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: Daytona Beach International Airport
Mr. David Mathias
700 Catalina Dr
Daytona Beach, FL 32114
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The Daytona Beach International Airport – Taxiway November Expansion project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Tomoka River Hydrologic Basin (10-digit Hydrologic Unit Code (0309020102)). The project site is located east of Williamson Blvd and north of Beville Road at the existing Daytona International Airport in Section 27, Township 15S, Range 32E, Daytona Beach, Volusia County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of I-95 and International Speedway Blvd. (ISB), travel east on ISB to Williamson Blvd, turn south, the site is on the east side of the road.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Airport Expansion.
Overall: Airport Taxiway Expansion at the existing Daytona Beach International Airport in Volusia County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area currently includes the following land use types/vegetative communities:
Pine Flatwoods (411): This community is found in the northwest end of the site in an undeveloped section of the airport property. Canopy species consist of slash pine (Pinus elliottii), water oak (Quercus nigra), live oak (Quercus virginiana), southern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana), and southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora). The sub-canopy species consist of dahoon holly (Ilex cassine), elderberry (Sambuca nigra), and head high saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). Ground cover species consist of bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum), dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), and maidencane (Amphicarpum muhlenbergianum). The vine layer consisted of smilax (Smilax glauca) and muscadine grapevine (Vitis rotundifolia).
Airport (811): This land use category includes multiple paved taxiways and stabilized and maintained vegetative clear zones. The dominant vegetation within the airport infield is mowed bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum), other pasture type grasses, and early successional plant species. Several low pockets are located in the maintained open field that collect water during high rain fall events, and contain scattered wetland vegetation.
Surface waters (514, 534): The surface waters within the infield are low pockets of maintained grasses and minimal wetland vegetation that appear to regularly inundate. Species consist of bahia grass, dollar weed (Hydrocotyle umbellata), torpedo grass (Panicum repens) spade leaf (Centella asiatica), and frog fruit (Phyla nodiflora).
Wetland Forested Mix (630): Canopy species in this wetland consist of bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), live oak, red maple (Acer rubrum), and cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto). The sub-canopy species consist of the same with the addition of Chinese tallow (Triadica sebifera), swamp bay (Persea palustris), button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), and water oak. Ground cover species observed were water oak seedlings, swamp fern (Blechnum serrulatum), royal fern (Osmunda regalis), and dahoon holly. At the lowest point in the wetland, royal fern tussocks are approximately 8’’ and blackberry (Rubus pensilvanicus) has started to invade the fringes.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 2.82 acres of waters of the United States (1.86 acres of wetlands and 0.96 acres of surface waters) to construct the improvements to Taxiway November. The construction includes the improvements to Taxiway November, stormwater management areas, land management, and infrastructure.
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 to rehabilitate the airport Taxiway November will impact 1.86 acres of forested wetlands. Rehabilitation of Taxiway November includes surface maintenance, safety improvements and modification to the existing drainage system to accommodate improvements. Surface maintenance will include milling and paving to remove propagating cracks and prevent from recurrence. Safety improvements include taxiway lighting, paved shoulders, revised slopes, and traffic flow.
The proposed staging area is located at the northwest corner of the airport property at the intersection of S. Williamson Boulevard and Midway Avenue. The site is currently undeveloped, vegetated, and has 1.88 acres wetlands. The location of this staging area was approved by the FAA for this project. The staging area is necessary for temporary staging of construction crews, equipment, and materials. This site is the only area available on contiguous airport property that is North of Runway 7L-25R and West of Runway 16-34. It is critical to have a staging area not only close by, but in a location where the contractor does not have to exit the Airfield Operational Area (AOA) and does not have to cross a runway.
The proposed staging area will be fenced in with a TSA approved security fence and gate. The staging area will be a “sally port” type of area, where it can be maintained airside or landside, depending on what the contractor’s requirements are that day. For example, if they are hauling lime rock to stockpile in the staging area, the inner gate would be maintained closed so that deliveries can occur without entering the AOA. On the days when construction activities require rapid access to the staging area, the staging area will be made the AOA and the outer gate will be the secure gate.
The contractor will need to store materials that include drainage pipe, drainage structures, and thousands of feet of electrical wire. A major component of this project will be at night when the runway will have scheduled closures from 12:00 am to 5:00 am. The contractor will need to have quick access to all stockpiled materials such as lime rock and airfield lighting equipment at a moment’s notice. If the materials were located outside the AOA, this night operation would not work because of the time it would take to get to and from the staging area. Each time a vehicle enters the AOA, the driver must stop and potentially have the vehicle checked by the guard gate, adding additional time.
A staging area is available near the project on the south side of Runway 7L-25R. Use of this area would be difficult because of the time it would take to get to and from the staging area. Additionally use of this area would require the contractor to haul across an active runway which will add delays at peak flying times or they would have to use the perimeter road adding time and costing fuel. Hauling construction equipment across active airfield pavement is not ideal due to the debris and FOD that could damage aircraft.
Additionally, as stated in the Daytona Beach International Airport Management Plan, wildlife attractants should be removed where possible. While this site is not on the AOA, meaning it is not inside the fence, it is just outside the fence to the runway threshold, which is the most critical part of the runway. The proposed staging area is the least environmentally damaging practicable alternative.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
“Mitigation to offset the functional losses of direct wetland impacts and secondary impacts consists of the purchase of federal mitigation credits from the Lake Swamp Mitigation Bank.”
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, wood stork (Mycteria americana) and Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi).
The proposed activity is not within the Core Foraging Area (CFA) of a wood stork rookery; the project supports marginally Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) for wood stork. Based on the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida (dated September 2008), the Corps determination sequence was A>B>C>D>E = “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. The determination is supported by SFH compensation provided within the service area of a mitigation bank, and provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH; and is not contrary to the Service’s “Habitat Management Guidelines for the Wood Stork in the Southeast Region”. No further consultation is required.
Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Effect Determination Key (dated January 25, 2010; August 13, 2013 Addendum), the Corps determination sequence resulted in A>B>C = “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. This determination is based on the project not being located in open water, the applicant adhering to the “Standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo Snake” (dated August 12, 2013) and the absence of gopher tortoise, holes, and refugia within the work area where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities. 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. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH. 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 been verified by Corps personnel.
AUTHORIZATION FROM OTHER AGENCIES: Water Quality Certification is required from the SJRWMD.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District through the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926 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, John Palmer, in writing at the Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926, by electronic mail at John.Palmer@usace.army.mil, by fax at (321) 504-3803, or by telephone at (321) 504-3771, extension 10.
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.