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.

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.

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SAJ-2008-01302 (SP-MRE)

Published March 13, 2018
Expiration date: 4/3/2018
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:  Pilot Travel Centers LLC
                       5508 Lonas Drive
                       Knoxville, Tennessee 37090

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with Dunn Creek. The project site is located at 3515 Zoo Parkway (Duval County Property Appraiser Parcel Identification Number 108758-0010), in Section 14, Township 01 South, Range 27 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.

                                                                          Longitude -81.571633°


Basic: The basic project purpose is commercial development.

Overall: The overall project purpose is the establishment of a commercial transportation service center for vehicles utilizing Interstate 295 and the Jacksonville Port facilities.


Soils: According to the Soil Survey of City of Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida (U.S. Department of Agriculture – Natural Resource Conservation Service), three soil types are present on-site. These soil types are Leon fine sand (32); Lynn Haven fine sand (35); and Urban land-Leon-Boulogne complex (71).

Vegetation: The project site encompasses eight community types identified by the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS). These communities are Open Land (FLUCFCS 190), Shrub and Brushland (FLUCFCS code 320), Pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS code 411), Wetland Coniferous Forests (FLUCFCS code 620), Cypress – Palm – Cabbage Palm (FLUCFCS code 624), Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCFCS code 630), Wetland Scrub (FLUCFCS code 631), and Vegetated Non-Forested Wetlands (FLUCFCS code 640).

Open Land: The area classified as Open Land on the western edge of the property is vegetated with bushy beardgrass (Andropogon glomeratus) and sand blackberry (Rubus sp.).

Shrub and Brushland: The remaining non-forested uplands are classified as Shrub and Brushland. Vegetation in this area includes saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), bitter gallberry (Ilex glabra), saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia), wax myrtle (Myrica cerifera), bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), and Chinese tallow (Triadic sebiferum).

Pine Flatwoods: The remaining forested uplands are classified as Pine Flatwoods habitat. Dominant vegetation includes slash pine (Pinus elliottii), water oak (Quercus nigra), red bay (Persea borbonia), southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora), saw palmetto, bitter gallberry, and bracken fern.

Wetland Coniferous Forests: Dominant species include loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus), red bay, sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), southern magnolia, saw palmetto, wax myrtle, cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea), bitter gallberry, and Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica).

Cypress – Palm – Cabbage Palm: Dominant species include myrtle holly (Ilex myrtifolia), saltbush, red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), and saw palmetto.

Wetland Forested Mixed: The majority of on-site wetlands are classified as wetland forested mixed. Dominant species include slash pine, water oak, sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana), saw palmetto, bitter gallberry, cinnamon fern, bracken fern, and muscadine grape (Vitis rotundifolia).

Wetland Scrub: Vegetation observed includes wax myrtle, sand blackberry, saltbush, Carolina willow (Salix caroliniana), Virginia chain fern, and cinnamon fern.

Vegetated Non-Forested Wetlands: Areas of wetland occupying the northeast corner of the site are classified as vegetated non-forested wetlands. Dominant species include bushy beardgrass, soft rush (Juncus effusus), and maidencane (Panicum hemitomon).

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill over a total of 1.92 acres of wetlands and excavate 0.02 acre of wetlands to facilitate the establishment of the proposed facility.

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:

Wetland impacts have been avoided and minimized to the fullest extent practicable given the nature of the project and the need to ensure economic feasibility. Given the requirements for parking of large trucks, building footprint, and associated stormwater management facility requirements, the site plan is fairly inflexible. The size of the proposed buildings and customer/employee parking lot are scaled to fit projected sales. Reduction in the size of these facilities would deem the project economically unfeasible. Following a site inspection attended by the applicant’s environmental consultant and the Corps on 9 January 2018, wetland impacts were reduced in the northeastern corner of the project site as suggested by the Corps. This yielded a 32 percent reduction in impact to the northeastern wetland.

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

Mitigation would be accomplished through the purchase of 1.26 UMAM credits from a federally approved mitigation bank that serves the project site.

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.


Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis) – The project site is approximately 21.0 miles from the nearest identified nest or cluster location for Red Cockaded Woodpecker; and, within the consultation area identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Corps for this species. Therefore, this species might utilize the project site. However, habitat for Red Cockaded Woodpecker typically incorporates mature pine woodlands; and, optimal habitat is characterized as a broad savanna with a scattered overstory of large pines and a dense groundcover containing a diversity of grass and shrub species. Nesting and roosting occur in cavity trees that are almost exclusively old, living, flat-topped pine trees. The project site does not encompass typical or optimum habitat, as the pine flatwoods encompassed by the site is not a mature system; or, trees capable of supporting cavities. Further, as forested habitat is located near the project site, it is likely that this species would only opportunistically forage at the site, which the development of the site would not preclude. In consideration of the information evaluated, the Corps concludes that the development of the property would have no effect on this species.

Wood Stork (Mycteria americana): The project site is approximately 4.4 miles from the Jacksonville Zoo colony, approximately 6.0 miles from the Pumpkin Hill (594105) colony, approximately 6.4 miles from the Cedar Point Road (594003) colony; and, within the Core Foraging Areas of each of these colonies. Therefore, this species might utilize the project site. The project would affect less than 0.5 acre of suitable foraging habitat for Wood Storks. In consideration of this information, the Corps utilized The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Jacksonville Ecological Services Field Office and State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida, September 2008, to determine potential effects upon this species. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-C-may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect. The FWS previously indicated that they concur with determinations of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on the key for Wood Storks; and, that no additional consultation is necessary.

The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species.

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 not affect marine and/or estuarine habitat. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have an adverse effect on EFH or federally managed fisheries in Dunn Creek or 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 Corps has verified the jurisdictional delineation.

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 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, Mark R. Evans, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at; by facsimile transmission at (904)232-1940; or, by telephone at (904)232-2028.

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.