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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:
APPLICANT: Miami-Dade County Department of Transportation and Public Works
c/o Leandro Ona
111 NW 1st Street, 15th Floor
Miami, FL 33138
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with wetlands adjacent to Biscayne Bay. The project site is located along NE 151st Street from Biscayne Boulevard to Bay Vista Drive, within Sections 16,17,21,22 Township 52S, Range 42E, in Miami, Florida 33033.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95 to Ives Dairy Rd, Exit 16. Head east on FL-854/NE 205th Street for approximately a mile. Head south onto US-I for 3.3 miles.
Tum east onto NE 151st Street.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Basic: The basic project purpose is improving transportation.
Overall: The overall project purpose is for improving transportation by widening of an existing 4 lane road to a 6 lane road in North Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The Site is comprised of a roadway and right-of-way corridor along NE 151st Street, located in North Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida. The Site begins near the Florida East Coast (FEC) railroad tracks west of Biscayne Boulevard, continues east along NE 151st Street, south along Bay Vista Boulevard, and ends near the bus exit to the David Lawrence Jr. K-8 Center. The Site has a length of approximately 4,600 linear feet and the width varies based upon the width of the roadway and right-of-way. The Site is located within an area that contains commercial and industrial development, condominium complexes, undeveloped or protected land, an athletic complex, and public schools.
Based on the October 23rd, 2017 field visit, it was determined that ±0.16 acres of invasive/exotic freshwater forested wetlands and ±0.55 acres of estuarine mangrove wetlands fall within the proposed limits of construction.
The freshwater forested wetlands were predominantly composed of invasive/exotic tree species including Brazilian pepper (Schinus terebinthifolius) and shoe button ardisia (Ardisia ellipitica), with lesser in inclusions by native species including strangler fig (Ficus aurea), coastal plain willow (Salix caroliniana), and leather fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium).
The estuarine mangrove wetlands were predominantly composed of native species including red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle), black mangrove (Avicennia germinans), and white mangrove (Laguncularia racemosa). Additional species present in lesser abundance included Brazilian pepper, shoe button ardisia, cabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), leather fern, and shield fern (Theylpteris spp.). Overall, both the freshwater and estuarine forested wetland areas displayed a predominance of hydrophytic vegetation per State and Federal wetland delineation guidelines.
The project limits also included mixed herbaceous/forested upland areas. Predominant herbaceousspecies present included upland pasture grasses (e.g. St. Augustine grass [Stenotaphrum secundatum]), wedelia (Wedelia trilobata), and beggarticks (Bidens pilosa) with variable canopycoverage by Australian pine (Casuarina equisetifolia).
PROPOSED WORK: The discharge of 3,450 cubic yards of fill into a total of 0.71 acres of waters of the U.S. for improvements to an existing roadway consisting of widening, reconstruction, milling and resurfacing. NE 151st Street will be widened from an existing four-lane divided roadway to a new six-lane divided roadway from Biscayne Boulevard to Bay Vista Drive. Work includes drainage, environmental, signing and pavement marking, signalization, lighting, and landscape architecture.
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 conducted a feasibility study for the project and considered several alternatives for improving the traffic along the roadway. The proposed project design was determined to be the least impacting to wetlands while still meeting the intended project purpose
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
Based on preliminary wetland delineations and WATER calculations, it has been determined that 0.07 freshwater forested FPL Bank credits will be needed to offset ±0.16 acres of impacts to freshwater forested wetlands, and 0.28 estuarine forested (i.e. mangrove) FPL Bank credits will be needed to offset ±0.55 acres of impacts to mangrove wetlands.
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.
Additionally the applicant has conducted independent coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office. Through coordination with the Florida Department of State Division of Historical Resources, a review of the Florida Master Site File revealed no archaeological sites and standing structures. However, two linear resources, the Biscayne BLCD (roadway) and the F.E.C. Railway appeared historical or archeological resources within the proposed project area (see Appendix D). No impacts to these resources are anticipated.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has evaluated the potential impacts on Federally listed endangered or threatened species and determined that the project will have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species, and/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 cause filling impacts to approximately 0.71 acres of wetland habitat which have no direct effects on Essential Fish Habitat. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in Biscayne Bay. 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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, 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, Albert Gonzalez, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 SW 107th Avenue, Suite # 203, Miami, Florida, 33176, by electronic mail at email@example.com, by fax at (305) 526-7184, or by telephone at (305)779-6055.
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.