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COMMISSION ACTIONS MARCH 26, 2013

** APPROVAL OF AGENDA.  THE MEETING AGENDA WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY AFTER ITEM 11 (REPEAT OFFENDERS) WAS DROPPED.  ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS CARTER FOX AND WHITT SESSOMS WERE ABSENT FROM THE MEETING.
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1.  MINUTES of previous meeting.  THE MINUTES OF THE FEBRUARY COMMISSION MEETING WERE APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.  ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER BRYAN PLUMLEE ABSTAINED FROM THE VOTE.
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2.  PERMITS (Projects over $500,000 with no objections and with staff recommendation for approval).  THIS SO-CALLED PAGE 2 ITEM, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS AGENDA ITEM 2A, WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY.
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3.  CONSENT AGENDA ITEMSA CONSENT AGENDA ITEM, DELINEATED BELOW IN DETAIL AS AGENDA ITEM 3A, WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY WITH TRIPLE PERMIT FEES OF $75, A TRIPLE ROYALTY OF $1,584 AND A $1,000 CIVIL CHARGE IN LIEU OF FURTHER ENFORCEMENT ACTION.  THIS WAS IN KEEPING WITH THE STAFF'S RECOMMENDATION.
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4.  CLOSED MEETING FOR CONSULTATION WITH, OR BRIEFING BY COUNSEL.  NONE.
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5.  DOZIER MARINE, INC., #13-0010, requests authorization to dredge by mechanical method 45 cubic yards of subaqueous bottom to lower depths from a 370 square foot subtidal area to minus six (-6) feet at mean low water, construct a 110 linear foot bulkhead with associated backfill of 75 square feet of subaqueous bottom, and install two (2) 90 foot long open pile piers, two (2) 35-foot long vinyl jetties, a 4-foot wide by 76-foot long concrete floating pier, a 20-foot extension of a 4-foot wide concrete floating pier, and two (2) 4-foot wide by 18-foot long gangways to facilitate the construction of a travel lift at the Regatta Point Yachting Center along Broad Creek at 137 Neptune Lane in Middlesex County.  The project is protested by an adjacent property owner.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED, IN KEEPING WITH THE STAFF'S RECOMMENDATION.
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6.  ROBERT J. SCHUSTER, #13-0036, requests authorization to attach a 6-foot by 12-foot floating dock to his existing private pier and to retain an unauthorized osprey pole and platform installed approximately 40 feet southwest of his pier adjacent to 4237 Cheswick Lane, situated along the Western Branch of the Lynnhaven River in Virginia Beach.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE APPLICANT'S OSPREY POLE, WITH TRIPLE PERMIT FEES OF $75, IN KEEPING WITH THE STAFF'S RECOMMENDATION.
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7.  WESTERN VIRGINIA WATER AUTHORITY, #12-1641, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain seven (7) cubic yards of riprap fill material that was placed a maximum of four (4) feet channel ward of ordinary high water and was installed as part of an emergency repair to an exposed 18-inch sanitary sewer main within an existing right-of-way easement adjacent to the corner of Salem Turnpike and Westside Boulevard situated along Peters Creek in Roanoke.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY THE AFTER-THE-FACT REQUEST DUE TO THE EMERGENCY NATURE OF THE PROJECT, WITH TRIPLE PERMIT FEES OF $75, IN KEEPING WITH THE STAFF'S RECOMMENDATION.
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8.  DEBORAH PORTELA, #13-0132, requests authorization to impact 1,548 square feet of sandy beach adjacent to the York River to install 95 linear feet of riprap extending ten (10) feet channelward of mean high water at 10142 Sycamore Landing Road in James City County.  The project requires a Coastal Primary Sand Dune and Beach Permit.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED THE PROJECT AS PROPOSED, IN KEEPING WITH THE STAFF'S RECOMMENDATION.
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9.  HESS CORPORATION, #13-0284, requests authorization to temporarily impact approximately 160 square feet of vegetated wetlands resulting from the installation of a steel sheet pile wall to minus two (-2) feet below grade adjacent to their facility at 4020 Buell Street situated along the Southern Branch of the Elizabeth River in Chesapeake.  The project requires a Wetlands permit.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOSLY APPROVED THE PROJECT WITH FOUR PERMIT CONDITIONS RECOMMENDED BY STAFF.  THOSE CONDITIONS ARE FOR THE APPLICANT TO EMPLOY EROSION AND SEDIMENT CONTROLS , TO RESTORE AND MONITOR FOR THREE YEARS ANY DAMAGED WETLANDS, TO REMOVE ANY WRACK OR FLOATABLE DEBRIS THAT COULD THREATEN THE HEALTH OF THE WETLANDS PLANTS, AND TO COORDINATE ALL WETLANDS RESTORATION EFFORTS WITH THE STAFF.
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10.  PUBLIC COMMENTS.  NONE
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11.  REPEAT OFFENDERS.  NONE
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12.  PUBLIC HEARING:  Establish regulations pertaining to Atlantic menhaden, as authorized by the Code of Virginia, to comply with requirements established by Amendment 2 to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission's Interstate Fishery Management Plan for Atlantic Menhaden.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY APPROVED REGULATIONS TO REDUCE THE LANDINGS OF MENHADEN IN VIRGINIA BY 20 PERCENT, INCLUDING HARVESTS IN THE BAY, AS REQUIRED BY A NEW LAW PASSED BY THE VIRGINIA GENERAL ASSEMBLY.  THE HARVEST REDUCTION WAS MANDATED BY THE ATLANTIC STATES MARINE FISHERIES COMMISSION. THE NEW REGULATIONS ENACTED A LANDINGS QUOTA 318,067,167 POUNDS, ALLOCATED THE QUOTA FOR THE REDUCTION AND BAIT FISHERIES, ESTABLISHED A QUOTA MONITORING SYSTEM, AND MANDATED TIMELY CATCH REPORTS BE FILED WITH STAFF.

