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-2017-02088 (SP-SLV)

Published Feb. 27, 2020
Expiration date: 3/19/2020

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) as described below:

APPLICANT: Columbia County
Attention: Kevin Kirby
P.O. Box 1520
Lake City, Florida 32056

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect wetlands of the United States associated with the Falling Creek Watershed. The project site is located along Bell Road between highways US 441 and US 41 in Columbia County, Florida, north of Lake City. The project would be located on parcels 07-3S-17-04868-000 and 13-3S-16-02097-003 in the following:


Township / Direction

Range / Direction


03 South

17 East


03 South

17 East


03 South

16 East


03 South

17 East


03 South

17 East


03 South

16 East

Directions to the site are as follows: From Gainesville, proceed on I-75 north to I-10, then proceed on I-10 east to the US 41 exit. Take the US 41 exit, then proceed several hundred feet south to 25A. Turn south on 25A and follow for about ¾ of a mile, and then turn east on Bell Road.

West end: 30.235452°, -82.667791°
East end: 30.236366°, -82.638578°

BASIC PROJECT PURPOSE: Road construction
OVERALL PROJECT PURPOSE: The overall project purpose is to create a throughway between US 441 and US 41 north of Lake City.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The proposed project would impact wetland system consists of a freshwater system. The onsite vegetation consists of palustrine, deciduous forest with broad-leaved deciduous and needle-leaved evergreen trees. Species present in the in the proposed project areas include water tupelo, loblolly bay, maple, sweet gum, red maple, wax myrtle, water oak, slash pine, shiny lyonia, chain fern, and grape vine. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of farmland/ cut over silviculture and low density residential development.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant proposes to discharge fill material into 3.43 acres of non-tidal wetlands for the improvement and alignment of the existing Bell Road and the extension of Bell Road west to create a throughway between US 441 and US 41.

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 proposed project does require straightening, widening, and lengthening the existing road to improve safety standards; however, the proposed road improvement follows the current footprint of the existing road to the extent possible to avoid and minimize impacts. In addition, the alignment will cross wetlands at the narrowest locations feasible and all proposed storm water ponds were designed to avoid wetland impacts

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: enhancement of a littoral shelf surrounding a 3.5-acres, 15-foot deep borrow pit and establishment of 5.06-acres of wetland adjacent to the enhanced borrow pit.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is aware of historic property/properties within or in close proximity of the permit area. The Corps will initiate consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office and those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation as applicable pursuant to 33 CFR 325, Appendix C and Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act, by separate letter.

ENDANGERED SPECIES:  The Corps has made a preliminarily determination that the proposed project may affect, not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) the Red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) and further consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is required. The proposed project site is located within the FWS Consultation Area for the Red-cockaded woodpecker; however, the Red-cockaded woodpecker prefers mature, long-leaf pines for roosting and foraging and the project site does not support the preferred pine species. Based on the lack of suitable habitat, the Corps believes a not likely to adversely affect (MANLAA) determination may be appropriate. The Corps will request initiation of informal consultation with the FWS pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

The Corps has determined that the proposed project is not likely to adversely affect (NLAA) the Wood Stork. The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the Wood Stork, dated September 2008 (Key). Use of the Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D > E > NLAA. Therefore, the Corps has determined that the proposed project is NLAA the Wood Stork and no further coordination is required.

The Corps has determined that the proposed project is NLAA the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). The Corps utilized the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, dated August 2013 (Indigo Snake Key), to evaluate the project’s potential impacts to the Eastern Indigo Snake. Use of this key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D > E > NLAA. Therefore, the Corps has determined that the proposed project is NLAA the Indigo Snake and no further coordination is required.

ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): This notice initiates consultation with the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) on EFH as required by the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act 1996. The proposal would impact freshwater wetlands that do not support any fish species under NMFS purview. 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 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 Gainesville Field Office of the Tampa Permits Section at 2833 NW 41st Street, Gainesville, Florida, 32606 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, Sarah Vaughn, in writing at the Gainesville Field Office of the Tampa Permits Section, 2833 NW 41st Street, Gainesville, Florida, 32606; via telephone at (352) 264-7673; or by email at

IMPACT ON NATURAL RESOURCES: Coordination with U.S. FWS, 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 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.