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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-2018-00165 (SP-BJC)

Posted: 2/13/2018

Expiration date: 3/14/2018


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:  City of Oviedo Public Works
                       Attn: Mr. Bobby Wyatt
                       400 Alexandria Boulevard
                       Oviedo, FL 32765

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Lake Jesup Hydrologic Unit Code 0308010111. The project site is located north of Geneva Drive and South of E Franklin Street within Section 10, Township 21 South, Range 31 East, Seminole County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: Heading north on S. Central Ave. (SR 434), turn east onto E. Broadway St., then northeast onto Geneva Drive. Project area is between Geneva Drive and E. Franklin Street.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:  Latitude 28.672936°
                                                                          Longitude -81.206349°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: Stormwater treatment.

Overall: Expand a regional stormwater pond to treat runoff from currently untreated areas as part of the City of Oviedo’s Basin Management Action Plan.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Oviedo Regional Stormwater Pond project site supports four FLUCCS classifications identified within the project area. A description of each classification type is provided below:

Open Land – FLUCCS 190 (1.89 acres)
This land use consists of the bike trail and disturbed upland areas along the north and south edges and eastern berm, primarily dominated by Bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), Caesarweed (Urena lobata), Indian hemp (Sida rhombifolia), Guineagrass (Urochloa maxima), and groundsel tree (Baccharis halimifolia).

Ditches – FLUCCS 510 (0.54 acre)
This land use includes the man-altered and maintained section of ditch (locally known as Sweetwater Creek) located in the eastern region of the parcel. The vegetation is dominated by nearly 100% coverage of primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana).

Reservoirs < 10 ac – FLUCCS 534 (0.63 acre)
This land use includes a portion of the permitted stormwater pond to the east.

Vegetated Non-Forested Wetland – FLUCCS 640 (3.67 acres)
This wetland is highly-disturbed and was previously used as a farm/tree nursery. The dominant vegetation includes Guineagrass, primrose willow, Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana), dayflower (Commelina diffusa), and scattered red maple (Acer rubrum).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 3.67 acres of Waters of the U.S. (WoUS) for expansion of a regional stormwater pond.

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:

“As part of the process for the elimination and reduction of wetland impacts, the Applicant has chosen to plan the project within an area that is already disturbed and surrounded by development, and which also includes wetlands that have been impacted for many years. Much of the suitable lands in this region (outside of the project area) are either developed, unavailable for development, or include higher-quality wetlands. For example, the undeveloped parcels to the north of the project include higher-quality wetlands and the geographical position of the parcels make the routing of the stormwater to the pond more difficult. The subject parcel has been utilized for agriculture or tree nursery purposes since at least 1940 (see historical aerial photographs in Exhibit 8). The 1940 aerial depicts the subject property and many of the surrounding properties as completely cleared of vegetation, with the ground tilled in rows. The 1957 aerial also depicts the subject property in the process of being mowed and/or tilled. This means that not only have the onsite wetlands been affected by the surrounding developments (roads and buildings), but the vegetation has been completely cleared and the soils tilled on multiple occasions for over six decades. As evidenced in the historic aerials, the Sweetwater Creek ditch has also been excavated on this parcel since at least 1940. Maintenance of this ditch (dredging and vegetation clearing) also takes place on a regular basis. Therefore, the onsite and offsite wetlands in this area have been physically and hydrologically impacted, resulting in severely low-quality wetland systems with limited function for protected species. Because these wetlands have already been impacted and are of such low quality, it is highly practical to utilize this area to help treat the stormwater from the surrounding areas. This project will also help eliminate much of the invasive exotic seed source within the project area.

Presently, the onsite wetlands receive untreated stormwater from over 16 acres of development to the west and south. This water is then directly discharged to the ditch and then north towards Lake Jesup (which is an impaired water body). By utilizing an impacted wetland system, which is already receiving untreated stormwater, into a fully-functioning and more efficient stormwater treatment pond, the proposed project can provide improved water quality treatment to downstream systems (e.g. Lake Jesup). The proposed development will include impacts only to impacted wetlands, and will not impact any high-quality wetlands or wetlands utilized by protected species.

