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: Silverfield Development Company
Ms. Beth Breeding
10175 Fortune Parkway, Suite 1005
Jacksonville, Florida 32256
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with Trout Creek. The project site is located at on Old Palm Valley Road, on tax parcel number 0263410190, in Section 17, Township 5 South, Range 28 East, St. Johns, St. Johns County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Jacksonville, Florida travel south on Interstate 95, take exit 329 for County Road 210. Travel west on County Road 210/Old Palm Valley Road. The project site is located on the right, west of St. Johns Forest Boulevard.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.061145°
Basic: The basic project purpose is commercial development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a gas station with associated stormwater infrastructure in St. Johns, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The subject parcel is currently constrained under a conservation easement associated with SJRWMD Permit Number 40-109-72316-2, dated January 25, 2002, and USACE Nationwide Permit authorization SAJ-200105438 (NW-ME), dated January 29, 2002. The applicant is seeking authorization from the SJRWMD to release the portion of the CE associated with the subject property in exchange for the purchase of an equal number of mitigation bank credits to be purchased from Town Branch Mitigation Bank.
The subject property contains approximately 4.41 acres of wetlands best described as 615-Streams and Lake Swamps (Bottomland) per the Florida Land Use Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCCS 1999). Mature slash pine (Pinus elliottii) dominates the canopy. Lesser canopy and Subcanopy components include swamp bay (Persea palustris), bald-cypress (Taxodium distichum), sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua) black gum (Nyssa sylvatica), water oak (Quercus nigra), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), wax myrtle (Morella cerifera) and saw palmetto (Serenoa repens). Groundcover species include flat sedge (Cyperus odoratus), blue maidencane (Amphicarpum muehlenbergianum), Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica) and cinnamon fern (Osmundastrum cinnamomeum).The existing area surrounding the project area consists of residential and commercial development along the eastern and western project area boundaries, forested freshwater wetlands along the northern project area boundary and Old Palm Valley Road along the southern project area boundary.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge fill material over 4.41 acres of waters of the U.S. for the construction of a gas station and associated stormwater 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 applicant indicated that avoidance of wetland impacts was not possible and measures have been taken to minimize proposed impacts.
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 mitigation bank credits from Town Branch 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 proposed project is within the consultation area for the Wood stork (Mycteria americana). Impacts to the endangered Wood stork were evaluated using 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 (Key). The project, however, would not affect suitable foraging habitat. Therefore, use of this Key resulted in sequential determination A > B no effect. Through the programmatic concurrence, this determination requires no further consultation with the FWS.
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 or Federally managed fisheries in 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, FL 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, Shannon White, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL 32232; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.