Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

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Published March 7, 2018
Expiration date: 3/28/2018


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:                        Bird Drive Mitigation, LLC

                                             c/o Scott Greenwald

                                             150 W. Flagler Street, Suite 2200

                                             Miami, Florida 33130


WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Bird Drive Basin. The project site is located in an undeveloped area comprised of 7 parcels east of SW 177 Avenue (Krome Avenue) between SW 60th Street and SW 54th street in Sections 19 and 30, Township 54 south Range 39 east, in unincorporated Miami-Dade County (folio numbers: 30-4919-001-0580, 30-4919-001-0590, 30-4930-001-0110, 30-4930-001-0010, 30-4930-001-0060, 30-4930-001-0070, and 30-4930-001-0080). 


Directions to the site are as follows: From FL-836 W, take the NW 137th Ave S exit and merge onto FL-825/NW 137th Ave. Turn right on US-41 W, then left onto FL-997 S for approximately 3.5 miles. Project site will be to the east between SW 54 St and SW 60 St.


APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:          Latitude  25.71139°

                                                                                  Longitude -80.47683°


Basic: The basic project purpose is for commercial development.

Overall: The overall project purpose is for commercial development in southwest Miami-Dade County, Florida.


EXISTING CONDITIONS:  Based on information provided by the applicant, the subject properties consist almost entirely of freshwater wetlands dominated by the exotic species Melaleuca quinquenervia. A small 2.3-acre area towards the northeastern portion of the property consists of freshwater marsh with a more open canopy of approximately 10% coverage of Melaleuca. The understory consists of a mix of exotic and native wetland vegetation including sawgrass (Cladium jamaicense), Napier grass (Neyraudia reynaudiana), Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius), nut sedge (Cyperus haspan) and Sagittaria lancifolia. Therefore, although the entire site consists of jurisdictional wetlands, most of the area is exotic-dominated and of low biological quality. The dense Melaleuca canopy hinders wildlife utilization of the site as suitable foraging habitat. Well data from the two closest USGS monitoring wells G-3556 and G-3558 was used to analyze the hydrologic conditions onsite (see Appendix A). Based on the period of record from 1994 through 2016, the average groundwater elevation within the project area was found to be approximately +4.75’ NGVD. Because the average groundwater elevation is almost exactly the average ground elevation (+5’ NGVD), it was determined that the project site would likely be flooded for about half the year. According to NRCS soil maps, the entire site consists of the hydric soil Dania muck, depressional (see enclosed soil map). Soil saturation is apparent due to frequent inundation of the site.


The project area is bound by Krome Avenue on the west side and undeveloped land on the north, east, and south sides.


PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place 16,563 cubic yards of fill in 2.71 acres of waters of the United States to non-jurisdictional features for the construction of roads associated with a four-tower radio antenna complex. Seven 18-inch culverts will be installed under the access and side roads to maintain water flow in the area.


Additionally 36.65 acres of wetland impacts resulting from the mechanized land-clearing of Melaleuca are proposed for construction of the facility (0.67 acres for cable installation; 0.11 acres for guy wire anchors and under antennas, control rooms and transmitter rooms; and 35.87 acres for radial wire installation).


The proposed work also includes mechanized land clearing of 30.49 acres of Melaleuca for mitigation and exotic vegetation removal. 


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 proposes approximately 2.7 acres of permanent impacts due to the filling activity associated with the roadway installation. The 12’ width of the roadways is the minimum required in order to accommodate the vehicles that will be utilized traveling between the antennas and building (control rooms and transmitter room) during routine maintenance and inspection of the antenna complex. Furthermore, the proposed 2H:1V sloped edges adjacent to the roadways are of the maximum steepness utilized considering sound engineering practices. The proposed “demucking” to a depth of 2’ below existing grade prior to installing the fill for the roadways and sloped edges is also the minimum excavation required (considering sound engineering practices) in order to provide adequate support and stability to the filled roadways. The overall roadway configuration has also been designed to remain outside of the proposed Right-of-Way re-alignment as much as possible. A total of seven (7) culverts are proposed beneath the proposed filled roadways in order to maintain existing onsite water flow to the maximum extent possible (based on input from the SFWMD). Onsite erosion control measures include the installation of silt fences along the proposed fill area in order to prevent runoff into adjacent wetlands. The silt fences will be installed prior to filling activity and will remain in place throughout the construction phase of the project.


