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: RaceTrac Petroleum, Inc.
c/o Brian Thornton
200 Galleria Parkway SE, Suite 900
Atlanta, Georgia 30339
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with unnamed wetlands & Delany Creek. The project site is located in Section 34 Township 29 South, Range 20 East, Hillsborough County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: To access the project area travel eastbound on Selmon Expressway, take exit 14 for Falkenburg Road and turn south. Turn east on Causeway Blvd which turns into Lumsden Rd. The project site is located near the southeast corner of S. Kings Ave. and W. Lumsden Road in Brandon, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Gasoline Station
Overall: To construct infrastructure and a stormwater management system to build a
gasoline service station, stormwater detention, parking area and store.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: One (1) disturbed mixed forested wetland was identified within the corridor for a total of 1.65 acre of jurisdictional wetlands. Canopy species consist of red maple, sugarberry, sweetbay, and dahoon holly; shrub species include elderberry, Carolina willow and wax myrtle; ground cover species include primrose willow, lizard’s tail, and water spangles. The existing area surrounding project area consists of mixed use development and roadways.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to permanently fill ±0.68 acres and temporary fill 0.01 acres of waters of the United States in the form of wetlands for the development ±3.1 acres property for the construction of a Racetrack Gasoline Service Station, Store, parking, and stormwater storage area. The remaining 0.97 acres of wetlands will be enhanced by removal of nuisance and exotic species and supplemental planting of desirable vegetation.
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 applicant designed the project to have a minimal adverse effect on wetland resources. Several design modifications occurred through the design and planning phase of this project. Original plans resulted in full impacts to the 1.65 acres of wetlands on site to account for the proposed number of parking areas, floodplain compensation, and the desired fueling stations. To reduce wetlands impact, the applicant conducted a land swap with Hillsborough County to obtain useable uplands; reduced fueling stations from 13 to 9, and floodplain compensation was redesigned to use underground stormwater management system rather than creating a floodplain compensation pond – allowing for more upland construction and less wetland fill.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
Since Federal palustrine freshwater forested (PFO) mitigation bank credits are not available for purchase in the Tampa Bay Basin, compensation of wetland impacts will be accomplished by a combination of on-site mitigation (wetland creation and wetland enhancement) and offsite-mitigation (wetland creation). RaceTrac will enhance 0.97 acres of onsite forested wetlands and create 0.29 acre of additional forested wetland onsite, as well as create a 0.81 acre offsite forested wetland.
A UMAM functional loss score was calculated for proposed impacts to Wetland A. A UMAM functional gain score was calculated for onsite wetland enhancement and creation, and offsite wetland creation. Results of the UMAM analysis account for 0.32 functional loss units for permanent impacts to fill 0.68 acres of Wetland A. The onsite wetland enhancement and wetland creation provides 0.07 and 0.09 units of functional gain, respectively. Offsite wetland creation provides 0.21 units of functional gain. Together onsite and offsite enhancement and wetland creation provides a total of 0.37 units of functional gain which compensates for the loss of 0.32 units
Longterm protection of these wetlands has been accomplished by the recorded Conservation Easement. The conservation easement has been recorded in Hillsborough County Official Records on May 19, 2017, under Instrument No. 2017194252 (Book: 24952, Page 240).A Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) analysis pursuant to Ch. 62-345, F.A.C. was conducted as part of SWFWMD ERP No. 43002370.006, approved on January 17, 2017.
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 proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the (NLAA) the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Additionally, the Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), and the Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) or their designated critical habitat.
Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): By letter dated 25 January 2010 and addendum dated 13 August 2013, the FWS states that projects analyzed with the 25 January 2010 version of the Indigo Snake Key in which the Corps reaches a “may affect, not likely to adversely affect” determination (A>B>C), the FWS hereby concurs with the Corps' determination in accordance with 50 CFR 402.14(b) 1, and no further consultation with the FWS is required.
Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens): The project area is within the consultation area for the Florida scrub jay. However, there is no suitable habitat for the species. The Corps has made the preliminary determined the proposal would have “no effect” on the Florida scrub jay or its designated critical habitat. This determination is based on a review of the Species Conservation Guideline, consultation maps and information available about the species’ preferred habitat.
Florida grasshopper sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum floridanus): The proposed project is within the consultation area for the Florida grasshopper sparrow. However, there is no suitable habitat for the species. The Corps has determined the proposal has “no effect” on the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.
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 as the project is inland of fisheries resources. 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 Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610 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, Edgar Garcia, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (813) 769-7061; or, by telephone at (813) 769-7062.
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.