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 Clermont
Attn: Stoney Bruson
400 12th Street
Clermont, Florida 34711
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Lake Minneola. The project site is located northeast of the City of Clermont Waterfront Park, on the south side of Lake Minneola at 5 2nd Street, in Section 23, Township 22 South, Range 25 East, Lake County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-4E, take exit 38 for FL-33, turn left onto FL-33N / Commonwealth Ave; turn right onto County Road 561; turn left onto 12th Street; turn right onto FL-50E; turn left onto East Ave; turn left onto Palm Street; turn right onto 2nd Street; project site is on the right.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 28.563049°
Overall: Construct a public boat ramp to provide regional access to Lake Minneola and surrounding lakes for the residents of the City of Clermont and Lake County
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The impact area is to the shoreline of Lake Minneola. The littoral zone is dominated by herbaceous plant species. The dominant species is the non-native torpedo grass (Panicum repens). Other minor species observed included duck potato (Sagittaria lancifolia), marsh pennywort (Hydrocotyle umbellate) and alligator weed (Alternathera philoxeroides). Primrose willow (Ludwigia peruviana) is scattered along the shoreline.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a four-lane concrete boat ramp and floating dock on the south side of Lake Mineola. The proposed ramp is 78 feet wide and 114 feet long.
The floating dock will be located on the northeast side of the boat ramp. The floating dock will be 96 feet long, 46 feet wide and consist of a 25 foot gangway and six docking structures.
The proposed concrete boat ramp will impact the littoral zone of Lake Minneola. The total size of the boat ramp will be 8,892 square feet. The ramp will result in 0.155 acres (6,764 square feet) of permanent wetland impacts.
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: Four swales are proposed between the parking area and the lake edge. The swales will be located in the uplands, landward of the wetland line. The applicant will install floating turbidity curtains around the work area, which will remain in place until construction is completed, soils are stabilized and vegetation has been established.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The project site is within the Palatlakaha River Nested basin. The combined functional loss for the project includes direct impacts (0.093) and secondary impacts (0.18), for a total of 0.273. The applicant is proposing to purchase 0.27 credits at Hammock Lake 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 the Florida scrub jay (Aphelocoma c. coerulescens), Wood stork (Mycteria Americana), Sand Skinks (Neoseps reynoldsi), or Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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. 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 Tampa Permits Section within 21 days from the date of this notice. For electronic mail (preferred) submit comments to Caitlin.S.Hoch@usace.army.mil. For standard mail submit comments to 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302. Please reference this permit number, SAJ- 2019-00104 (SP-CSH), on all submittals.
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, Caitlin Hoch-Nussbaum, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610; by electronic mail at Caitlin.S.Hoch@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (813) 355-0789.
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.