Public Notice Notifications

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Florida - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the State of Florida.

Antilles - This includes all public notices for projects being reviewed for Standard Permits within the Antilles area (this includes Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands).

Tropical Storms & Other Emergencies - These public notices provide information on procedures for emergency permitting requirements due to specific tropical storm events or other emergency situations.

Special Issues - These are public notices that involve the Regulatory program but which are generally not limited to one particular geographic area. These would include public notices for the establishment or modification of Restricted Areas/Danger Zones, re-issuance of General Permits or Nationwide Permits, changes to guidance and policies, etc.

Administrative Penalty - These public notices provide information associated with Administrative Penalties. An Administrative Penalty can be assessed to address violations associated with issued Department of the Army permits.

SAJ-2019-02066 (SP-ACM)

Published Feb. 4, 2020
Expiration date: 3/4/2020
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:

APPLICANT:
Collier County School Board
Naples, Florida

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Cocohatchee River. The project site is located at Section 10, Township 48S, Range 25E, Collier County, Naples Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: From I-75: Take Bonita Beach Road (Exit 116) west 0.70 miles to Imperial Parkway. Take Imperial Parkway (which turns into Livingston Road at the county line) approximately 2 miles south to Veterans Memorial Boulevard. Take Veterans Memorial Boulevard approximately 1.23 miles west to the northeast corner of the property. Note, the western 0.75 miles of Veterans Memorial Boulevard is undeveloped, forested land and consists of a primitive two track road in order to access the site.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Latitude 26.299073°
Longitude -81.784352°

PROJECT PURPOSE:
Basic: School and associated amenities.
Overall: High School located in North Naples Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The wetland system consists of a forested freshwater system. The Project site is currently undeveloped with forested upland and wetland habitats. The Project site is bordered to the north by the Mediterra community; to the east and south by the Imperial Golf Estates community; and to the west by the undeveloped Imperial Lakes property. The Project site contains 4.77± acres of jurisdictional freshwater wetlands and 56.82± acres of upland forest. The onsite vegetation consists of Wetland 1 (0.46± acre), located along the northern Project boundary and consists of cypress/pine/cabbage palm habitat. Currently, this wetland consists of 25 to 75 percent infestation of exotic or nuisance pest plant species. Based upon field observations and available resource material, this wetland continues off-site to the north. Wetland 2 (1.21± acres) is located at the northwest Project corner and consists of cypress/pine/cabbage palm habitat. Currently, this wetland contains 50 to 75 percent infestation of exotic or nuisance pest plant species. Based upon field observations and available resource material, this wetland continues off-site to the west. Wetland 3 (3.10± acres) is located along the western Project boundary and consists of predominantly cypress/pine/cabbage palm habitat with a cypress dome in the central portion of the wetland and a dense melaleuca stand along the northern limits of the wetland. Currently, this wetland ranges from 0 to 100 percent infestation of exotic or nuisance pest plant species. Based upon field observations and available resource material, this wetland continues off-site to the west.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to fill 3.21 acres of forested freshwater wetlands for a high school and associated amenities, and 0.09 acres for elevated boardwalk for nature trail in preserve area.

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: Steps have been taken to avoid and minimize wetland impacts to the extent possible; however, the presence of an active eagle nest located off-site but within 50 feet of the southwest corner of the subject property, will require additional uplands to be preserved as a buffer to the eagle nest. As a result, these uplands will not be available for development purposes.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: At the time of the public notice, a mitigation plan has not been provided or discussed.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps determined that the project area has the potential to retain unrecorded archaeological resources. A CRAS of the project area is required to be submitted to the Corps for review in order for the Corps to complete a determination of effects under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. 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 Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), Wood Stork (Mycteria americana), Florida Bonneted Bat (Eumops floridanus), and the Red-cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act or its designated critical habitat.

The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on the Florida Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens) or American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus).

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the project area as this is freshwater wetlands only.

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 Blvd. Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 33919 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, Allison C. Murphy, in writing at the Fort Myers Permits Section, 1520 Royal Palm Square Blvd. Suite 310, Fort Myers, FL 33919; by electronic mail at Allison.C.Murphy@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (239)334-1975 ext. 0008.

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.