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.

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Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

SAJ-2006-06547(SP-MLC)

Published Nov. 20, 2018
Expiration date: 12/19/2018

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) and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) as described below:

 

APPLICANT:      PortMiami

                     c/o Becky Hope, Environmental Manager

                                                           

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Biscayne Bay, and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  The project site is located on the north side of PortMiami (Dodge and Lummus Islands) in Miami, Section 37, Township 54 South, Range 42 East in Miami-Dade County, Florida (folio #01-4205-000-0010).

 

Directions to the site are as follows:  From I-95, take SR 836, I-395 east to US-1 south to Port Boulevard east onto the Port of Miami.  The Project is located on the north side of the Port.

 

LATITUDE & LONGITUDE:  Latitude:      25.780389°

                                              Longitude: - 80.180273°

 

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic:  The basic project purpose is to provide new boating access.

Overall:  The overall project purpose is to provide new boating access at an existing slip in Miami-Dade County, FL.

 

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to reconfigure Cruise Berth H. This berth will measure approximately 740 feet along the bulkhead with a 64-foot return wall to the existing north bulkhead and a mooring extension approximately 200 feet beyond the bulkhead for safe berthing of the ship. The bulkhead construction will consist of interlocking steel sheet pile (SSP). The construction of the redeveloped Berth H bulkhead requires filling of a wedge-shaped area (approximately 21,285 square feet) which extends from south to north. The existing basin waterward of the berth requires 59,200 square feet of maintenance dredge area as described above to -34.5 ft water depth (much of the basin currently exists at -34 foot). The project requires deepening of 225,000 square feet of area west of the basin for safe mooring of the ship [much of this area includes the ICW which is currently -15 to 20 foot) and dredging 8,600 square feet of area west of the ICW.


 

EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The project area consists of a saltwater system. Transect surveys were conducted and four species of coral were observed: ivory bush coral (Oculina diffusa) (estimated total 4 individual colonies), hidden cup coral (Phyllangia americana) (estimated total 119 individual colonies), tube coral (Cladocora arbuscula) (estimated total 1 individual colony), and great star coral (Montastraea cavernosa) estimated total 1 individual colony). No listed coral species, including Acropora spp., Mycetophyllia ferox, Dendrogyra cylindrus, or Orbicella spp. were observed at any transect location. Hidden cup coral was observed from depths ranging from 3 to 42 feet below sea level. Ivory bush coral was observed from depths ranging from two 2 to 10 ft below sea level. Only one tube coral was observed, occurring at a depth of seven 7 feet below sea level. Only one colony of great star coral was observed, occurring at a depth of 25 feet below sea level. Other flora and fauna observed during the survey include algae (Caulerpa sertularoides and Halimeda spp.), crustaceans (Balanus spp.), and tunicates (Clavelina spp.).

A seagrass survey was conducted in August 2018 in the proposed Berth H redevelopment area. Bottom habitat within the survey area consists primarily of soft-bottom estuarine habitat. The substrate is primarily fine silt and sand with limestone rock ledges present in some areas. Water depths ranged from 10 to 42 feet below mean sea level. Small patches of Halophila decipiens (paddle grass), totaling approximately 67 square feet, were documented within the redevelopment area along the western slope of the AIW within the dredge area. No Halophila johnsonii (Johnson’s seagrass) or other seagrass species were found within the survey area. Most of the survey transects did not contain seagrass. Seagrass was only observed on two of the 14 transects. Seagrass patch size ranged from 0.1 to 29 square feet.  No large (greater than 30 square feet), contiguous seagrass beds were observed during the seagrass survey. Braun Blanquet scores for seagrass patches observed were calculated based on the percent cover recorded during the transect survey.  Braun Blanquet scores in the transects ranged from 0.1 to 3, with an average score of 1.5. The northwest corner of the project area had the greatest amount of seagrass coverage, with sparse and sparse-to-moderate densities.


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:


“During the installation of the interlocking steel sheet pile (SSP), should the contractor encounter very hard materials (i.e., dense limerock) he would be permitted to pre-drill the hard materials, thereby allowing the SSP to be installed without sustaining structural damage. Silt curtains and turbidity monitoring will be done.”


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

“Mitigation for all phases, including endangered species protection within the construction area by compliance with the USACE/USFWS and compliance with the NMFS swimming sea turtle and smalltooth sawfish construction protocols.”


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:  A preliminary review the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Protected Resource Divisions (NMFS-PRD)’s list of Endangered and Threatened Species indicates the following listed species may occur in the project area:


West Indian Manatee:  The Corps has determined the project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect” (MANLAA) the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Use of the 2013 Manatee Key resulted in a determination of A->B->C->G->N->O->P. No further correspondence with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is required pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act

Smalltooth Sawfish and Swimming Sea Turtles: The Corps has determined the proposed project “may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect”  green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), Kemp’s ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata) and Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus).The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service’s concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter. 

Federally Listed Corals: The Corps has determined the project will have “No effect” on elkhorn and staghorn corals (Acropora palmata, Acropora cervicornis) and their designated critical habitat. However, the proposed project “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect” the 5 listed coral species found in Dade-County: pillar coral (Dendrogyra cylindrus), lobed star coral (Orbicella annularis), mountainous star coral (Orbicella faveolata), knobby star coral (Orbicella franksi), and rough cactus coral (Mycetophyllia ferox). The Corps will request National Marine Fisheries Service’s concurrence pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

Johnson’s Seagrass:  The Corps has determined that the project will have “no effect” Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii) designated critical habitat and would have “no effect” on Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii).

This notice serves as request for information from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Marine Fisheries Service’s Protected Resource Division, and any other interested party, on whether any species listed or proposed for listing may be present in the area.

 

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 impacts from project construction would be the loss of the community of seagrass, algae and invertebrates (e.g., sponges, bryozoans, oysters, tunicates, and soft and hard corals). The proposal would impact approximately 0.49 acres utilized by various life stages of invertebrates and fishes that may use those areas. 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 application should be submitted in writing to the District Engineer at the above address within 30 days from the date of this notice.

 

If you have any questions concerning this application, you may contact Megan L. Clouser at the letterhead address, by electronic mail at Megan.L.Clouser@usace.army.mil, by fax at 305-526-7184, or by telephone at 305-526-7182.

 

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.

 

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 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.