Published Sept. 12, 2016
Expiration date: 9/12/2016

September 12, 2016
2016-01489 (RO-8 Turkeycock Mountain)

The District Engineer received a proposal to develop a stream compensatory mitigation site for Federal and State permits as described below:

The Nature Conservancy
VAFO - Richmond
Attn: Karen Johnson
530 East Main Street, Suite 800
Richmond, Virginia 23219

WATERWAY AND LOCATION OF THE PROPOSED WORK: The proposed mitigation site (site) is located within a 55 acre property (14.2 acres mitigation site) located at 1021 Ravenscroft Road, Martinsville, Henry County, Virginia. The property is located along 3,655 foot of unnamed tributaries (including) of the West Fork and East Fork of Leatherwood Creek. The watersheds drain into the Smith River, and ultimately into the Dan and Roanoke Rivers. 

PROPOSED WORK AND PURPOSE: The sponsor proposes to establish, design, construct, and operate a compensatory stream mitigation site, to be known as Ravenscroft. The purpose of the mitigation project is to provide off-site compensatory mitigation for projects that result in unavoidable impacts to stream channels, improve water quality, and improve aquatic and riparian habitat in the Roanoke River Drainage Basin.

The Sponsor plans to exclude livestock along 4,135 linear feet of stream channel, restore and preserve approximately 3,655 linear feet of stream channel, and re-establish/enhance and preserve approximately 14 acres of riparian buffer. These restoration activities are proposed to generate approximately 6,777 stream credits which were estimated using the Virginia Unified Stream Methodology (USM). 

The sponsor proposed, for purposes of Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and/or Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, that the geographic service area of this mitigation site includes the primary HUC 03010103 and all or portions of the adjoining HUCs 03010101, 03010104, and 03010105. The proposed service area will include all or portions of the counties of Bedford, Campbell, Franklin, Halifax, Henry, Patrick, and Pittsylvania, and the towns or cities of Bedford, Danville, Martinsville, and South Boston.

Oversight of this mitigation site would be by an existing group of federal and state agency representatives. This interagency oversight group is known as the Interagency Review Team (IRT). The Norfolk District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality chair the IRT. 

This mitigation site may be one of a number of practicable options available to applicants to compensate for unavoidable stream impacts associated with permits issued under the authority of Section 404 and 401 of the Clean Water Act (Public Law 95-217) in Virginia.

The actual approval of the use of this mitigation site for a specific project is the decision of the Corps pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and/or Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act and by the Department of Environmental Quality pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act and Title 62.1 of the Code of Virginia. The Corps and the Department of Environmental Quality provide no guarantee that any particular individual or general permit will be granted authorization to use this mitigation site to compensate for unavoidable stream impacts associated with a proposed permit, even though compensatory mitigation may be available. Authorization by the Virginia Marine Resources Commission may also be required for its use for specific projects.

AUTHORITY: Issuance of a public notice regarding proposed mitigation sites is required pursuant to the “Compensatory Mitigation for Losses of Aquatic Resources; Final Rule,” (Rule) as published in the April 10, 2008, Federal Register, Vol. 73, No. 70, Pages 19594-19705 (33 CFR Parts 325 and 332).

FEDERAL EVALUATION OF PROPOSAL: 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 this proposed mitigation site amendment. This is not an application for work in Waters of the United States. The Corps of Engineers in evaluating this proposal will consider any comments received. Comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, conservation, economics, aesthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, 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, and consideration of property ownership. 

Preliminary review indicates that: (1) no environmental impact statement would be required; (2) after conducting the NAO ESA Project Review Process, no listed/proposed/candidate species 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. There may be an affect to listed/proposed/candidate species under the Endangered Species Act of 1973 and the Official Species List and Species Conclusion Table is 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.

COMMENT PERIOD: Comments or questions on this project should be made in writing, addressed to the Norfolk District, Corps of Engineers – Charlottesville Field Office (ATTN: Vincent Pero), 920 Gardens Boulevard, Suite 103-B, Charlottesville, VA 22901 or to vincent.d.pero@usace.army.mil with the project name and number in the subject line.  Comments must be received by the close of business on October 12, 2016.  Copies will be forwarded to the DEQ. Project prospectus and plans can be viewed at https://ribits.usace.army.mil/