SUMMARY: The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) has made available the East Lake Tohopekaliga Drawdown and Habitat Enhancement (East Lake Toho) Final Environmental Impact Statement (Final EIS) to the public. This action concerns a permit application received by the Department of the Army (DA) from Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for activities associated with FWC’s proposed drawdown of East Lake Toho, and removal of vegetation and organic material, to improve habitat conditions for fish and wildlife. This activity is regulated through USACE, pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 United States Code [U.S.C.] § 1344), Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. § 403) and Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C § 408). Additional authority is provided in 33 C.F.R. § 222.5, Water Control Management. The East Lake Toho Final EIS will be used to inform the public and agency decision-makers of FWC’s East Lake Toho Project alternatives and effects on the quality of the human environment.
Based on public comment received in response to the Draft EIS, the Final EIS clarifies issues concerning water quality monitoring, vegetation management, upland disposal, impacts to Florida sandhill crane, property owner concerns with habitat islands, and secondary impacts. The Corps also revised the compensatory mitigation analysis to clarify the project provides a net benefit in aquatic resource functions and services, and no compensatory mitigation is required.
The USACE is preparing this Final EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) Regulations (40 Code of Federal Regulation [CFR] 1500 et seq.), and USACE provisions for implementing the procedural requirements of NEPA (33 CFR 230, USACE Engineering Regulation [ER] 200-2-2).
Information concerning the East Lake Toho Final EIS will be available electronically at two on-line locations:
A hardcopy of the East Lake Toho Final EIS will also be available at the Cocoa Permits Section office (letterhead address) and St. Cloud Civic Center (3001 17th St., St. Cloud, FL 34769).
DATES and PROCESS: The EPA will publish the NOA in the Federal Register on August 2, 2019. In accordance with NEPA, the Corps will not issue a Record of Decision (ROD) on the proposed action until at least 30 days after the NOA publication date. The ROD will state the Corps’ decision whether to authorize the proposed East Lake Tohopekaliga Drawdown and Habitat Enhancement project and, if authorized, the conditions under which it would be allowed to occur and the factors considered in the decision. Written comments on the Final EIS must be received on or before September 3, 2019.
ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted by mail or hand-delivered to: Jeffrey S. Collins, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Cocoa Permits Section, 400 High Point Drive, Suite 600, Cocoa, FL 32926. Comments may also be submitted by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. All comments should include “East Lake Tohopekaliga Final EIS Comments” in the subject line.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions about the Proposed Action and East Lake Toho Final EIS should be directed to Mr. Collins by telephone at (321) 504-3771 or by email: email@example.com
A primary purpose of a USACE Regulatory Program EIS is to provide disclosure of the significant impacts of a proposal seeking a DA permit on the human environment. The Draft EIS and Final EIS are used to inform the public and agency decision-makers of alternatives to an applicant’s project that may avoid or minimize impacts or enhance the quality of the human environment.
Public Disclosure Statement: If you wish to comment, you may mail or email your comments as indicated under the ADDRESSES section of this notice. Before including your address, phone number, email address, or any other personal identifying information in your comment, you should be aware that your entire comment, including your personal identifying information, may be made available to the public at any time. While you can request that your personal identifying information be withheld from public review; however, it cannot guaranteed that we will be able to do so.