95 near Aquia Harbour in Stafford County, Virginia.

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE:  The applicant proposes to extend the I95 Express Lanes beyond the current southern terminus of those lanes in Stafford County. North of the Rt. 610 (Garrisonville Road) Interchange the work will overlap with construction of the I95 Express Lanes. South of the interchange the work entails widening the shoulder of general purpose lanes to accommodate the new Express Lanes ramp; raising the grade to accommodate the Express Lanes extension; installation of riprap at existing outfalls; and piping sections of stream, some of which were previously impacted with riprap for the recent Express Lanes project. The applicant’s stated purpose for the project is to enhance safety, improve travel times/ reliability, and provide congestion relief at the entrance and exit points of the I95 Express Lanes.

The work as proposed will impact approximately 899 linear feet of stream and approximately 0.047 acres of palustrine forested wetlands.

The application states that avoidance of impacts to waters of the U.S. cannot be accomplished due to the constraints of the I95 corridor. The application indicates that impacts to waters of the US were minimized at the southern end of the project because the Express Lanes transition back into the general purpose lanes with enough distance to reduce impacts to a forested wetland and perennial stream system. To compensate for unavoidable impacts, the applicant proposes the use of credits from approved mitigation banks. The applicant does not propose compensation for individual stream impacts less than 300 lf. 

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 available upon request.

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 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) The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is the lead Federal agency; on March 2, 2016, FHWA signed a Re-Evaluation of a 2011 Environmental Assessment prepared for the I95 Express Lanes from 1.1 miles south of U.S. Route 17 near Spotsylvania to the Capital Beltway (I-495) in Fairfax County.  No environmental impact statement will be required; (2) On behalf of FHWA, VDOT coordinated with the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) regarding threatened and endangered species via the FWS Online Project Review system, through which VDOT submitted a Species Conclusion Table.  In accordance with the Endangered Species Act of 1973 (16 U.S.C. 1531-1544, 87 Stat. 884), as amended, FHWA determined that the harperella (Ptilimnium nodosum) will not be affected, and that the proposed action is not likely to adversely affect the Northern Long-Eared Bat (Myotis septentrionalis) based on the results of a 2015 acoustic survey for the bat; and (3) FHWA determined that 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. VDOT coordinated this effect determination with the Virginia State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) on behalf of FHWA, and the SHPO concurred. 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

COMMENT PERIOD: Comments on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers (ATTN: CENAO-WR-R), 803 Front Street, Norfolk, Virginia  23510-1096, and should be received by the close of business on June 2, 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 Alice Allen-Grimes at telephone 757-201-7219 or by email at  


Attachment: Drawings