MONTY DIEHL OF OMEGA PROTEIN SPOKE IN FAVOR OF SUPPLEMENTING THE HARVEST REPORTING REQUIREMENTS WITH THEIR OFF-LOADING DATA, AND THE COMMISSION AGREED.

JIMMY KELLUM, A COMMERCIAL MENHADEN BAIT HARVESTER, OBJECTED TO THE LICENSE FEES THAT ARE REQUIRED UNDER THE STATE LAW, AND HE ALSO ASKED THAT HE BE ALLOWED TO TRANSFER SOME OF THE QUOTA ASSIGNED BY THE REGULATION TO HIS FISHING OPERATION FROM HIS BAIT LANDINGS TO HIS REDUCTION LANDINGS QUOTA.  HE WAS TOLD THAT BOTH MATTERS WOULD REQUIRE A CHANGE IN THE STATE LAW BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY NEXT YEAR.

CHRIS MOORE OF THE CHESAPEAKE BAY FOUNDATION PRAISED THE COMMISSION FOR ENACTING THE NEW REGULATIONS THAT WILL REDUCE THE AMOUNT OF MENHADEN HARVESTED FOR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES.
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13.  DISCUSSION:  of private ground leasing in Tangier Sound for Blue Crab Disaster aquaculture participants and approval of a Procurement Procedure to allow private individuals to harvest fossil shell for private use as it relates to the 2013 Oyster Replenishment Plan.  OYSTER REPLENISHMENT OFFICER JIM WESSON BRIEFED THE COMMISSON ON EFFORTS TO ENLIST COMMERCIAL CRABBERS FROM TANGIER INTO THE AGENCY'S PROGRAM TO TRAIN THEM IN OYSTER AQUACULTURE, AND REQUESTED THE COMMISSION ALLOW, ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS, WATER BOTTOMS TO BE LEASED FOR THE PURPOSE OF OYSTER PROPAGATION IN AN OYSTER MANAGEMENT AREA NEAR TANGIER, WHICH NORMALLY AREN'T LEASABLE.  DR. WESSON NOTED ONE TANGIERMAN IS INTERESTED IN LEASING 10 ACRES.  THE COMMISSION UNANIMOUSLY AGREED TO ALLOW THAT APPLICATION TO GO FORWARD THROUGH THE NORMAL WATER BOTTOM LEASING PROCESS, AND TO CONSIDER OTHER SIMILAR REQUESTS IN THE FUTURE.
ALSO, AT DR. WESSON'S REQUEST, THE COMMISSON AGREED TO ALLOW OYSTER GROWERS TO TAKE OYSTER SHELLS FROM FOSSIL OYSTER BEDS IN COBB BAY ON THE EASTERN SHORE, AT A COST OF $.50 PER BUSHEL.  A SHORTAGE OF EMPTY OYSTER SHELLS IS LIMITING OYSTER PROPAGATION EFFORTS ON PRIVATELY LEASED OYSTER GROUNDS ON THE EASTERN SHORE.  THE FUNDS RAISED BY THE SALE OF PRIVATELY HARVESTED FOSSIL SHELLS IN COBB BAY WILL GO INTO THE STATE-WIDE OYSTER REPLENISHMENT PROGRAM.

