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Public Notice:  Proposed Regulations, October 2017

NOTICE

The Virginia Marine Resources Commission invites public comment on the establishment of amendments to the regulations, as proposed below. By October 6, 2017, the proposed draft regulations may be viewed at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia.

In accordance with Section 28.2-103 and 28.2-209 of the Code of Virginia, a public hearing on the proposed amendments to these regulations will be held beginning at 9:30 a.m., on Tuesday, October 24, 2017, at the Virginia Marine Resources Commission, 2600 Washington Avenue, Newport News, Virginia. Public comments on the proposals should be provided to Tony Watkinson, VMRC Habitat Management Division, 2600 Washington Avenue, 3rd Floor, Newport News, Virginia 23607, by 12:00 p.m., Monday, October 23, 2017.

I. Chapter 4 VAC 20-120-10 et seq., “Pertaining to the Promulgation of a Public Notice on Applications to Encroach In, On or Over State-owned Bottomlands of the Commonwealth”

The proposed amendment is intended to address changes that have occurred to the joint state/federal public notice process that have resulted in the need for staff to utilize a newspaper for a public notice. This amendment is also intended to identify certain projects or activities for which a notice is not necessary. These changes are intended to streamline the Commission’s permit review process and expedite permit issuance in certain instances. The proposed regulation would still allow for the use of a joint state/federal public notice that is prepared by the Corps of Engineers in some cases. However, since the Corps of Engineers now only uses a web notice, and since many projects do not require a federal notice because they qualify for a Corps Nationwide or Regional Permit, Commission staff has found it necessary to use a newspaper notice for almost all projects.

The regulation proposes to specify certain projects for which a public notice does not appear to be necessary although permits must still be issued by the Commission. These include projects that qualify for a Commission General Permit, projects for the replacement of previously permitted structures and for structures destroyed by natural disaster or fire, the taking of sediment samples for engineering or geotechnical analysis, the recovery of objects from State-owned bottoms unless objects have been identified as underwater historic property, the construction of private piers that require a permit because the Commission must reduce impacts on private oyster grounds, and for the restoration of sand to any publicly-owned beach damaged by sand erosion.

VMRC DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE AGAINST INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES; THEREFORE, IF YOU ARE IN NEED OF REASONABLE ACCOMMODATIONS BECAUSE OF A DISABILITY, PLEASE ADVISE MATT HULL (757-247-2214) NO LATER THAN FIVE WORK DAYS PRIOR TO THE MEETING DATE AND IDENTIFY YOUR NEEDS.

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