4. CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY, COUNSEL. NONE [audio]
5. SEAGATE TERMINALS, L.L.C., #14-1667 requests authorization to modify an existing authorized project, to impact additional non-vegetated wetlands resulting from the construction of an outfall, to construct a 10-foot by 20-foot fire suppression equipment platform and intake pipe on the proposed concrete access dock, to construct an approximate 1,240 square foot mooring dolphin and associated fender system on the southern end of the main wharf, to include additional 6-pile timber bumpers on the southeast and southwest corners of the main wharf, to relocate the proposed 19-pile timber clusters, and to construct two (2) pipe piles with rolling tire fender systems north of the South Norfolk Jordan Bridge in association with a proposed marine terminal facility adjacent to their property located at Jefferson Street situated along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MODIFICATION WITH ALL PREVIOUS PERMIT CONDITIONS REMAINING IN PLACE AND A ONE-TIME STANDARD ROYALTY PAYMENT OF $60,750.00 FOR THE DREDGING OF 135,000 CUBIC YARDS OF STATE-OWNED SUBAQUEOUS MATERIAL (REDUCED FROM 137,500 CUBIC YARDS) AT A RATE OF $0.45 PER CUBIC YARD AND A PERMIT EXPIRATION DATE OF FEBRUARY 24, 2020. [audio]
6. CHERRY HILL CONSTRUCTION, INC., #15-0777 requests authorization to impact tidal wetlands in Boush Creek associated with the construction of the I-564 Intermodal Connector Project, which includes 2.5 miles of roadway alignment, including two (2) bridge crossings of Boush Creek, in the City of Norfolk. The proposal also includes impacts to State-owned submerged lands along the Elizabeth River resulting from the construction of an associated outfall. The project requires a wetlands and subaqueous permit. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED CONDITIONED UPON THE PURCHASE OF 50,530 SQUARE FEET OF TIDAL WETLANDS CREDITS FROM THE LIBERTYVILLE MITIGATION BANK. [audio]
7. JEFFREY PAXTON, #14-1604 requests after-the-fact authorization to retain an existing oversized pier that encroaches over approximately 800 square feet of State-owned submerged land and to construct a 32-foot wide by 41-foot long open-sided roof over two (2) existing boatlifts and existing pier decking, and to construct four (4) mooring piles adjacent to 2634 Janson Drive situated along Drum Point Creek in Chesapeake. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AS PROPOSED CONDITIONED UPON THE PAYMENT OF A $1000.00 CIVIL CHARGE AND A TRIPLE PERMIT FEE OF $300 IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION. [audio]
8. OYSTER PLANTING GROUND APPLICATIONS: JEROME BONNIVILLE, #2013-163; JEROME BONNIVILLE, #2013-164; CARL SETTERHOLM, #2014-028; JENNIFER BONNIVILLE, #2014-040; JENNIFER BONNIVILLE, #2014-050; SHANNON FEDORS, #2014-075; JOHNNIE TYNES, #2014-091; DONNA MELZER, #2014-088 All applications are the subject of a protest and a petition requesting the Commission set the areas aside for either public clam grounds or as areas not to be leased and left for other public uses to include clamming, fish haul areas, fixed fishing device areas and crabbing. All the applications are within the York River downstream of the U. S. Route 17 Coleman Bridge in Gloucester and York Counties. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO DENY A PETITION REQUEST TO SET ASIDE THE REMAINING UNLEASED GROUND IN THE YORK RIVER DOWNSTREAM OF THE COLEMAN BRIDGE. