* COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD INTRODUCED TWO NEW ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS, LYNN HAYNIE OF REEDVILLE AND BOBBY BECK OF WILLIAMSBURG.
THEY WERE APPOINTED RECENTLY BY GOVERNOR MCDONNELL AND REPLACED ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS LAINE AND SCHICK.
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* HABITAT DIVISION CHIEF TONY WATKINSON AND FISHERIES CHIEF ROB O’REILLY INTRODUCED NEWLY HIRED OR NEWLY PROMOTED STAFF MEMBERS.
APPROVAL OF AGENDA. THE COMMISSION APPROVED AN AMENDED MEETING AGENDA AFTER CONTINUING AGENDA ITEM 9 (FERGUSON) FOR A FUTURE MEETING AND POSTPONING AGENDA ITEM 11 (DR. ORTH’S ANNUAL SAV STATUS) UNTIL THE COMMISSION’S DEC. 10 MEETING.
1. MINUTES of previous meeting. THE COMMISSION APPROVED CORRECTED MINUTES FROM ITS LAST MEETING.
ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER JOE PALMER ABSTAINED.
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2. PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for
approval). THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED SIX SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEMS, LISTED BELOW IN DETAIL AS ITEMS 2A-E, AND APPROVED ITEM 2-F WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSION PLUMLEE ABSTAINING.
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3. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS. CONSENT AGENDA ITEMS 3A AND 3B, DELINEATED BELOW IN
DETAIL, WERE UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF. ITEM 3C WAS UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED WITHOUT A CIVIL CHARGE ASSESSED AGAINST THE APPLICANT AND CONTRACTOR.
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4. CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL. NONE.
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5. JOINT BASE LANGLEY-EUSTIS, #12-0972, requests authorization to install, up to 12 times per year, a 24-foot wide, temporary causeway extending 1,210 feet channelward of mean low water with 24,960 square feet of decking and to excavate 185 cubic yards of State-owned subaqueous bottom and 410 cubic yards of jurisdictional beach and dune, to facilitate the temporary causeway installation, as part of military training exercises along the James River at the Anzio Beach area of Joint Base Langley-Eustis in the City of Newport News.
The project requires a Subaqueous Permit and a Coastal Primary Sand Dune and Beach
Permit. THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THIS PROJECT, WITH A CONDITION REQUIRING ALL EXCAVATED AREAS TO BE RETURNED TO THEIR PREVIOUS NATURAL CONTOURS UPON COMPLETION OF EACH EXERCISE, AS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF. ARMY SECOND LIEUTENANT NAULT SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF THE PROJECT.
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6. KEITH W. AVEYARD, #12-1049, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain two (2) previously unauthorized concrete block groin structures, each extending approximately 30 feet channelward of mean low water, and to retain three (3) previously unauthorized mooring poles.
The applicant also is seeking authorization to install numerous PVC pipes to delineate submerged hazards; to install up to eight (8) 2-inch galvanized poles, for use to secure an also requested use of a water trampoline structure, used seasonally; to install a “zip line” apparatus extending from the upland to one of the existing mooring poles; and to place a floating platform, seasonally, at various locations within the applicant’s riparian area.
All existing and proposed structures are, or will be, located within the James River (Burwells Bay) at and adjacent to the applicant’s property located at 4001 River Landing Trail in Isle of Wight County.
THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THIS PROJECT, WITH CONDITIONS REQUIRING THE SEASONAL REMOVAL OF THE TRAMPOLINE, REMOVAL OF THE GALVANIZED POSTS, AND APPROPRIATE SIGNAGE ON THE ZIP LINE PILINGS WARNING OF A POTENTIAL NAVIGATIONAL HAZARD.
THE COMMISSION ALSO ASSESSED A $1,000 CIVIL CHARGE FOR THE AFTER-THE-FACT CONSTRUCTION, IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION, AND A TRIPLE PERMIT FEE OF $75.00.
