Virginia CZM Program: 2016 Coastal Grant Project Description and Final Summary

Project Task:VA CZM logo

2

Grantee:

Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Project Title:

EIR and Federal Consistency

Project Description:

The following activities will be performed as part of this project:

- Conduct federal consistency reviews of activities which can affect Virginia's coastal uses and resources pursuant to the CZMA and the federal consistency regulations.
- Coordinate Virginia's review of environmental documents for development of federal and state facilities and actions in Tidewater, Virginia which require federal approvals or assistance.
- Continue to update Virginia's EIR manual and federal consistency information packages as necessary to reflect legislative and policy changes.
- Provide interpretation of federal consistency requirements to federal agencies, applicants for federal permits, approvals, or funding, and consultants preparing consistency determinations or certifications. 
- Provide technical assistance to state reviewers and local government officials on the use of federal consistency and conduct group trainings (when there are opportunities to do so) at workshops sponsored by other agencies.
- Maintain and update the EIR/Federal Consistency website.
- Ensure public participation in the review of federal consistency documents to include publishing notices of consistency reviews in appropriate media such as DEQ’s website, Town Hall Register, local newspapers and holding public hearings when necessary
- Digitize files for integration into DEQ’s Enterprise Content Management (ECM) system
- Conduct site visits as necessary.

Federal Funding:

$207,800

Project Contact:

Bettina Sullivan, 804.698.4204, Bettina.sullivan@deq.virginia.gov

Project Status:

10/1/16 - 9/30/17; Project Completed

Final Product:

Final Project Summary serves as Final Product

Project Summary:

During the period of October 1, 2016 and September 30, 2017, the Office of Environmental Impact Review/Federal Consistency (OEIR) reviewed 199 development projects and management plans for consistency with the Virginia Coastal Zone Management Program (CZMP).  Federal consistency reviews included 100 federal actions and 99 federally funded projects. The 100 federal actions included 44 federal agency activities, 41 federal licenses and approvals, and 0 outer continental shelf projects. The 44 federal agency activities included 26 projects submitted under the residual category pursuant to the federal consistency regulation (15 CFR 930.31(c)), which consisted of U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) mortgage insurance projects.   All federal consistency determinations and federal consistency certifications were completed within the established legal deadlines.   

Of the 199 projects reviewed under federal consistency, all were found to be consistent with the enforceable policies of the CZMP two were modified based on OEIR’s review:

Reissuance and Modification of the Nationwide Permits and Virginia Regional Conditions, Norfolk District U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: The activities that qualify for the NWPs must meet the requirements of DEQ’s Virginia Water Protection Permit Regulation (9 VAC 25-210-130) and the permittee must abide by the conditions of the NWP.  DEQ-OWSP will identify any specific NWP exceptions and conditions upon completion of the certification process.  DEQ will process an individual application for a permit or a certificate or otherwise take action pursuant to 9 VAC 25-210-80 et seq. for those activities covered by an NWPs that have not received blanket §401 CWA Water Quality Certification.  The Corps should forward pre-construction notifications to DEQ for applicants that do not comply with or cannot meet the conditions of the §401 CWA Water Quality Certification.  Further, the Commonwealth reserves its right to require an individual application for a permit or a certificate or otherwise take action on any specific project that could otherwise be covered under any of the NWPs when it determines on a case-by-case basis that concerns for water quality and the aquatic environment so indicate.

Atlantic Coast Pipeline, Cities of Suffolk and Chesapeake: The applicant agreed to implement additional mitigation measures to improve sediment controls during three open cut crossings of state waters. 

In addition, OEIR approved one General Negative Determination submitted by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development:

HUD Finance Transactions General Negative Determination: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) provides federal financial assistance to applicants to finance transactions that are intended to obtain or preserve funding for existing properties, which involve no proposed ground disturbance and no development activities of any kind.  This action applies to properties that require the completion of a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) and HUD 4128 Environmental Assessment and Compliance.  The Baltimore Field Office of HUD anticipates that there would be approximately one hundred (100) HUD finance transactions over a determined period of five (5) years in Virginia with no proposed ground disturbance.  Based on the administrative nature of the financing transaction, under the Coastal Zone Management Act §307(c)(1) and 15 CFR 930, Subpart C, HUD has determined that these proposed federal actions will have no effect on the coastal uses and/or natural resources of Virginia that are addressed by the nine enforceable policies of the Virginia Coastal Zone Management (CZM) Program.

The Fiscal Year 2016 grant included a contractual amount of $2,250 to allow the electronic scanning of historic federal consistency review files. It has been determined that the use of a contract to complete the scanning project is not the most efficient means and scanning of files will be completed internally.

On March 1, 2017, the OEIR manager attended the Coastal States Organization (CSO) Legal Council meeting in Washington, DC. The annual CSO Legal Council meeting brings together state attorneys and program managers to discuss timely and prominent legal issues impacting the coastal states. It is an opportunity for states to provide an update on key issues and cases, share ideas and learn from one another’s undertakings, and an opportunity to network and meet counterparts from across the nation. This year’s meeting focused on litigation issues between states and the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

The OEIR continues to provide informal training on federal consistency requirements to consultants who prepare consistency documents for federal agencies and applicants for federal permits and maintains a website for Federal Consistency Reviews which can be accessed through DEQ's main webpage or found at

http://www.deq.virginia.gov/Programs/EnvironmentalImpactReview.aspx.     The OEIR webpage is updated weekly. 

Disclaimer: This project summary provides the federal dollars initially awarded to the grantee. Due to underexpenditure or reprogramming of grant funds, this figure may change. For more information on the allocation of coastal grant funds, please contact Laura McKay, Virginia Coastal Program Manager, at 804.698.4323 or email: Laura.McKay@deq.virginia.gov

A more detailed Scope of Work for this project is available. Please direct your request for a copy to Virginia.Witmer@deq.virginia.gov or April.Bahen@deq.virginia.gov.

 

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Virginia Department of
Environmental Quality
P.O. Box 1105
Richmond, VA 23218
(804) 698-4000


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