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED LEASE APPLICATION #2013-163 CONDITIONED UPON THE LEASE BEING SUBJECTED TO A HISTORIC SURVEY AND NO HISTORIC RESOURCES BEING IDENTIFIED AND DIRECTED STAFF TO CONTINUE PROCESSING LEASE APPLICATION #2014-040. LEASE APPLICATIONS #2013-164 AND #2014-050 WERE UNANIMOUSLY DENIED. IN A SEPARATE ACTION, THE COMMISSION VOTED 7-2 WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER TANKARD AND COMMISSIONER BULL OPPOSED, TO TABLE ACTION ON #2014-028 AND #2014-088 PENDING RECEIPT OF MORE INFORMATION CONCERNING THE PRESENCE AND LOCATION OF HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT SUBMERGED ARTIFACTS. FINALLY, THE COMMISSION VOTED 6-3 WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS ERSKINE, FRANCE, AND MINOR OPPOSED, TO DENY LEASE APPLICATIONS #2014-075 AND #2014-091. [audio]
9. PUBLIC COMMENTS MR. RICHARD GREEN ASKED THE COMMISSION TO CONSIDER SETTING UP A COMMITTEE FOR EACH RIVER WHICH WOULD MAKE DECISIONS ABOUT OYSTER HARVESTS. MR. BRIAN HUBBARD ASKED THE COMMISSION TO CONSIDER CHANGING THE BUSHEL SIZE TO A TRUE BUSHEL. [audio]
10. OFFENDERS: THE COMMISSION HEARD 7 CASES OF OFFENDERS WITH NATURAL RESOURCE VIOLATIONS. [audio]
11. FAILURE TO REPORTCases involving failure to report commercial harvests, in accordance with Chapter 4 VAC 20-610-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting." THE COMMISSION HEARD 3 CASES FOR THE FAILURE TO REPORT COMMERCIAL HARVEST TO THE COMMISSION'S MANDATORY HARVEST REPORTING PROGRAM. [audio]
12. PUBLIC HEARINGChapter 4 VAC 20-720-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Restrictions on Oyster Harvest," request to establish the 2015-2016 public oyster harvest seasons and management measures that could include, but are not limited to, lower bushel limits and effort limitations. TO PROTECT OYSTER STOCKS, THE STABILITY OF THE OYSTER FISHERY AND THE CULTCH AND FUTURE PRODUCTIVITY OF PUBLIC OYSTER BEDS, STAFF REQUESTS APPROVAL OF AMENDMENTS TO CHAPTER 4VAC 20-720-10, ET SEQ., "PERTAINING TO RESTRICTIONS ON OYSTER HARVEST," WHICH INCLUDE:
•ALL INDIVIDUALS CURRENTLY ELIGIBLE TO PURCHASE AN OYSTER HAND SCRAPE OR OYSTER DREDGE LICENSE THAT HAVE NOT PURCHASED THESE GEAR TYPES AFTER JUNE 30, 2013 BECOME INELIGIBLE FOR THE PURCHASE OF THESE GEAR TYPES AFTER NOVEMBER 30, 2015 (4VAC 20-720-15B-D) PASSED
•ALL INDIVIDUALS THAT PURCHASED AN OYSTER HAND SCRAPE OR OYSTER DREDGE GEAR LICENSE, BUT REPORTED NO HARVEST DURING THE 2013-2014 OR 2014-2015 OYSTER HARVEST SEASON BECOME INELIGIBLE TO PURCHASE THESE GEAR TYPES AFTER NOVEMBER 30, 2015. (4VAC 20-720-15B-D) PASSED
•ALL INDIVIDUALS THAT PURCHASED AN OYSTER HAND SCRAPE OR OYSTER DREDGE LICENSE AND REPORTED LESS THAN 20 DAYS OF HARVEST DURING THE 2013-2014 AND/OR 2014-2015 OYSTER HARVEST SEASONS BECOME INELIGIBLE TO PURCHASE THESE GEAR TYPES AFTER NOVEMBER 30, 2015. (4VAC 20-720-15B-D) PASSED
•A GEAR TRANSFER PROCESS BE ESTABLISHED, THAT WOULD BEGIN ON JANUARY 1, 2016. THIS PROCESS ALLOWS CURRENT OYSTER HAND SCRAPE AND OYSTER DREDGE LICENSES TO BE TRANSFERRED WITHIN FAMILIES, AT DEATH, OR BETWEEN COMMERCIAL FISHERMEN UNDER PRESCRIBED CONDITIONS. (4VAC 20-720-15F) PASSED
•AN APPEAL PROCESS IS ESTABLISHED FOR A COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN TO APPEAL THE STATUS OF LICENSE INELIGIBILITY. (4VAC 20-720-15E) PASSED
STAFF RECOMMENDS THESE FURTHER AMENDMENTS TO LIMIT EFFORT BY METHODS OTHER THAN LIMITED ENTRY.