MR. AVEYARD SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF HIS PROJECT.
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7. DONALD FOOR, #12-0236, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 46-foot long by 16-foot wide concrete low water bridge crossing on Hogue Creek to access his property on Quiet Meadows Lane from US Route 522 in Frederick County.
The project is protested by an adjacent property owner. THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-3 TO APPROVE THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED.
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8. LEN DAMERON (BENCHMARK DEVELOPERS, LLC), #07-1375, requests Commission reconsideration of the $9,000.00 civil charged assessed in connection with his involvement as contractor for the construction of a 170-foot long by 8-foot wide community pier with a 184-foot T-head built for Benchmark Developers, LLC
(#07-1375), that was built without Commission authorization, adjacent to property situated along a cove of Hack Creek in Northumberland County.
THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY VOTED TO REDUCE THE PREVIOUSLY ASSESSED CIVIL CHARGE OF 9,000 TO $3,000, WITH THE REMAINING $6,000 OF THE ORIGINAL ASSESSMENT HELD IN ABEYANCE AND FORGIVEN PROVIDED MR. DAMERON IS NOT INVOLVED IN ANOTHER VIOLATION DURING THE NEXT TWO YEARS. PAYMENT WAS AUTHORIZED TO BE MADE IN THREE $1,000
INSTALLMENTS OVER THE NEXT TWO YEARS. SENATOR RICHARD STUART AND MR. DAMERON SPOKE IN SUPPORT OF THE RECONSIDERATION REQUEST.
MR. DAVID NELSON OF BENCHMARK DEVELOPERS, LLC, REQUESTED THE COMMISSION ALSO RECONSIDER THE CIVIL CHARGE ASSESSED AGAINST HIS COMPANY BUT THE COMMISSION CHOSE NOT TO TAKE ANY FURTHER ACTION ON THAT REQUEST.
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JERRY W. FERGUSON. Commission reconsideration of the appropriate terms and conditions to accompany the conveyance of a causeway and island located on approximately 1.2 acres of State-owned submerged land in the Rappahannock River adjacent to an easement from State Route 600 in Middlesex County, as authorized by Chapter 201, Acts of Assembly 2006, and previously considered during the July and November 2006 Commission meetings.
THE COMMISSION VOTED TO CONTINUE THIS ITEM INDEFINITELY AT THE REQUEST OF MR. FERGUSON.
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10. PUBLIC COMMENT.
MR. GEORGE BOTT OF THE YANKEE POINT RACING AND CRUISING CLUB REQUESTED THE COMMISSION RECONSIDER THE ACTION TAKEN ON THEIR APPLICATION DURING THE SEPTEMBER 25, 2012 MEETING.
THE COMMISSION VOTED 5-3 TO RECONSIDER THE APPLICATION DURING THEIR JANUARY 28, 2013 MEETING.
ALSO, COMMERCIAL FISHERMAN MARK BENDER ASKED THE COMMISSION TO CONSIDER WAIVING A TWO-YEAR MUST-FISH RULE ON PERMITTED POUND NETS BECAUSE OF HURRICANE SANDY, AND ASKED FOR CONSIDERATION OF CHANGES TO WELK POT BAIT REQUIREMENTS. THE COMMISSION ASKED STAFF TO STUDY THOSE REQUESTS.
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11. VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE: Presentation of Dr. Bob Orth’s annual review of the status of Submerged Aquatic Vegetation.
DR. ORTH’S ANNUAL PRESENTATION ON THE STATUS OF SUBMERGED AQUATIC VEGETATION WAS POSTPONED UNTIL THE COMMISSION’S DEC. 10 MEETING.
