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: Legacy Industries of Jax, LLC.
Attn: Mr. Deno Hicks
Post Office Box 50806
Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) hydrologically connected to Cedar River, Ortega River, and the St. Johns River. The project site is located on the north side of West 12th Street and the west side of North Lane Avenue just east of Interstate 295, in Section 1, Township 2 South, Range 25 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: The basic project purpose is commercial development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is establishment of an industrial warehouse facility, parking area, and associated stormwater management facilities.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area encompasses undeveloped uplands and wetlands. The onsite vegetative communities, as characterized by the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS), are pine flatwoods, hardwood-conifer mixed, Upland Cut Ditch, and hydric pine flatwoods.
Pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS 411) – Uplands within the eastern half of the property are classified as pine flatwoods. This community is dominated by the natural regrowth of a slash pine (Pinus elliottii) canopy with little to no subcanopy present. Dense groundcover vegetation consists of saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), bitter gallberry (Ilex
glabra), blackberry (Rubus spp.), wire grass (Aristida stricta), and bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum).
Hardwood-Conifer Mixed (FLUCFCS 434) – Upland pockets adjacent to the western property boundary contain a mixed canopy of pines and hardwoods, dominated by slash pine, water oak (Quercus nigra), red maple (Acer rubrum), and sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua). The subcanopy within this area is primarily dominated by juvenile canopy species, saw palmetto, bitter gallberry, and bracken fern.
Upland-Cut Ditch (FLUCFCS 511) – Two sparsely vegetated upland-cut ditches converge in the northeastern portion of the property and drain off-site to the southeast.
Hydric Pine Flatwoods (FLUCFCS 625) – The majority of on-site wetlands are pine dominated flatwoods communities. The canopy species is dominated by slash pine with interspersed pockets of subcanopy hardwood species including water oak, sweetgum, red maple, and loblolly bay (Gordonia lasianthus). Ground cover includes hydrophytic ferns, fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), and saw palmetto. Vegetative composition and hydrologic characteristics of the on-site wetlands have been adversely impacted by adjacent industrial developments and existing roadways over the course of several years.
Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCFCS 630) – A depressional component of the larger hydric pine flatwoods community is dominated by a canopy of slash pine, sweetgum, red maple, bald cypress (Taxodium distichum), and loblolly bay. Lower strata includes hydrophytic ferns, fetterbush (Lyonia lucida), and saw palmetto.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge clean fill material over a total of 10.99 acres of wetlands to facilitate the establishment of an industrial warehouse and associated 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 previously permitted use of the site for a biosolid management facility was not feasible; as a commercial contract to treat outside and yard waste was not able to be obtained so the facility was not constructed as permitted. The change in proposed use of the site from a biosolid management facility to an industrial warehouse facility necessitates additional wetland impact for expanded parking requirements and associated stormwater management facilities.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The applicant’s ecological agent submitted a Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) quantifying and qualifying the loss of aquatic functions and services associated
with the work proposed. The UMAM calculated the functional loss as 4.76 units. In consideration of the UMAM, compensatory mitigation for the work proposed would be accomplished through the purchase of 4.76 UMAM credits from a permitted mitigation bank that services the project area.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: In December 2016, SEARCH Inc. performed a Cultural Resource Assessment Survey for the parcel. No archaeological sites or historic buildings were identified within the project area. 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 Wood Stork colony. Therefore, this species may be present at the project site. However, the work proposed would not affect suitable foraging habitat. In consideration of this information, the Corps utilized 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, to determine potential effects upon this species. Use of this key resulted in the sequence A-B-no effect.
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. It is likely that this species only opportunistically forages at the site, which the project would not preclude. Therefore, 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 public 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 would not affect marine or estuarine habitat nor EFH. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not adversely affect EFH or federally managed fisheries. Our final determination relative to project impacts and the need for mitigation measures is subject to review 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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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.