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: Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works
c/o Albert Hernandez, P.E.
Stephen P. Clark Center
111 NW 1st Street, 16th floor
Miami, Florida 33128
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project is located on the Corner of Tamiami Trail ( SW 8th Street) and SW 147th Avenue, in Section 04, Township 54 South, Range 39 East, in Miami-Dade County, Florida 33184 (Folio # 30-4904-000-0071-0070).
Directions to the site are as follows: From the Florida Turnpike exit SW 8th Street and head west. The project is located at the corner of SW 8th Street and SW 147th Avenue.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is for a public parking facility.
Overall: The overall project purpose is for a Miami‐Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTPW) park and ride facility in western Miami-Dade County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The 7.976‐acre undeveloped site is bounded on the north and east by SW 8th Street and SW 147th Avenue, respectively. To the east, across SW 147th Avenue, is a very active shopping retail facility, and to the south and west is a multifamily residential development with ponds and a maintained wetland area. Existing on-site wetlands total 7.142 acres.
The proposed project site currently is comprised of a temporarily to seasonally inundated wetland community dominated by invasive melaleuca (Melaleuca quinquenervia) with a dense understory dominated by invasive Brazilian-pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) and shoebutton (Ardisia elliptica). The melaleuca overstory ranges from dense to open canopy. Other common components of the understory included valamuerto (Senna pendula var. glabrata), cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), bay (Persea spp.), dahoon (Ilex cassine), pond apple (Annona glabra), day jessamine (Cestrum diurnum), wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), and sea-myrtle (Baccharis halimifolia). Small stands of Australian-pine (Casuarina equisetifolia) and individuals of bishopwood (Bischofia javanica) and strangler fig (Ficus aurea) are present in the northern portion of the site in the vicinity of SW 8th Street where evidence of past soil disturbance activities (e.g., mounds of fill, elevated grades, construction debris) was apparent. Common understory components in this area, in addition to those species listed above, include elderberry (Sambucus nigra subsp. canadensis), coco plum (Chrysobalanus icaco), and myrsine (Myrsine cubana).
PROPOSED WORK: The project proposes to discharge approximately 46,090 cubic yards of clean fill material within a total of 7.142 acres to construct a new public park and ride facility that will include 493 spaces and will service SW 8thStreet, SR836/Dolphin Expressway Extension and the Homestead Extension of Florida’s Turnpike (HEFT) at this location. Work is proposed in waters of the United 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:
Impact minimization efforts were considered during the design process to reduce potential impacts to wetland resources to the maximum extent possible while maintaining safe and sound engineering and construction practices. Due to the location of wetlands directly in the area of the proposed Park & Ride facility, complete avoidance of wetland impacts is not compatible with the proposed project.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
In order to offset the proposed impacts, as a condition of the Conceptual ERP and the Section 404 permitting process, the DTPW is proposing to purchase mitigation credits from the Hole‐in‐the‐Donut Wetland Restoration and Mitigation Project (HID).
As required by the Hole‐in‐the‐Donut Wetland Restoration and Mitigation Project (HID), the Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) functional assessment was used to calculate the quantity of mitigation credits required to compensate for the proposed impacts per the criteria of the USACE.
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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the proposal “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” the Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), the everglades snail kite (Rostrahmus sociabilis plumbeus), the wood stork (Mycteria americana) and the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus). The Corps will request Fish and Wildlife's concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has determined the proposal will not affect any other threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat other that the ones listed above.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The project is located within freshwater wetlands and would have no impacts on tidally influenced waters. Therefore, the proposed action would have no impact on EFH or Federally-managed fisheries within Biscayne Bay. The final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review by and coordination with NMFS.
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 S.W. 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176 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, Albert Gonzalez, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 S.W. 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176; by electronic mail at Albert.Gonzalez@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (305) 526-7184; or, by telephone at (305) 779-6055.
IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Preliminary review of this application indicates that an Environmental Impact Statement will not be required. 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. By means of this notice, we are soliciting comments on the potential effects of the project on threatened or endangered species or their habitat
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 of 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 decision, comments are used to assess impacts on endangered species, historic properties, water quality, general environmental effects, and the other public interest factors listed above. Comments are used in the preparation of an Environmental Assessment and/or an Environmental Impact Statement pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act 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.