PUBLIC HEARING: Chapter 4VAC20-1140-10 et seq. “Pertaining to Prohibition of Crab Dredging in Virginia Waters” to close the December 2012 through March 2013 crab dredge fishery season. Chapter 4VAC20-270-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Crabbing” to extend the lawful season for blue crab harvest though December 15, 2012; to open the lawful season for blue crab harvest in 2013 on March 1; to establish separate bushel limits by crab pot license category in combination with any extension of the blue crab harvest season; and restrict commercial crab harvest activities in the Virginia portion of the Albemarle watershed.
To merge Chapters 4VAC20-752-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Blue Crab Sanctuaries” and Chapter 4VAC20-1210-10 et seq., “Pertaining to a Blue Crab Sanctuary” to create a uniform regulation pertaining to the closed seasons within the blue crab sanctuaries.
To consider utilizing the Marine Fishing Improvement Fund to pay for expenditures for the upcoming crab dredge gear study.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO CONTINUE ITS CRAB STOCK REBUILDING PROGRAM BY CLOSING THE WINTER CRAB DREDGE FISHERY FOR THE FIFTH CONSECUTIVE YEAR, AND TO AUTHORIZE STAFF AND SCIENTISTS AT THE VIRGINIA INSTITUTE OF MARINE SCIENCE TO CONDUCT A STUDY THIS WINTER TO BETTER DETERMINE HOW MANY CRABS ARE DAMAGED, UNUSEABLE AND/OR UNAVAILABLE FOR SPAWNING WHEN DREDGE GEAR IS USED IN THE FISHERY. THE STUDY IS EXPECTED TO LEAD TO A BETTER UNDERSTANDING OF THE GEAR’S IMPACT, WHICH WILL INFORM FUTURE CRAB MANAGEMENT DECISIONS.
THE COMMISSION ALSO VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO EXTEND THE FALL CRAB POT SEASON FOR SIX DAYS, AS IS BEING DONE IN MARYLAND, BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT TO THE FISHERY FROM HURRICANE SANDY IN LATE OCTOBER.
IN ADDITION, THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY AGREED TO EXTEND THE FALL CRAB POT SEASON EVEN FURTHER, UNTIL DEC. 15, COMPENSATED THROUGH THE INSTITUTION OF DAILY BUSHEL LIMITS FOR THE ENTIRE 2013 CRAB SEASON. THE BUSHEL LIMITS WILL BE 27, 32, 38, 45, OR 55 BUSHELS A DAY, DEPENDING ON THE NUMBER OF CRAB POTS PERMITTED FOR EACH OF THE FIVE CLASSES OF COMMERCIAL CRAB LICENSES.
THESE BUSHEL LIMITS ARE INTENDED TO RESTRAIN THE DAILY CATCH IN 2013 IN ORDER TO MAKE UP FOR THE ADDITIONAL CRABS THAT WILL BE CAUGHT DURING THE EXTENDED FALL SEASON, WHICH WILL LAST THROUGH DEC. 15 OF THIS YEAR.
COMMISSIONER TRAVELSTEAD PRAISE THE FISHERIES STAFF AND THE CRAB MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE FOR WORKING TOGETHER AND AGREEING BUSHEL LIMITS FOR THE 2013CRAB SEASON IS THE PROPER WAY IN WHICH TO EXTEND THE FALL CRAB SEASON THIS YEAR.
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PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-960-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Tautog,” to establish the 2013 recreational and commercial management measures.
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNAMIOUSLY TO CLOSE THE 2013 RECREATIONAL TAUTOG FISHERY FROM MAY 1-SEPTEMBER 19, AND SET A 16 INCH SIZE LIMIT AND A DAILY POSSESSION LIMIT OF THREE FISH.
THE COMMISSION ALSO AGREED TO CLOSE THE COMMERCIAL TAUTOG FISHERY IN 2013 FROM JAN. 22-FEB. 28, AND FROM MAY 1-OCT. 31.
