NAV PN 13-01 Maintenance Dredging, Little Wicomico River

Published June 27, 2013



Pursuant to Sections 313 and 404 of the Clean Water Act of 1977 (33 USC 1223 and 1344) NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN THAT pending availability of funds, the Baltimore District, US Army Corps of Engineers proposes to perform maintenance dredging of the Federal navigation project at Little Wicomico River, Northumberland County, Virginia.

The proposed work consists of dredging the channel to the authorized depth of 8 feet, mean lower low water (MLLW), plus 2 feet of advanced maintenance dredging and 1 foot of allowable overdepth (Enclosure 1). Due to the inaccuracies in dredging, some material may be removed beyond the overdepth. However, it is typically a negligible amount. Approximately 12,000 cubic yards of material consisting primarily of sand, gravel, shell and combinations thereof, are to be dredged using a hydraulic pipeline dredge, from the outermost 1,100 feet of the channel and placed on the proposed beach area (Enclosure 2). The dredge pipeline will be routed to minimize impacts to the habitat of the northeastern beach tiger beetle, which is located along the beach between the placement site and the Federal channel entrance.

A review of data generated for preparation of the environmental assessment, including a preliminary 404(b) (1) evaluation, indicates that no significant environmental impacts are expected and that preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement is not warranted. National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) documentation addressing the environmental issues of the dredging and disposal operation is being prepared and is anticipated to be an Environmental Assessment and a Finding of No Significant Impact, which will be available upon request. The proposed maintenance dredging complies with and will be conducted in a manner consistent with the approved Maryland and Virginia Coastal Zone Management Programs. The proposed project will also comply with the Endangered Species Act and provisions of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act, as amended, and as such, will not have any adverse affect on endangered species or essential fish habitat for federally managed species.

Maintenance of the project is being coordinated with the following Federal, State and Local agencies: US Environmental Protection Agency; US Department of Interior, Fish and Wildlife Service; US Department of Commerce, National Marine Fisheries Service; Maryland Department of Natural Resources; Maryland Department of the Environment; Maryland Historical Trust; Virginia Department of Environmental Quality; Virginia, Department of Historic Resources; Virginia Marine Resource Commission; Virginia Institute of Marine Science; Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation; Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; and Northumberland County, Virginia.

The decision whether to accomplish the work proposed in this public notice will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact of the proposed work on the public interest. The decision will reflect the national concern for the protection and utilization of important resources. The benefit, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered; among those are conservation, aesthetics, fish and wildlife values, general environmental concerns, economics, historic values, navigation, energy needs, recreation, safety, water quality, food production, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. The work will not be accomplished unless it is found to be in the public interest.

Designation of the proposed placement site for dredged material associated with this Federal project shall be made through the application of guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, in conjunction with the Secretary of the Army. If these guidelines alone prohibit the designation of the proposed placement site, any potential impairment to the maintenance of navigation including any economic impact on navigation and anchorage which would result from the failure to use the placement site will also be considered.

Any person who has an interest which may be affected by the placement of this dredged material may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer, US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, P.O. Box 1715, Baltimore, Maryland 21203-1715, within 30 days of the date of this notice and must clearly set forth the interest which may be affected and the manner in which the interest may be affected by this activity.

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore District, has applied for Water Quality Certification from the State of Maryland. Any comments relating to water quality concerns should also be forwarded to the Maryland Department of the Environment, Standards and Certification, Montgomery Park Business Center, 1800 Washington Boulevard, Suite 430, Baltimore, Maryland, 21230 within 30 days of the date of this notice.

Please communicate the foregoing information regarding the proposed work to any persons known by you to be interested and whom not being known to this office, do not receive a copy of this notice. Please contact Mr. Robert Blama at (410) 962-6068 or Ms. Heather Batchelder at (410) 962-3687, if there are any questions regarding this matter.