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The Jacksonville District currently has five categories of public notice notification mailing lists. If you wish to receive email notifications when new public notices are added to this page, please send a request to Regulatory Webmaster.  Each category is described below. Be sure to specify which list(s) you want to be included on.

Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

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SAJ-2016-02554 (SP-JSC)

Posted: 1/5/2017

Expiration date: 1/26/2017


TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received an application for a Department of the Army permit pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) as described below:

APPLICANT: Osceola County
                      Attn: Linette Matheny
                      1 Courthouse Square, Suite 3100
                      Kissimmee, FL 34741

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The approximately 8.8 mile-long Cross Prairie Parkway and Tohoqua Parkway West road project would affect waters of the United States associated with Lake Tohopekaliga (HUC 031002080104) in the Upper Kissimmee River Basin. The project begins at US 192 and Shady Lane, continues south along the eastern side of Lake Tohopekaliga, and terminates at Friar’s Cove Road, within Sections 30 and 31, Township 25 South, Range 30 East; Sections 5, 6, 8, 9, 16, 17, 20, 21, 29, 32, and 33, Township 26 South, Range 30 East, Osceola County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: From the Florida Turnpike heading south from Orlando, take exit 244 towards US192/US441/Kissimmee/St. Cloud. Continue straight over US-192 onto Shady Lane.

APPROXIMATE COORDINATES:

Northern Terminus                                Southern Terminus
Latitude     28.18164º                            Latitude     28.18164º
Longitude -81.23445º                            Longitude -81.23445º


PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: Transportation.

Overall: The overall project purpose is the construction of two multimodal transportation corridors, including Cross Prairie Parkway and Tohoqua Parkway West, through several planned Developments of Regional Impact (DRIs) in the East Lake Toho area to provide interconnectivity between Kissimmee, US 192, CR 525 and Friar’s Cove Road in Osceola County, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area is comprised of a variety of habitats including rural, undeveloped land, residential land, upland forested, pasturelands, forested wetlands, freshwater marshes, freshwater prairie, and canals. The entire area has been altered through historic agricultural uses and the dominant upland cover type is pastureland (± 375 acres). The dominant wetland cover type is freshwater marsh (± 76.17 Ac.) and is characterized by species including sawgrass, (Cladium jamaicensis), cattail (Typha sp.), maidencane (Panicum hemitomon), Spartina spp., and bulrush (Scirpus spp.). Most wetlands have a reduced hydroperiod due to ditching and management of water levels in Lake Tohopekaliga. The proposed roads traverse land proposed for several (DRIs) (Kindred, Edgewater, Tohoqua, Bella Terra, and Friar’s Cove). The elevation is approximately 20 feet NGVD throughout the study area.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks a 20-year programmatic authorization for proposed alignments of the Cross Prairie Parkway and Tohoqua Parkway West road projects, which would require the filling and/or conversion of approximately 84.43 acres of waters of the United States (wetlands) to non-jurisdictional features, in Osceola County, Florida.

AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – The applicant has provided the following information in support of efforts to avoid and/or minimize impacts to the aquatic environment:

“The proposed roadways involve the construction of two parkways, including stormwater facilities. The alignments were chosen to minimize and avoid impacts to wetlands, therefore the two options being considered are the Build and No-Build alternatives. Due to the growth in this region, the lack of existing east-west arterial roads, and physical constraints, the proposed project is the preferred alternative to achieve the overall project purpose. There are no practicable alternatives available which completely avoid
wetlands or which have fewer impacts to wetlands and other aquatic resources. To further reduce impacts to wetlands, the typical section will be reduced in the wetland areas to approximately 100’. This is accomplished by eliminating the offstreet parking and reducing the medians. Additionally, surface waters such as the C-31 canal will be bridged as appropriate to maintain floodways. Although the alignments were chosen to avoid wetlands to the greatest extent practicable, wetland impacts will still occur. Wetlands and surface waters are shown on Figures 6a, 6b, and 6c. Based on the conceptual design of these two roadways, impacts will occur to 7.64 acres of forested wetlands and 76.17 acres of herbaceous wetlands, totaling 83.80 acres of wetland impacts. Impacts will occur to 0.63 acres of surface waters, therefore a total of 84.43 acres of wetland and surface water impacts combined. Of these impacts,
approximately 59.75 acres of wetlands and surface waters will be dredged for the creation of stormwater treatment ponds (see Figures 7a, 7b, 7c, and 7d). Approximately 24.68 acres of wetlands and surface waters will be filled for road construction.”

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

“To offset unavoidable wetland impacts, compensatory wetland mitigation will be required. Wetland mitigation will be purchased at either Florida Mitigation Bank, Southport Ranch, or Reedy Creek Mitigation Bank. All three of these banks are approved by both the USACE and FDEP and have freshwater credits available. During the design phase of this project, available banks and credits will be confirmed.”

CULTURAL RESOURCES:

The Corps is not aware of any known historic properties within the permit area. By copy of this public notice, the Corps is providing information for review. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts is subject to review by and coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area.