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REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Establish permit eligibility and transfer requirements in combination with current quota management categories for 2013 (4VAC20-900-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Horseshoe
Crabs”). THE COMMISSION AGREED BY CONSENSUS TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON DEC. 10 TO CONSIDER REVISIONS TO HOW THE COMMERCIAL HORSESHOE CRAB FISHERY IS MANAGED5
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REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Industry recommendations to reclassify the current requirements for aquaculture product owner and harvester permits (4VAC20-610-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting”).
THE COMMISSION AGREED BY CONSENSUS TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON DEC. 10 TO CONSIDER ALLOWING SHELLFISH AQUACULTURE HARVESTS TO REPORT THEIR CATCH ON A MONTHLY, INSTEAD OF DAILY, BASIS.
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REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Establish the 2013 commercial and recreational striped bass harvest quota (4VAC20-252-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Taking of Striped Bass”).
THE COMMISSION AGREED BY CONSENSUS TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON DEC. 10 TO SET THE QUOTA AND CATCH REGULATIONS FOR THE 2013 RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL STRIPED BASS FISHERIES.
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REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Establish the 2013 recreational black sea bass recreational season (4VAC 20-950-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Black Sea Bass”).
THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO PASS AN EMERGENCY REGULATION TO CLOSE THE RECREATIONAL BLACK SEA BASS FISHERY IMMEDIATELY. FEDERAL RECREATIONAL CATCH ESTIMATES SHOW THE COAST-WIDE BLACK SEA BASS QUOTA HAS BEEN EXCEEDED.
THE COMMISSION AGREED TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING NEXT MONTH TO SET THE BLACK SEA BASS SIZE AND SEASON LIMITS FOR THE 2013 RECREATIONAL AND COMMERCIAL FISHERIES.
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FAILURE TO REPORT: Cases involving failure to report commercial harvests, in accordance with Chapter 4VAC20-610-10 et seq., “Pertaining to Commercial Fishing and Mandatory Harvest Reporting.”
THE COMMISSION PUT A COMMERCIAL WATERMAN ON TWO YEARS OF PROBATION FOR FAILING TO FILE HIS MANDATORY CATCH REPORTS IN A TIMELY MANNER.
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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:
2A. PLAINS MARKETING, L.P., #12-1378,
requests authorization to construct two new (2) breasting dolphins at the end of an existing pier to be used for crude oil loading into marine vessels, as well as install a marine vapor combustion system, repair and/or replace existing piping and replace two (2) operator buildings on the pier in the York River at 2201 Goodwin Neck Road in York County.
Recommend approval with an encroachment royalty in the amount of $1,200.00 for the additional encroachment of the dolphins over 600 square feet of State-owned subaqueous land at a rate of $2.00 per square foot.
2B. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, #12-1255, requests authorization to place up to 60,000 cubic yards of dredged material, per dredge cycle, in a 1,000-foot by 1,000-foot overboard placement site in Bradford Bay centered at N37º35’02”, W75º40’53”, for the hydraulic maintenance dredging of the Wachapreague and Finney Creek Federal Project Channels near the Town of Wachapreague in Accomack County.
2C. SUFFOLK DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITIES, #12-0890,
requests authorization to install a 16-inch sanitary sewer force main pipeline crossing beneath ten (10) linear feet of an unnamed tidal stream by open trench method, and beneath 2,360 linear feet of the Nansemond River, by directional drill method, along the general alignment of the former Kings Highway Bridge as part of the G. Robert House, Jr. Water Treatment Plant Sewer Force Main Extension project in the City of Suffolk.
2D. GREENE COUNTY, #11-1366, requests authorization to construct a maximum ten (10) million gallon per day raw water intake structure in the Rapidan River in Greene County to include ten (10) intake screens spanning 55 linear feet along the river bottom encroaching a maximum of 40 feet from ordinary high water, the installation of temporary sheet piling cofferdams and turbidity curtain around the installation area, the excavation of 200 cubic yards of State-owned bottom for the placement of the intake structure, and the installation of 90 linear feet of Class A2 riprap encroaching a maximum of ten (10) feet channelward of ordinary high water adjacent to the existing Rapidan Service Authority water treatment plant to facilitate the construction of a pumped storage reservoir on an unnamed tributary of White Run in Greene County.
