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Public Notice Notifications

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-2017-00464 (SP-BJC)

Posted: 2/15/2018

Expiration date: 3/8/2018


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) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:

APPLICANT:  Frank Spencer Ltd.
                       Attn: Mr. Jesse Spencer
                       2429 Watermill Drive
                       Orange Park, Florida 32068

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Black Creek. The project site is located near 3527 Kindlewood Drive, in Sections 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, and 17, Township 4 South, Range 25 East, Orange Park, Clay County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 295 take Exit 12 and head south on Blanding Boulevard. Turn right onto Argyle Forest Boulevard, and proceed until the intersection of Cheswick Oak Avenue and turn left. Proceed until the road dead ends into a gravel road on the left. The project site is located at the end of the gravel road.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:  Latitude: 30.162738°
                                                                          Longitude: -81.798271°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is land-based renewable energy generation facility.

Overall: The overall project purpose is land-based renewable energy generation facility to service southwest Duval County, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The following existing vegetative communities and landforms have been characterized pursuant to the Florida Department of Transportation publication Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS):
Pine Plantation (FLUCFCS code 441), Improved Pasture (FLUCFCS code 211), Pine-Hardwood Forest (FLUCFCS code 434), Temperate Hardwoods (FLUCFCS code 425), Roads (FLUCFCS code 814), Hydric Pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS code 625), Improved Pasture (FLUCFCS code 211W), Inland Ponds and Sloughs (FLUCFCS code 616), Mixed Wetland Hardwoods (FLUCFCS code 617), Ditches (FLUCFCS code 510), and Borrow Pits (FLUCFCS code 524)

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks a 5-year authorization to discharge fill material into 5.91 acres of freshwater wetlands, temporarily affect 2 acres of freshwater wetlands, and convert 133 acres of forested wetlands to emergent wetlands to facilitate the construction of a solar energy generation facility and required infrastructure.

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 project has been designed to avoid all impacts to the floodplain swamp and adjacent hardwood wetlands along Little Black Creek and Double Branch as well as a large interior hardwood slough. No dredging or filling will occur within the interior wetlands except for construction of a limited number of access roads and installation of required inverters (fill impacts) and buried utility lines (temporary impact). Trees in the wetlands within the developed portions of the solar farm will be harvested, leaving the stumps in place. Posts for the solar arrays will be driven or augured into the ground.”

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

“Mitigation will include a combination of preservation of 174.04 acres of adjacent forested wetlands bordering Little Black Creek and Double Branch, enhancement of 4.21 acres of adjacent wet pine plantation, and purchase of credits from Longleaf Mitigation Bank. The proposed preservation and enhancement areas will connect to over 685 acres of land along Little Black Creek north of SR 21 that have already been preserved with conservation easements. Preserving additional wetlands along Little Black Creek will further protect this watershed and help establish a significant greenway corridor.”

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 Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.

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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the St. Johns River. 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 Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019 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, Brad Carey, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232-0019; by electronic mail at brad.j.carey@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (904) 232-2405.

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.

Clay County Jacksonville District permit public notice U.S. Army Corps of Engineers USACE