The locations of the antenna towers have been configured to keep the area of the radial wire reflective base within the property boundary to the maximum extent possible, while also still maintaining the required separation between each of the antenna towers comprising the antenna complex. Therefore, re-configuration of the antenna tower locations is not feasible. The installation of the radial wires for the reflective base of each antenna requires minimal soils disturbance and there is not excavation proposed to accommodate their installation. Once installation is complete, the entire radial wire reflective base area will be allowed to re-colonize with native wetland vegetation via natural recruitment and will be maintained free of exotic vegetation. The project also proposed approximately 0.7 acres of temporary impacts for a temporary construction corridor required to accommodate the installation of the coaxial cables between the antenna towers and the proposed transmitter room. The 10’-wide temporary corridor is of the minimum width practicable to accommodate the machinery and personnel required during installation of the coaxial cables ben4eath the existing grade, as well as providing adequate area for spoil storage. The excavation of a 2’ by 2’ trench is also of the minimum volume practicable for proper installation of the cables to a depth of approximately 1’ below grade. Therefore, the total volume of excavation associated with the coaxial cable installation (470 cubic yards) has been minimized to the maximum extent possible. The entire temporary construction corridor will be restored to existing grade (using stored spoil material) once installation is complete and allowed to revegetate via natural recruitment. Continuous maintenance of exotic species will help increase the cover of native wetland vegetation within these areas.”


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


“The proposed mitigation will consist of the enhancement and restoration of the existing, degraded onsite wetlands by removing the exotic and invasive vegetation from the entire property. Based on analysis of historic groundwater elevations from the two closest USGS monitoring wells G-3556 and G-3558, the average groundwater elevation within the project area was estimated at approximately +4.75’ NGVD (see Appendix A). Because the average groundwater elevation is almost exactly the average ground elevation (+5’ NGVD), it was determined that the project site would likely be flooded for about half the year, resulting in a hydroperiod of approximately six months. Therefore, there are no proposed changes to the existing natural grade to improve the onsite hydrology. It is anticipated that the removal of the Melaleuca canopy currently dominating the site will allow the existing wetland areas to re-colonize via natural recruitment, and will ultimately resemble a historic freshwater marsh dominated by emergent wetland vegetation. Continual maintenance of the exotic species will prevent the Melaleuca canopy from reoccurring onsite, thereby maintaining the desired cover of native wetland species.”


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 has the potential to affect the following species: Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus), Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), and Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Florida Panther (Puma (=Felis) concolor coryi), and American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).


Florida Bonneted Bat: Potential impacts to the FBB were evaluated using the Effect Determination Guidelines, November 1, 2013. The project site is located within the focal for the FBB. Use of the FBB Guidelines resulted in the sequence 1> “may affect”. As such, formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is required. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the FWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.


Eastern Indigo Snake: Potential impacts to the Eastern Indigo Snake were evaluated using the August 1, 2017, Determination Key for the Eastern Indigo Snake. The project will impact more than 25 acres of snake habitat. By use of the FWS Eastern Indigo Snake Key dated August 1, 2017, the following key sequence A>B>C would result in a “may affect” determination. As such, formal consultation with the FWS is required. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the FWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.


Wood Stork: Potential impacts to the endangered Wood Stork were evaluated using Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the wood stork in Florida, May 18, 2010 (Key). Mitigation for impacts to wood stork foraging habitat will not take place at a Service approved mitigation bank as the applicant has proposed an on-site mitigation project. Therefore, use of the Key resulted in the sequence A>B>C>D “may affect”. As such, formal consultation with the FWS is required. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the FWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

Florida Panther: The Florida panther is listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. The project area is not within the focus area for the Florida panther. However, based on a 120 pound male panther mortality that occurred on June 25, 2007 approximately a mile from the proposed project, the Corps has determined that the proposed project “may affect” the Florida Panther. As such, formal consultation with the FWS is required. The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the FWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

Everglades Snail Kite (ESNKI): The project is located within the ESNKI Consultation Area. The project location does not contain an extensive marsh system or lake littoral zones that could serve as foraging habitat for the species. The on-site plant community does not include spike rush, maidencane, bulrush or other appropriate emergent vegetation necessary to support an apple snail population in the area, the primary food sources for ESNKI. However, since the project site is located east of areas that support marsh systems and the project site has the potential to be used by the ESNKI, the Corps has determined that the project “may affect, but not likely to adversely affect” the ESNKI. Pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act, the Corps will request FWS concurrence with this determination by separate letter.

American Crocodile: While the project is located within the crocodile consultation area and the parcel is not accessible to crocodiles. Therefore, the Corps has determined that 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.

The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other 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. 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 SW 107th Ave., 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, Nicole Fresard, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Ave., Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176; by electronic mail at; 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.