The need for this project was driven by the City of Oviedo’s commitment to fulfilling the BMAP requirements outlined for this basin. Much of the basin that will eventually be served by this proposed regional stormwater pond is currently untreated and ultimately flows to Lake Jesup. Since Lake Jesup is an impaired water body (impaired by nutrients- Phosphorus and Nitrogen), this regional stormwater pond will significantly reduce its nutrient loading. The stormwater pond currently being constructed to the east is permitted to treat approximately 31 acres of surrounding area. With the proposed stormwater pond connected to the existing pond, the treatment area would more than double to approximately 65 acres.

Compliance with current stormwater codes is nearly impossible without any redevelopment and very difficult if left up to each individual lot owner to implement a smaller stormwater pond (it is cost-prohibitive to develop on such a small scale). The best way to ensure that the stormwater discharges in this area can eventually meet the current code and assist in improving water quality is to create a master regional stormwater system that all public and private development can tie into. Minimizing the pollutants discharging to Lake Jesup, while still providing opportunities for an efficient and successful redevelopment plan, is the best solution for this area.

The proposed mitigation plan will replace the impacted wetlands with more regionally significant and valuable mitigation bank credits. It will also provide greater long-term ecological value than the system proposed for impact.

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

“The proposed mitigation would be at Colbert-Cameron Mitigation Bank, which is a WRAP-permitted bank, a WRAP assessment was conducted (Exhibit 10). This WRAP assessment calculates the 3.67 acres of direct wetland impacts will create a functional loss of 0.88 WRAP units. Due to the developments in the surrounding area, the low quality of the adjacent wetlands, the intensity of the previous land use, and the proper design of the proposed stormwater pond, the adjacent offsite wetlands should not incur any secondary impacts.”

CULTURAL RESOURCES:

The Corps has not made an effect determination but is requesting a cultural resources assessment survey (CRAS) be conducted by an archeologist to identify and evaluate cultural resources within the proposed permit area. Upon receipt of the CRAS, the Corps will make an effect determination and initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.

ENDANGERED SPECIES:

Wood Stork: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork and its designated critical habitat. The Corps completed an evaluation of the project based upon the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) North Florida Ecological Services Field Offices Programmatic Concurrence for use with the Wood Stork (September 2008). Use of the Key for Wood Stork resulted in the following sequential determination: A (The project is more than 2,500 feet from a colony site.) > B (Project impacts SFH) >C (Impacts to SFH > 0.5 acres) >D (Project impacts to SFH within a Core Foraging Area of a colony site) >E (Project provides SFH compensation within the Service Area of a Service-approved wetland mitigation bank or wood stork conservation bank preferably within the CFA, or consists of SFH compensation within the CFA consisting of enhancement, restoration or creation in a project phased approach that provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH) = “not likely to adversely affect” for wood storks. The Corps has FWS concurrence for the proposed activities through the use of the aforementioned determination key.

Eastern Indigo Snake: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake and its designated critical habitat. Based upon review of the Corps and Service’s Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key (dated August 13, 2013), the proposed project resulted in the following sequential determination: 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 (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. 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 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) = “not likely to adversely affect” for the Eastern indigo snake. The permit will be conditioned with the Standard Construction Guidelines for the Eastern Indigo Snake. No further consultation was required.

Based on existing habitat types, the Corps preliminarily determined the project will have no effect on Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Audubon’s crested caracara (Polyborus plancus audubonii) and Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens).

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 3.67 acres of freshwater wetlands which ultimately discharge to Lake Jesup. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the downstream waters. 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 not 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 30 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, Brandon Conroy, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, Florida 32926; by electronic mail at brandon.j.conroy@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (321) 504-3803; or, by telephone at (504) 321-3771 x11.

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 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 permit public notice Seminole County U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE