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COMMISSION ACTIONS JANUARY 28, 2014


** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE MEETING AGENDA WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
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1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE MINUTES OF THE COMMISSION’S DECEMBER MEETING WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY. 
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2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THESE TWO SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS ITEMS 2A, 2B AND 2C, WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.  ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BRYAN PLUMLEE ABSTAINEDFROM THE VOTE ON ITEM 2C.
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3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSTHESE “PAGE 3” ITEMS, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS ITEMS 3A, 3B, AND 3C WERE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED PER STAFF RECOMMENDATION AND WITH THE AGREED UPON CIVIL CHARGE IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION.
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4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  NONE.
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5.  JOHN and JO ANN KIRKPATRICK, #13-0410, request authorization to construct a 54.5-foot by 6-foot addition to their previously permitted 1,220 square foot T-head pier and dockhouse situated adjacent to their property along Chesconessex Creek at 18192 Robins Lane in Accomack County.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE REQUEST CONDITIONED UPON THE KIRKPATRICKS’ OFFER TO REMOVE THE REMAINS OF A DETERIORATED ABANDONED CRABHOUSE LOCATED ON THE CREEK AS A FORM OF MITIGATION.  THE REMOVAL OF THE DERELICT STRUCTURE MUST BECOMPLETED PRIOR TO CONSTRUCTION OF THE AUTHORZED ADDITION AND THE KIRKPATRICKS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OBTAINING AUTHORIZATION FROM THE OWNERS OF THE OLD CRABHOUSE.
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6.  PUBLIC COMMENT. 

•  MR. JAMES LANG, AN ATTORNEY REPRESENTING A WATERFRONT PROPERTY OWNER, PROVIDED COMMENT ON THE STATUS AND REMOVAL OF NUMEROUS VESSELS IN A SECTION OF THE ELIZABETH RIVER, WHICH ARE REPORTED TO BE EITHER ABANDONED OR DERELICT.  DURING THE DECEMBER COMMISSION MEETING MR. LANG HAD REQUESTED THE COMMISSION ACT TO REQUIRE REMOVAL. HE INDICATED THREE VESSELS WERE REMOVED AND A FOURTH WAS PARTIALLY REMOVED, BUT MORE NEED TO BE DONE.  THIS IS AN ONGOING INVESTIGATION FOR THE COMMISSION’S LAW ENFORCEMENT DIVISION AND ACTION IS BEING PURSUED JOINTLY WITH THE CITY OF NORFOLK.

•  WATERMAN ERNEST GEORGE MADE A REQUEST TO THE COMMISSION TO REOPEN PUBLIC OYSTER AREAS 2 AND 4 OF THE RAPPAHANNOCK RIVER FOR TWO WEEKS EACH DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, DUE TO POOR WEATHER CONDITIONS.  THE COMMISSION DISCUSSED THE REQUEST WITH DR. JIM WESSON, OYSTER REPLETION MANAGER, AND DECIDED TO TAKE NO ACTION ON THE REQUEST.

•  MR. ROB O’REILLY SPOKE ON BEHALF OF PETE BENDER. MR. BENDER HAS SUBMITTED TWO LETTERS TO STAFF CONCERNING THE DECEMBER 10TH, 2013 HORSESHOE CRAB REGULATION THAT WAS ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION.  MR. BENDER IS CONCERNED ABOUT AN INCREASE IN EFFORT FROM CLASS B DREDGE PERMIT HOLDERS. 
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7.  REPEAT OFFENDERS. THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO REVOKE THE LICENSE OF A RECREATIONAL FISHERMAN FOR A PERIOD OF TWO YEARS. 
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8.  VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE: Presentation of Dr. Bob Orth's annual review of the status of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation.  DR. BOB ORTH GAVE THE COMMISSION A PRESENTATION ON THE STATUS OF SUBMERGED AQUATIC VEGETATION (SAV). SAV SERVES AS AN INDICATOR TO ASSESS WATER QUALITY AND CLARITY WITHIN THE CHESAPEAKE BAY AND COASTAL AREAS.  EELGRASS ABUNDANCE IS A CONCERN IN THE LOWER BAY, AS THE DATA FROM 2012 INDICATES SUBSTANTIAL REDUCTIONS IN AREAS OF GRASS BEDS.  THE SAV SANCTUARY, AQUACULTURE EFFORTS, AND PROPELLER SCARRING REQUIRES CONTINUED MONITORING TO ASSIST IN PRESERVING THE SAV AREAS. IN ADDITION, EELGRASS IN THE COASTAL BAYS ON THE SEASIDE OF THE EASTERN SHORE IS RECOVERING WELL.  VMRC AND VIMS DISCUSSED COLLABORATING ON SEA SCALLOP RESTORATION AREAS, AND VIMS WILL DEVELOP PROPOSED RESTORATION AREAS TO PRESENT TO THE COMMISSION AT A LATER DATE.  DR ORTH EXPLAINED THA WATER QUALITY AND CLARITY IS KEY TO THE RESTABLISHMENT OF SAV.  HE ANTICIPATES BENEFITS WILL ACCRUE FOR SAV AND THEIR ASSOCIATED HABITATS FROM THE NEW STORMWATER REGULATIONS.

THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE THE FUNDING REQUEST FOR $22,000.  THE MOTION WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED.  THE FUNDING IS A CONTINUATION OF THE BOAT SCARRING PROJECT, WHICH MONITORS PROPELLER SCARRING IN SEA GRASS BEDS. $11,000 OF THE FUNDING IS FROM THE MARINE FISHING IMPROVEMENT FUND, AND THE REMAINING $11,000 IS FROM THE VIRGINIA SALTWATER RECREATIONAL FISHING DEVELOPMENT FUND. 
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9.  PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed adoption of previous emergency amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-260-10 et seq. “Pertaining to Designation of Seed Areas and Clean Cull Areas,” to clarify to clarify culling tolerances and inspection procedures for oysters taken from public oyster beds, rocks and shoals in Virginia’s tidal waters.  FISHERIES MANAGEMENT STAFF PRESENTED TO THE COMMISSION AN ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS TO CLARIFY CULLING TOLERANCES AND INSPECTION PROCEDURES FOR OYSTERS TAKEN FROM PUBLIC AREAS.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION TO ADOPT THE PREVIOUS EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-260-10 ET SEQ. “PERTAINING TO DESIGNATION OF SEED AREAS AND CLEAN CULL AREAS.” 
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10.  PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed adoption of previous emergency amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-490-10 et seq. “Pertaining to Sharks,” to increase the daily commercial trip limit for spiny dogfish from 3,300 pounds to 4,000 pounds.  FISHERIES MANAGEMENT STAFF PRESENTED TO THE COMMISSION AN ADOPTION OF PREVIOUS EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS TO INCREASE THE DAILY COMMERCIAL TRIP LIMIT FOR SPINY DOGFISH TO 4,000 POUNDS.  THE 2013-2014 SPINY DOGFISH QUOTA INCREASED 17% FROM THE 2012-2013 QUOTA, AND THROUGH THE ASMFC, STATES ARE ALLOWED TO SET THEIR OWN TRIP LIMITS UP TO A 4,000 POUND MAXIMUM.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED A MOTION TO ACCEPT STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION TO ADOPT PREVIOUS EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-490-10 ET SEQ. “PERTAINING TO SHARKS.” 
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11.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-490-10 et seq. “Pertaining to Sharks,” to comply with the federal and interstate management plans for these species. FISHERIES MANAGEMENT STAFF MADE A REQUEST FOR A PUBLIC HEARING FOR THE FEBRUARY 25, 2014 COMMISSION MEETING TO PROPOSE AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC20-490-10 ET SEQ. “PERTAINING TO SHARKS” TO COMPLY WITH THE FEDERAL AND INTERSTATE MANAGEMENT PLANS FOR THESE SPECIES.  THE PROPOSAL WOULD AMEND THE SHARK MANAGEMENT GROUP DEFINITIONS, ESTABLISH A RECREATIONAL SIZE LIMIT OF 78 INCHES FOR HAMMERHEAD SHARKS, AND INCREASE THE AGGREGATE COMMERCIAL POSSESSION LIMIT FOR LARGE COASTAL SHARKS TO 36 SHARKS.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY ACCEPTED STAFF’S RECOMMENDATION TO ADVERTISE FOR A FEBRUARY 25TH, 2014 PUBLIC HEARING TO ADDRESS THE PROPOSED AMENDMENTS. 
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THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY,  WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BRYAN PLUMLEE ABSTAINING FROM THE VOTE ON ITEM 2C.