•OYSTER PATENT TONG LICENSE BE ADDED TO THE LIST OF SUSPENDED LICENSES SALES AND THAT THE SUSPENDED LICENSE SALES BE LIMITED TO THE TIME PERIOD BEGINNING JULY 1, 2013. (4VAC 20-720-15B) PASSED
•NO PERSON SHALL SERVE AS AN AGENT FOR ANY PUBLIC OYSTER GEAR LICENSES. (4VAC 20-720-15G) PASSED
•AMENDMENTS TO SEASON DATES AND AREAS AS DESCRIBED IN 4VAC 20-720-40. PASSED
•FROM OCTOBER 1, 2015, THROUGH DECEMBER 31,2015. IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL TO TAKE, CATCH, OR POSSESS OYSTERS ON WEDNESDAY FROM THE PUBLIC OYSTER GROUNDS OR UNASSIGNED GROUNDS FROM ALL OYSTER HAND SCRAPE AND OYSTER DREDGE AREAS THAT ARE OPEN FOR HARVEST. (4VAC 20-720-60B) CHANGED TO FRIDAY INSTEAD OF WEDNESDAY, THEN PASSED.
•AMENDMENTS TO ALLOW A MAXIMUM OF 8 BUSHELS PER REGISTERED COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN LICENSEES WHO HAVE PAID AN OYSTER RESOURCE USER FEE, WITH A MAXIMUM DAILY VESSEL LIMIT OF 16 BUSHELS FOR HAND SCRAPE AND DREDGE AREAS. (4VAC 20-720-
80A) DID NOT PASS. REMAINED AT THE CURRENT 24 BUSHELS LIMIT PER VESSEL
•AMENDMENTS TO ALLOW A MAXIMUM OF 8 BUSHELS PER MAN, WITH THE VESSEL LIMIT DETERMINED BY THE NUMBER OF REGISTERED COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN LICENSEES WHO HAVE PAID THE OYSTER RESOURCE USER FEE MULTIPLIED BY 8 FOR ALL HAND TONG AREAS EXCEPT THE JAMES RIVER AND FOR THE DEEP ROCK PATENT TONG AREA. (4VAC 20-720-80B) PASSED
•AMENDMENTS TO ESTABLISH A MAXIMUM LIMIT OF 12 BUSHELS OF CLEAN CULL OYSTERS PER MAN, WITH THE VESSEL LIMIT DETERMINED BY THE NUMBER OF REGISTERED COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN LICENSEES WHO HAVE PAID THE OYSTER RESOURCE USER FEE MULTIPLIED BY 12 FOR ALL JAMES RIVER HAND TONG AREAS.(4VAC 20-720-80C) PASSED [audio]
13. PUBLIC HEARING Chapter 4 VAC 20-280-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Speckled Trout and Red Drum," request to conform the penalty section with recent changes to the Code of Virginia. THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO APPROVE STAFF RECOMMENDATION TO CONFORM THE PENALTY SECTION OF 4VAC 20-280-10 ET SEQ., WITH RECENT CHANGES TO THE CODE OF VIRGINIA. [audio]
14. REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING
1) Proposed amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-110-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Lobsters," to establish a bycatch permit for the harvest of American lobster in State waters.: The Commission voted unanimously to approve the staff recommendation to advertise for a September 22, 2015 public hearing for proposed amendments to Chapter 4 VAC 20-110-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Lobsters," to establish a bycatch permit for the harvest of American lobster in State waters. [audio]
15. DISCUSSION The Virginia Institute of Marine Science will give a presentation on the results of an investigation of the potential impact of the Gwynn's Island bridge rehabilitation work on mortality in a nearby oyster hatchery. THE PRESENTATION WAS DELAYED. [audio]
2A. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, #15-0786 requests authorization to place up to 500,000 cubic yards of dredge material per dredge cycle, from the Tribell Shoal Federal Channel, in a previously approved and utilized open-water disposal area adjacent to the north reach of the Federal Channel in the James River, centered at approximately
N37-13.0683, W76-40.3785 in James City and Surry Counties. Staff recommends approval and a time-of-year restriction for dredge material placement from February 15th through June 30th of any year to protect anadromous fish species. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED WITH A TIME-OF-YEAR RESTRICTION FOR DREDGE MATERIAL PLACEMENT FROM FEBRUARY 15TH THROUGH JUNE 15TH OF ANY YEAR TO PROTECT ANADROMOUS FISH SPECIES.
2B. METRO FIBER NETWORKS, INC., #15-0701 requests authorization to install two (2) 1.36-inch diameter fiber optic telecommunication cables, using direction boring and ploughing methodologies, under 13,455 linear feet of State-owned subaqueous bottom of Hampton Roads, east of the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel, from Fort Monroe to Willoughby Spit in the Cities Hampton and Norfolk. Staff recommends approval of the project with a royalty of $80,730.00 for the encroachment under 26,910 linear feet of State-owned subaqueous bottom at a rate of $3.00 per linear foot and a special permit condition that the applicant shall adhere to the submitted frac-out monitoring response plan. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED WITH A ROYALTY OF $80,730.00 FOR THE ENCROACHMENT UNDER 26,910 LINEAR FEET OF STATE-OWNED SUBAQUEOUS BOTTOM AT A RATE OF $3.00 PER LINEAR FOOT AND A SPECIAL PERMIT CONDITION THAT THE APPLICANT SHALL ADHERE TO THE SUBMITTED FRAC-OUT MONITORING RESPONSE PLAN.
2C. BAE SYSTEMS, #13-0827 requests authorization to modify an existing permit, to install an additional 3,877 linear feet of security barrier which encircle and protect U.S. Naval ships undergoing overhauls and repairs at their facility at 750 West Berkley Avenue situated along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Norfolk. Existing permit conditions remain in effect. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MODIFICATION AS PROPOSED.
2D. ELIZABETH RIVER CROSSINGS, OPCO LLC, #11-1116 requests authorization to modify an existing permit, to extend the Norfolk permanent bulkhead wall an additional 66-feet channelward, to include 12 steel pipe piles as part of a pipe pile fender system for additional protection, and to include a backfill type change of 0.18 acres of ordinary fill to 57 stone to facilitate the construction of an additional tunnel for the Mid-town crossing as part of the U.S. Route 58 Downtown Tunnel/Mid-town Tunnel/Martin Luther King Freeway Expansion Project across the Elizabeth River between the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE MODIFICATION AS PROPOSED.
2E. SUFFOLK DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS, #15-0491 requests authorization to replace the existing bridge with a new 30-foot wide bridge across approximately 42 linear feet of Spivey Run Swamp, to include a new support structure in the middle of the bridge to be constructed utilizing precast concrete bottomless culverts, headwalls and wingwalls, riprap, cast-in place footings, stone bedding, and to include the use of temporary sheet piles to allow for the placement of the footings in the dry, located along Arthur Drive in Suffolk. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED.
3A. ASSOCIATED CONTRACTING, #14-1245 requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 6-foot wide by 86-foot long private, non-riparian pier with a 10-foot wide by 10-foot long L-head platform adjacent to 623 West Ocean View Avenue, which is bordered by a City platted street, situated along Willoughby Bay in Norfolk. UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE AFTER-THE-FACT PROJECT CONTINGENT UPON MR. PUNCH’S AGREEMENT TO PAY A TRIPLE PERMIT FEE OF $75.00 PURSUANT TO SECTION 28.2-1206 OF THE CODE OF VIRGINIA, AND A $1,000.00 CIVIL CHARGE BASED ON A MINOR DEGREE OF DEVIATION AND A MINIMAL DEGREE OF IMPACT AS IDENTIFIED IN THE COMMISSION’S GUIDANCE FOR CIVIL CHARGE ASSESSMENTS