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 and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) as described below:
APPLICANT: Imeson Distribution Center, Inc.
Attn: Mr. Daniel Webb
3600 Vineland Road, Suite 101
Orlando, Florida 32811
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) associated with a 29.5-acre lot. The project site is located northeast of the intersection of Imeson Park Boulevard and Busch Drive North, in Section 18, Township 1 South, Range 27 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is commercial development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a large-scale warehouse facility to include a 378,000-square-foot warehouse, a rail spur line extension for loading and unloading materials, a truck court and an employee parking area to provide additional capacity for the distribution of goods and products arriving at port facilities associated with the City of Jacksonville.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is a 29.5-acre undeveloped site that encompasses approximately 1.69 acres of industrial open land, 6.11 acres of mixed upland non-forested habitat, 4.70 acres of pine flatwoods, and 17 acres of wetland forested-mixed habitat.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place clean fill over 17 acres of wetlands to construct a warehouse facility, a rail spur line extension for loading and unloading materials, a truck court, an employee parking area, and stormwater treatment ponds.
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: Efforts were made to minimize wetland impacts, however the minimum square-footage requirements of the facility, the need to adjoin the structure to the rail spur, the limited available area, and the inherent limited flexibility of a warehouse due to its structure and need for consistent floor elevations made reductions impractical.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION –The applicant’s ecological agent submitted a Wetland Rapid Assessment Procedure (WRAP) quantifying and qualifying the loss of wetland functions and services associated with the work proposed (loss of 17 acres of wetlands). The WRAP calculates the functional loss as 8.67 units. Therefore, the applicant proposed the purchase of 8.67 credits from a mitigation bank with a primary service area encompassing the project site.
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.
Wood Stork (Mycteria americana): The project site is within the core foraging area of the Jacksonville Zoo, Cedar Point Road, and Pumpkin Hill wood stork colonies. Additionally, the property has areas of standing water and other evidence of suitable foraging habitat for the wood stork. At this time it is unknown how this project would affect the wood stork species. The Corps will work with the client to obtain more information to evaluate a determination on the effects of this project on wood storks.
Red Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis): The project site is within the consultation area identified by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the Corps for this species. Therefore, this species may be present at the project site. Habitat for this species typically incorporates mature pine woodlands; and, optimal habitat is
characterized as a broad savanna with a scattered overstory of large pines and a dense groundcover containing a diversity of grass and shrub species. Nesting and roosting occur in cavity trees that are almost exclusively old, living, flat-topped pine trees. The project site does not encompass typical or optimum habitat; or, trees capable of supporting cavities. Therefore it is likely that this species only opportunistically forages at the site. The nearest documented tree cavities are located approximately 14 miles south east of the project site at the Hodges Conservation Easement and 17 miles west at Carey State Forest. In addition, alternate foraging areas are located near the project site. In consideration of the information evaluated, the Corps concludes that the project would have no effect on this species.
The Corps executed a Resources At Risk (RAR) report. The RAR did not indicate that the site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps also reviewed geospatial data and other available information. The Corps has not received or discovered any information that the project site is utilized by, or contains habitat critical to, any other federally listed threatened or endangered species.
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 project does not adversely affect estuarine or marine habitat nor EFH. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the region. 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 Corps has verified the extent of Federal jurisdiction.
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, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232 within 30 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, Terri M. Mashour, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, Post Office Box 4970, Jacksonville, Florida 32232; by electronic mail at email@example.com; by facsimile transmission at (904) 232-1940; or, by telephone at (904) 570-4512.
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.