2E. BAVON BEACH HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION AND CHESAPEAKE BEACH HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, #11-1708, requests authorization to install four (4) headland breakwaters totaling 950 linear feet with 25,000 cubic yards of sand placed landward of the breakwaters and channelward of mean low water as beach nourishment, and to extend an existing 12-inch drainage outfall pipe 109 feet channelward adjacent to their properties situated along the Chesapeake Bay in Mathews County. Staff recommends approval with a royalty in the amount of $8,978.15 for the encroachment of the pipe on 109 linear feet of State-owned submerged land at the rate of $3.00 per linear foot and for the encroachment of the beach nourishment upon 173,023 square feet of submerged land at the rate of $0.05 per square foot. Additionally, staff recommends a time of year restriction precluding any construction activity from June 1 to September 15 to minimize adverse impacts on the Northeastern Beach Tiger Beetle, and a requirement to develop a one-time mitigation plan for the seeding of SAV in the James River as part of ongoing SAV restoration efforts by VIMS and not to exceed a cost of $10,000.00.
2F. NORFOLK SOUTHERN CORPORATION, VMRC#12-1488, requests authorization to rehabilitate existing mooring dolphins adjacent to Pier 6, by installing steel pipe piles around each mooring dolphin cell, followed by the placement of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) sheet piles a maximum of 26 inches channelward of the existing cells, to include the placement of backfill and concrete between the existing cells and the proposed FRP sheet piles, resulting in 560 square feet of additional encroachment over State-owned submerged land adjacent to their Lambert's Point facility at 2200 Redgate Avenue, situated along the Elizabeth River in Norfolk.
Staff recommends approval with a one-time royalty payment of $1,120.00 for the encroachment over 560 square feet of State-owned submerged land at a rate of $2.00 per square foot.
THE FOLLOWING PAGE THREE CONSENT AGENDA ITEM WERE APPROVED:
3A. C.W. LAWRENCE JR., #03-1086, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain additional pier widths of two to four feet for three (3) previously permitted floating docks that now measure 6-feet wide by 36-feet long, 8-feet wide by 69-feet long, and 8-feet wide by 48-feet long and the reconfiguration of a fixed pier platform that now starts at 10-feet wide, ends at a 6-foot width and is 12-feet long, all of which are now used by patrons for the adjacent restaurant along Jones Creek at 21088 Marina Road in Isle of Wight County. Mr. Lawrence has agreed to a $1,000.00 civil charge in lieu of further enforcement action. Staff recommends approval of the after-the-fact permit modification and acceptance of the civil charge along with a royalty in the amount of $624.00 for the encroachment over 624 square feet of State-owned subaqueous land at a rate of $1.00 per square foot.
3B. BRISTOL VIRGINIA UTILITIES, #12-1310, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a buried fiber optic cable installed beneath 64 linear feet of Right Fork adjacent to State Road 643 in Buchanan County. Recommend approval with the assessment of a civil charge in the amount of $1,000.00 and triple permit fees.
3C. DOMINION POWER, #12-1043, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain an 8-inch HDPE conduit and 35kV transmission line installed a minimum of three (3) feet below the Chickahominy Lake bottom using a hand jetting method crossing 1,320 feet of the historic Chickahominy River channel associated with the replacement of an existing aerial power line south of Route 650 in New Kent and Charles City Counties. The applicant has agreed to a $1,000.00 civil charge. Additionally, the contractor, Crofton Diving, has agreed to $1,000.00 civil charge. The civil charges would be in lieu of further enforcement action. Staff recommends approval of the after-the-fact permit and acceptance of the civil charges along with a royalty of $3,960.00 for the crossing of 1,320 linear feet of the historic river channel at a rate of $3.00 per linear foot and a triple permit fee of $300.00.