2A.  ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, #13-1611, request authorization for overboard disposal of up to 3 million cubic yards of state-owned subaqueous bottom material per dredge cycle within previously authorized placement sites, adjacent to the federal navigation channel associated with Army Corps of Engineers dredging of the James River federal navigation channel at City Point Shoal, Jordan Point Shoal, Sandy Point Shoal, and Goose Hill Shoal from Milepost 69 to Milepost 27 within the James River in the Counties of James City, Surry, Prince George, Charles City, Chesterfield and the City of Hopewell. 

2B.  ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, #12-1255, requests a permit modification to place overboard in an unconfined manner, dredge material from the Bradford Bay Federal Project Channel onto a previously permitted placement site in Bradford Bay (centered at N37º35’02”, W75º40’53”) near the Town of Wachapreague in Accomack County.  The placement site’s dredge material will increase by 15,000 cubic yards to a maximum of 75,000 cubic yards, per dredge cycle, from the hydraulic maintenance dredging.  All other permit conditions would remain the same.

2C.  BAE SYSTEMS NORFOLK SHIP REPAIR, #13-0940, requests authorization to maintenance dredge a maximum of 150,000 cubic yards of State-owned submerged land on an as-needed basis, to maintain depths ranging from -36 feet to -64 feet mean low water adjacent to existing piers and drydocks at their facility located at 750 West Berkley Avenue situated along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk.  Dredged material will barged to the Craney Island Dredged Material Management Area (CIDMMA) and disposed of in the Rehandling Basin.

PAGE THREE THE FOLLOWING CONSENT AGENDA “PAGE 3” ITEMS WERE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF AND WITH THE AGREED UPON CIVIL CHARGE IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION.


3A.  TOMMY GARNER, #13-1760, requests after-the-authorization to retain 596 square feet of deck space on an existing open-pile private pier, and requests authorization to install an additional 69 linear feet of 5-foot wide finger pier, a boat lift, and an additional 72 square feet of deck space on the existing pier located along Deep Creek at 635 Snug Harbor Lane in the City of Newport News.  The applicant has agreed to pay a civil charge in the amount of $2,000.00 in lieu of further enforcement action.  Staff recommends approval and acceptance of the aforementioned civil charge. 

3B.  TARKILL AQUACULTURE VENTURES, LLC, #13-1660, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 32-foot by 20-foot platform; a 30-foot by 7-foot finger pier; a small connecting platform; a 40-foot by 12-foot floating upweller and a 56-foot by 52-foot platform (of which a 40-foot by 40-foot portion had previous been permitted) situated adjacent to their property along Tarkill Creek at 14008 Tarkill Road in Accomack County.  The applicant also requests authorization to construct a 40-foot by 30-foot second story platform with access stairs over the already constructed 56-foot by 52-foot open-sided platform.  The applicant has agreed to pay a civil charge in the amount of $2,000.00 in lieu of further enforcement action along with a triple permit fee of $300.00 and royalties in the amount of $3,468.00 for the additional platform encroachment over 2,312 square feet of State-owned subaqueous land at a rate of $1.50 per square foot and $28.80 for the floating upweller encroachment over 576 square feet State-owned subaqueous land at a rate of $0.05 per square foot.  Staff recommends approval and acceptance of the aforementioned civil charge, permit fee and royalties. 

3C.  SANDIE POINT CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, #13-0239, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain an existing 10-foot wide by 16-foot long gazebo, and to install 16 additional, uncovered boatlifts at their community-use pier adjacent to Sandie Point Lane situated along the Western Branch of the Elizabeth River in Portsmouth.  The applicant has agreed to pay a civil charge in the amount of $1,000.00 in lieu of further enforcement action.  Staff recommends approval and acceptance of the aforementioned civil charge.


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