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:
Ryan Companies US, Inc.
533 South Third Street, Suite 100
Minneapolis, MN 55415
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Upper Anclote River. The project site is located at 16915 SR 54, in Sections 19 & 20, Township 26 South, Range 18 East, Lutz, Pasco County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From the intersection of I-275 and SR 56 proceed west 9.6 miles. Site is on the north side of SR 56. From the Intersection of SR 56 and SR 589 (Suncoast Parkway) site is approximately 0.7 miles east of the intersection on the north side of SR 56.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Industrial Development
Overall: To construct an industrial development within Pasco County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The onsite wetlands consist of 2 forested cypress wetlands encompassing an area of approximately 19.7-acres (Wetlands A & D). Both of these wetlands have been rim ditched, which has resulted in a shift in vegetative composition from cypress (Taxodium ascendens) dominated systems to a mixture of cypress, mixed hardwoods, and pines. The 3 small depressional wetlands (wet prairies) have been delineated as wetlands F, G, and H. These wetlands have been incorporated into the adjacent pasture, and are subject to cattle grazing, tilling, and other agricultural practices.
The existing area surrounding the project area consists of approximately 23-acres of improved pasture.
Dominant pasture vegetation includes bahia grass (Paspalum notatum), Bermuda grass
(Cynodon dactylon), smut grass (Sporobolus indicus), dog fennel (Eupatorium capillifolium), frog’s bit (Limnobium spongia), carpet grass (Axonopus furcatus), thistle, (Cirsium horridulum) sweetbroom (Scoparia dulcis), and coinwort (Centella asiatica). Periodic tilling throughout these areas has resulted in uneven soil surfaces.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to dredge and/or fill 4.48 acres of wetlands and surface waters.
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 project engineer refined the site design over time to accommodate needed infrastructure with accompanying efforts to minimize and eliminate wetland impacts.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Compensatory mitigation will include the purchase of mitigation bank credits based on the UMAM for the project.
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 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has determined the proposed project “May affect, not likely to adversely affect” the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Based on the Eastern Indigo Snake Effect Determination Key (dated January 25, 2010; August 13, 2013 Addendum), the Corps determination sequence is as follows: A (The project is not located in open water or salt marsh.) > B (The permit will be conditioned for use of the Service’s standard Protection Measures for the Eastern Indigo snake during site preparation and construction) > C (T There are no gopher tortoise burrows, holes, cavities, or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped and injured during project activities) = May Affect Not Likely To Adversely Affect (NLAA). The Corps has U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) concurrence for the proposed activities through use of the aforementioned determination key.
The Corps has determined the project “May affect, not likely to adversely affect” the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana). The proposed activity is within the Core Foraging Area (CFA) of 10 rookeries; the project supports Suitable Foraging Habitat (SFH) for wood stork. Based on the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork in Central and North Peninsular Florida (dated May 2008), the Corps determination sequence is as follows: A (Project more than 2,500 feet of an active colony site) > B (Project impacts to SFH) > C (Project impacts to SFH is greater in scope than 0.5 acres) > D (Project impacts to SFH are within the CFA of a colony site, or wood storks have been documented foraging on a project site outside the CFA) > E (Project provides SFH compensation within the Service Area of a Service-approved wetland mitigation bank or wood stork conservation bank preferably within the CFA, or consists of SFH compensation within the CFA consisting of enhancement, restoration or creation in a project phased approach that provides an amount of habitat and foraging function equivalent to that of impacted SFH, is not contrary to the Service’s Habitat Management Guidelines For The Wood Stork In The Southeast Region and in accordance with the CWA section 404(b)(1) guidelines) = NLAA. The Corps has U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) concurrence for the proposed activities through use of the aforementioned determination key.
The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on Florida Scrub-Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens).
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/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, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302 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, Ryan Hendren, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 33610-8302; by electronic mail at Ryan.G.Hendren@usace.army.mil or, by telephone at 813-769-7075.
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.
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.