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14.  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 VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO PUT THREE COMMERCIAL WATERMEN ON PROBATION FOR TWO YEARS FOR FAILING TO TIMELY REPORT THEIR CATCHES.
THE COMMISSION ALSO DECIDED TO REVOKE THE LICENSE OF A FOURTH WATERMAN FOR 60 DAYS AND TO PUT HIM ON TWO YEARS OF PROBATION FOR FAILING TO FAIL TIMELY HARVEST REPORTS WHILE ON PROBATION FOR FAILING TO FILE TIMELY HARVEST REPORTS.  THE VOTE WAS 3-2, WITH ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONERS BRYAN PLUMLEE AND ED TANKARD PREFERRING A ONE YEAR LICENSE REVOCATION.
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15.  REQUEST FOR EMERGENCY AMENDMENTS: to Chapter 4 VAC 20-900-10 et seq, "Pertaining to Horseshoe Crabs", to establish mesh size and twine size specifications for gill nets harvesting horseshoe crabs.  THE COMMISSION VOTED UNANIMOUSLY TO ENACT AN EMERGENCY MEASURE TO ESTABLISH MESH AND TWINE SIZES ON GILL NETS INVOLVED IN THE HARVEST OF HORSESHOE CRABS, AND SET AN APRIL 23 PUBLIC HEARING ON THE MATTER.  ASSOCIATE COMMISSION RICK ROBINS ABSTAINED.
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16.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Proposed adoption of amendments to Chapter 4VAC20-950-10 et seq., "Pertaining to Black Sea Bass", to lower the recreational black sea bass fishery possession limit of 25 fish to 20 fish, for the May 19 through October 14 and November 1 through December 31 season, and to establish the 2013 commercial directed fishery quota as 394,000 pounds.  These amendments are proposed for compliance with the interstate fishery management plan requirements for black sea bass.  THE COMMISSION APPROVED AN APRIL 23 PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE ON WHETHER TO LOWER THE RECREATIONAL BLACK SEA BASS POSSESSION LIMIT FROM 25 TO 20 FISH AND TO ESTABLISH THE COMMERCIAL DIRECTED BLACK SEA BASS QUOTA AT 394,000 POUNDS.
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17.  REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING:  Modification of the limited entry system for the commercial spiny dogfish fishery to reduce the number of permits and establish an increased trip limit of 4,000 pounds.  THE COMMISSION APPROVED AN APRIL 23 PUBLIC HEARING AND VOTE ON WHETHER TO FURTHER LIMIT ENTRY INTO THE COMMERCIAL SPINY DOGFISH FISHERY, AS RECOMMENDED BY THE FINFISH MANAGEMENT ADVISORY COMMITTEE, AND WHETHER TO INCREASE THE DAILY TRIP LIMIT.  COMMISSIONER JACK TRAVELSTEAD SAID HE WOULD SEND A LETTER TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THAT FISHERY TO INFORM THEM OF THE APRIL PUBLIC HEARING AND TO LET THEM KNOW ABOUT THE POTENTIAL OF A REDUCTION IN THE NUMBER OF PERMITS FOR THE FISHERY.
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THE FOLLOWING SO-CALLED PAGE TWO ITEM (PROJECTS OVER $500,000 WITH NO OBJECTIONS AND WITH STAFF RECOMMENDATION FOR APPROVAL) WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY: 

2A.  U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, #12-0255, requests authorization to add a third placement site to the already permitted placement sites along the western shore of Tangier Island, and the Tangier Island Uppards.  The additional placement site would be located approximately 1,500 feet west of the Uppards placement site between the minus five (-5) foot and minus eight (-8) foot contours in the Chesapeake Bay.  The new site would only be used to place overboard in an unconfined manner of up to 5,000 cubic yards of dredged material, per dredge cycle, from the maintenance dredging in the two Federal Project Channels near Tangier Island in Accomack County.  All other permit conditions would remain the same. 

THE FOLLOWING PAGE THREE WAS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY:

3A.  ELGIN NININGER, #12-1663, requests after-the-fact authorization to retain a 120 square foot commercial pier extension, and a 144 square foot commercial pier extension on separate piers adjacent to his property situated along Rosier Creek at 2066 Ridge Road in Westmoreland County.  The applicant has agreed to a $1,000.00 civil charge, a triple permit fee, and triple royalties in lieu of further enforcement action. 


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