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 of 1972 (33 U.S.C. §1344) as described below:
APPLICANT: MG3 Developer Group, LLC
c/o Marcelo Saiegh
1915 Harrison Street
Hollywood, FL 33020
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States within the South Dade Wetlands Basin. The project site is located on the northwest corner of the intersection of SW 320th Mowry Drive, and SW 157th Avenue in Section 17, Township 57 south, Range 39 east, City of Homestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida (Folio No. 10-7917-026-0020).
Directions to the site are as follows: From Downtown Miami - Head northeast on SE 4th Street toward SE 1st Avenue. Use the left lane to turn slightly left onto SE 1st Avenue. Turn left onto SE 2nd Street. Take the ramp onto I-95 north. Take exit 3A to merge onto FL-836 toward airport. Take the 826/Palmetto Expressway exit. Continue on FL-874 south, follow the signs for Toll Road/Homestead. Merge onto Ronal Regan Turnpike. Take exit 2 toward SW 312th Campbell Drive. Take SW 152nd Avenue to SW 320th Street Mowry Drive. The project site will be on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Latitude: 25.47084º Longitude: -80.44574º
Basic: The basic project purpose is for an educational facility.
Overall: The overall project purpose is for an educational facility in the City of Homestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a freshwater system. The authorized permit agent, Smart-Sciences, performed a site inspection on August 11, 2016. The on-site vegetation consists of Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana), Peruvian primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana), rosy camphorweed (Pluchea baccharis), yellow flat sedge (Cyperus flavescens), spanish needles (Bidens bipinnata), blue water-hyssop (Bacopa caroliniana), dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), common reed (Phragmites australis), smartweed (Polygonum punctatum), cattail (Typha latifolia), torpedo grass (Panicum repens), and lead tree (Leucaena leucocephala). Algal mats and periphyton up to two inches thick were observed covering saturated soils. During the site inspection the agent recorded observations of wildlife, potential listed species habitat and signs of habitat use, such as nests and tracks, as applicable. No species listed as threatened, endangered, or species of special concern were observed during the site visit. Wildlife observed includes mourning dove (Zenaida macroura), Cuban tree frog (Osteopilus septentrionalis), honeybees and mosquitos, and indirect observations of raccoon (Procyon lotor) through tracks and scat. Based on information from the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Web Soil Survey, the underlying soils at the site Consist of Biscayne Marl, Drained and Perrine Marl, Drained. The site is bound on the north by a school development, on the east and west by vacant lots, and on the south by SW 320th Street.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill approximately 8.4 acres of freshwater wetlands with 42,800 cubic yards of fill for the construction an educational facility with associated fields, courts, parking areas, roadways, green space, and stormwater treatment system. Work is proposed in Waters of the Unite States in accordance with the attached site plans.
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:
“In accordance with the provisions for the minimization of impacts described in Section 10.2.1 ERP Applicant’s Handbook and Section 404(b)(1) of the Clean Water Act, Smart-Sciences reviewed the site for key environmental features that could potentially, via conservation easement, maintain habitat corridors or maintain a high-quality wildlife area for threatened and endangered species. As noted above in the wetland site description, the potential for habitat corridors does not exist, and no high-quality wetland areas are found on the subject property. The compartmentalization of the area by roads, highways, and commercial/residential development limits interconnectedness regarding surface hydrology and wetland wildlife movement.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“The applicant plans to purchase credits from Everglades Nation Park Hole in the Donut Mitigation Bank (HID).”
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.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project has the potential to affect the following species: Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus), Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), and American crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).
Florida Bonneted Bat (FBB): Potential impacts to the FBB were evaluated using the Effect Determination Guidelines, November 1, 2013. Use of the FBB Guidelines resulted in the sequence 1> “may affect”. As such, formal consultation is required.
Eastern Indigo Snake: Potential impacts to the Eastern Indigo Snake were evaluated using the August 2013, Determination Key for the Eastern Indigo Snake. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence: A>B>C>D>E: "not likely to adversely affect". The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the dated August 12, 2013.
American Crocodile: While the project is located within the crocodile consultation area, the parcel is not accessible to the crocodile, therefore, the Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on the crocodile. Where the Corps makes a “no effect” determination to a listed species, no further consultation is required.
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 have no impacts on tidally influenced waters. Therefore, our initial determination is that the proposed action would have no impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries.
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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107the Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176 within 14 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 waters of the United States. 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, Nicole Fresard, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176; by electronic mail at Nicole.D.Fresard@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (305)526-7184; or, by telephone at (305)779-6053.
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.