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 USC 1344) as described below:
City of Fort Myers
2200 Second Street
Fort Myers, FL 33901
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with freshwater forested wetlands adjacent to Six Mile Cypress Slough. The project site is located within Section 09, Township 45 South, Range 25 East at 11030 Ben C Pratt- Six Mile Cypress Parkway, Fort Myers, Lee County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take Exit 131 on I-75, travel west on Daniels Parkway. Turn Right on to Ben C Pratt Six Mile Cypress Parkway. Project location is on the left after 3.1 miles.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: Construct a new fire station and associated infrastructure.
Overall: To increase fire department service to the residents and reduce response times by constructing a new fire station.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area consists of 2.65 acres of mixed forested wetland. The wetlands are disturbed and contain higher than 50% concentrations of exotic species. The project area is surrounded to the east and south by Ben C Pratt – Six Mile Cypress Parkway, to the west by undeveloped mixed forested wetlands, and to the north by a golf course with residential properties.
BACKGROUND: The Department of the Army has no history of permits issued for this project area.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a new fire station with associated infrastructure. The proposed project will result in the placement of 11,586 cubic yards of clean fill within 2.65 acres of jurisdictional wetlands.
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 applicant’s choice of site location avoided impacts to sites with higher quality wetlands. Additionally, the project size was minimized to the maximum extent while still achieving the project purpose. Applicant has agreed to adhere to all Eastern indigo snake and Florida bonneted bat special conditions and protection measures. Appropriate best management practices (BMP’s) will be utilized during work to avoid secondary impacts.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation of proposed compensatory mitigation: The applicant will purchase 1.65 forested wetland credits from Corkscrew Regional Mitigation Bank to offset negative impacts.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The activity is of such limited scope there is little likelihood of impact upon a historic property; therefore, the proposed project would have “No Potential to Cause Effect”.
ENDANGERED SPECIES: The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Everglades Snail Kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis), Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus), Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens), Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis), Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), and Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). The Corps has requested concurrence from the US Fish and Wildlife Service with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): N/A
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 Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL within 15 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, Eric Larrat, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Boulevard Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 33919; by electronic mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; by facsimile transmission at (239)334-0797; or, by telephone at (239)334-1975.
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.