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: City of Jacksonville
Mr. Thomas Fallin
117 West Duval Street
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Nine Mile Creek. The project site is located at Nine Mile Creek Bridge, on Moncrief Dinsmore Road, in Section 24, Township 1 South, Range 25 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From downtown Jacksonville, Florida travel north on U.S. Highway 1, then turn left on Moncrief Dinsmore Road. The project site is located at the Nine Mile bridge crossing.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.405980°
Basic: The basic project purpose is construction of bridge approaches.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the construction of new bridge approaches associated with the replacement of a damaged bridge structure.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed project site contains freshwater swamp wetlands, Nine Mile Creek and Moncrief Dinsmore Road. The following community descriptions are derived from the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS) handbook, created by the Florida Department of Transportation Surveying and Mapping Office Thematic Mapping Section. A detailed description of each natural community found on-site is below:
Stream and Lake Swamps (FLUCFCS 615). The forested areas within the project site can be classified as Stream and Lake Swamps and are floodplain wetlands associated with Ninemile Creek. The canopy species present include bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), red maple (Acer rubrum), water oak, and laurel oak. The understory and groundcover are a mix of dwarf palmetto (Sabal minor), lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus), greenbriar, and poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans). Portions of the community are dominated by exotic species such as bamboo, which were likely brought in as ornamental species on adjoining properties.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge fill material into 0.45 acre of waters of the U.S. (wetlands), and dredge a 0.15-acre are in Nine Mile Creek for the construction of new bridge approaches associated with the replacement of an existing bridge structure.
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 proposed project avoids and minimizes wetland impacts to the greatest extent practicable.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant proposes to purchase federal compensatory mitigation bank credits to offset proposed impacts.
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 proposal would have no effect on any 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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Nine Mile Creek and 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 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 Jacksonville Permits Section, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232 within 15 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, Shannon White, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at email@example.com; or, by telephone at (904)232-1681.
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.