Global TransPark Authority certified to fill 871 acres of wetlands as long as it restores 4,620 total acres on-site and at Dover Bay

KINSTON -- The Global TransPark Authority today was given approval to fill 871 acres of wetlands for expansion of the Kinston Regional Jetport, as long as it restores 1,520 acres of wetlands and uplands on site and another 3,100 acres at Dover Bay in Craven County.

The Division of Water Quality, which issued the individual 401 certification for wetlands fill, will also require the Authority to contribute funds to the N.C. Wetlands Restoration Program if any mitigation shortfall develops.

"This certification is stringent and will provide for long-term protection of water quality in the Neuse River and its tributaries," said John Dorney, supervisor of DWQ's Water Quality Certification Program. "It will also replace unavoidably lost wetlands and create new ones."

Final approval is needed from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is considering a 404 permit for the project, before wetland and stream fill can begin. The Corps permit can be equal to or more stringent than the state certification.

As part of the 401 certification, the Authority will be required to provide annual reports to DWQ on the amount of wetlands filled and the success of mitigation. It must also monitor water quality to ensure that Sonyton Creek and the Neuse River are protected. A stormwater management plan must also be implemented. In addition, the project must comply with the recently adopted 30-percent nutrient reduction plan of the Neuse River Basin Nutrient Sensitive Waters Management Strategy.

Last September, the Division of Coastal Management authorized initial development of the Global TransPark contingent upon the 401 certification being granted and that conditions of Neuse nitrogen reduction plan would be met.

For information contact John Dorney, supervisor of the Water Quality Certification Program, DWQ, (919) 733-1786.

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Date Posted: April 13

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