Final Notice and Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain

Final Notice and Public Explanation of a Proposed Activity in a 100-Year Floodplain

 

To:  All interested Agencies USACE, VMRC, DHCD, ARC, and DEQ, Groups and Individuals

 

This is to give notice that the Friends of Southwest Virginia under Part 58 has conducted an evaluation as required by Executive Order 11988, in accordance with HUD regulations at 24 CFR 55.20 Subpart C Procedures for Making Determinations on Floodplain Management and Wetlands Protection.  The activity is funded under the ARC POWER and Appalachian Regional Commission under Grant No: PW-18728-IM-B. The Giles County Boat Ramps Project includes four proposed ramps, parking, and access that will be located along the New River within the100-year floodplain including one in Eggleston (37.2856, -80.6168) and three along Shumate Falls Road (37.3830, -80.8796; 37.3979, -80.8506; and 37.4099, -80.8567). A fifth ramp for kayaks and canoes will be located on Rich Creek just upstream of its confluence with the New River near Island Street in the Town of Rich Creek (37.3832, -80.8241). The estimated acreage of floodplain that will be affected is between 0.2 and 0.3 acres at each location.

 

Friends of Southwest Virginia has considered the following alternatives and mitigation measures to be taken to minimize adverse impacts and to restore and preserve natural and beneficial values: The development of boat ramps to allow greater access to the local waterways doesn’t allow for moving the projects sites outside of the floodplain areas.  Four of the five locations selected are already developed with three of them developed as informal boat ramps. As unimproved boat landings, they have varying degrees of historical and recent disturbance and are characterized by ruts, depressions and un-vegetated areas that are subject to ponding and/or erosion. Access to the river under current conditions is not easy or safe.  Since relocation is not feasible, a no action alternative is the only alternative. However, the County has determined that there is a need for additional safe access to the river by residents and as part of the County’s goal to attract tourists and the project should proceed as planned.

 

The engineer has designed the site plan for each location so that outside fill is not required at any of the sites.  For the State Line Landing, Sandbar Landing, and Shumate Landing locations, the site work will include tree clearing, minor grading, and the installation of the access road, parking area, and boat ramp.  There will be no excavation or fill required at these sites. At the Eggleston location, similar work as the other locations will be completed along with some onsite fill that will be required to build up an area for the installation of the access road.  All of the fill will be able to come from onsite. No fill will be required to be brought in from off-site resulting in ‘no net fill’ at this location. At the Rich Creek location, there will be removal of fill to create a kayak/canoe slide to the water’s edge.  There will be no excavation or addition of fill to this site.

 

Additionally, since all locations require some tree removal, the removal of these ‘obstructions’ will further act to reduce impacts to the floodplain.  The consulting engineer will provide to the County the appropriate documentation to support a no-rise certification based on a hydrologic determination for all sites.  The County will comply with state and local floodplain procedures.

 

Friends of Southwest Virginia has reevaluated the alternatives to building in the floodplain and has determined that it has no practicable alternative.  Environmental files that document compliance with steps 3 through 6 of Executive Order 11988, are available for public inspection, review and copying upon request at the times and location delineated in the last paragraph of this notice for receipt of comments.

 

There are three primary purposes for this notice.  First, people who may be affected by activities in floodplains and those who have an interest in the protection of the natural environment should be given an opportunity to express their concerns and provide information about these areas.  Second, an adequate public notice program can be an important public educational tool. The dissemination of information and request for public comment about floodplains can facilitate and enhance Federal efforts to reduce the risks and impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of these special areas. Third, as a matter of fairness, when the Federal government determines it will participate in actions taking place in floodplains, it must inform those who may be put at greater or continued risk.

 

Written comments must be received by the Friends of Southwest Virginia at the following address on or before Thursday, June 21, 2018:  Friends of Southwest Virginia, One Heartwood Circle, Abingdon, VA 24210 and (276) 492-2424, Attention: Chris Cannon, Executive Director.  A full description of the project may also be reviewed from 8 am to 5 pm at CHA Consulting, Inc. between 8 am and 5 pm at 1341 Research Center Drive, Suite 2100, Blacksburg, VA 24060.  Comments may also be submitted via email at ccannon@myswva.org.

 

Date: June 6, 2018

 

 

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