ENDANGERED SPECIES:

The project is located within Core Foraging Area (CFA) for wood stork and the project supports Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) for wood stork. Based on the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in South Peninsular Florida (dated May 2010), the Corps determination sequence is as follows: A (Project impacts SFH at a location greater than 0.47 miles from a colony site) > B (Project impact to SFH is greater in scope than 0.5 acres) > C (Project impacts to SFH within the CFA of a colony site > E (Project provides SFH compensation) = Not Likely to Adversely Affect (NLAA). The project provides SFH compensation consisting of enhancement, restoration or creation (and federal mitigation bank credits) that provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of the impacted SFH; in accordance with the Clean Water Act section 404(b)(1) guidelines, and is not contrary to the habitat management guidelines. Where greater than 50 acres of wetland impacts are proposed, the Corps requires U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) concurrence for the proposed activities through use of the aforementioned determination key.

The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” the Eastern Indigo Snake. Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Effect Determination Key (dated January 25, 2010; August 13, 2013 Addendum), the Corps determination sequence is as follows: A (The project is not located in open water or salt marsh.) >B (The permit will be conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and protection construction.) >C (There are gopher tortoise burrows, holes, cavities, or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities.) >D (The project will impact less than 25 acres of xeric habitat supporting less than 25 active and inactive gopher tortoise burrows ) >E (Any permit will be conditioned such that all gopher tortoise burrows, active or inactive, will be evacuated prior to site manipulation in the vicinity of the burrow) = NLAA. The permittee agrees to use the Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake (dated August 12, 2013). If an indigo snake is encountered, the snake must be allowed to vacate the area prior to additional site manipulation in the vicinity. Any permit will also be conditioned such that holes, cavities, and snake refugia other than gopher tortoise burrows will be inspected each morning before planned site manipulation of a particular area, and, if occupied by an indigo snake, no work will commence until the snake has vacated the vicinity of proposed work. The Corps has USFWS concurrence for the proposed activities through the use of the aforementioned determination key.

The project is within the Consultation Area for Audubon‘s crested caracara. The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect Audubon‘s crested caracara. The Corps will request USFWS concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

The project is within the Consultation Area for Florida scrub jay, Everglades Snail Kite, Florida grasshopper sparrow, and red-cockaded woodpecker. Based on existing habitat types and/or survey data, the Corps preliminarily determined the project will have no effect on these species.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The proposal would impact approximately 84.43 acres of wetlands located in the headwaters of the Kissimmee River. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or federally managed fisheries in either the Kissimmee River or Alligator Lake. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with the National Marine Fisheries Service.

NOTE: This public notice is being issued based on information furnished by the applicant. This information has not been verified or evaluated to ensure compliance with laws and regulation governing the regulatory program. The jurisdictional line has been verified by Corps personnel.

AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.

COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer through the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926 within 21 days from the date of this notice.

The decision whether to issue or deny this permit application will be based on the information received from this public notice and the evaluation of the probable impact to the associated wetlands. This is based on an analysis of the applicant's avoidance and minimization efforts for the project, as well as the compensatory mitigation proposed.

QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Jeffrey Collins, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida, 32926; by electronic mail at Jeffrey.S.Collins@usace.army.mil; by fax at (321) 504-3803, or by telephone at (321) 504-3771 extension 13.

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Marine Fisheries Services, and other Federal, State, and local agencies, environmental groups, and concerned citizens generally yields pertinent environmental information that is instrumental in determining the impact the proposed action will have on the natural resources of the area.

EVALUATION: The decision whether to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impact including cumulative impacts of the proposed activity on the public interest. That decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and utilization of important resources. The benefits, which reasonably may be expected to accrue from the proposal, must be balanced against its reasonably foreseeable detriments. All factors which may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including cumulative impacts thereof; among these are conservation, economics, esthetics, general environmental concerns, wetlands, historical properties, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, water quality, energy needs, safety, food, and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership, and in general, the needs and welfare of the people. Evaluation of the impact of the activity on the public interest will also include application of the guidelines promulgated by the Administrator, EPA, under authority of Section 404(b) of the Clean Water Act or the criteria established under authority of Section 102(a) of the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act of 1972. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

The US Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is soliciting comments from the public; Federal, State, and local agencies and officials; Indian Tribes; and other Interested parties in order to consider and evaluate the impacts of this proposed activity. Any comments received will be considered by the Corps to determine whether to issue, modify, condition, or deny a permit for this proposal. To make this determination, comments are used to assess impacts to endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are also used to determine the need for a public hearing and to determine the overall public interest of the proposed activity.

COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved Coastal Zone Management Plan. In Puerto Rico, a Coastal Zone Management Consistency Concurrence is required from the Puerto Rico Planning Board. In the Virgin Islands, the Department of Planning and Natural Resources permit constitutes compliance with the Coastal Zone Management Plan.

REQUEST FOR PUBLIC HEARING: Any person may request a public hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the District Engineer within the designated comment period of the notice and must state the specific reasons for requesting the public hearing.

Jacksonville District Osceola County permit public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)