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: Monroe County, Key West International Airport
c/o Richard Strickland
3491 South Roosevelt Boulevard
Key West, FL 33040
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Atlantic Ocean. The project site, known as Key West International Airport, is located at 3491 South Roosevelt Boulevard, in Section 03, Township 68 South, Range 25 East, Key West, Monroe County, Florida 33040 (RE# 00064810-000000).
Directions to the site are as follows: From US-1 (Overseas Highway), entering Key West, turn south on South Roosevelt Boulevard. Access to the main entrance of the Key West International Airport (EYW) is provided by traveling south on South Roosevelt Boulevard (State Road A-1-A).
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude: 24.552900 °
Basic: The basic project purpose is for new road access.
Overall: The overall project purpose is for new road access at Key West International Airport in Key West, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project area is an existing airport. The area surrounding the project area to the south consists of South Roosevelt Boulevard and the Atlantic Ocean, to the east and north, the existing airport and to the west, the Key West Salt Ponds. According to the benthic survey submitted by the Applicant, the National Wetland Inventory map, the area is classified as E2FO3P - Estuarine, Intertidal, Forested, Broad-Leaved Evergreen and Irregularly Flooded. This wetland area is hydrologically connected and part of a larger wetland habitat (salt pond) that extends to the west, beyond the project limits.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct a new access road: Approximately 0.18 acres would be located within the wetland area; specifically,
- Stormwater Retention Area No. 3 (Pond): Approximately 0.02 acre would be constructed within wetland area
- Stormwater Retention Area No. 4 (Pond): Approximately 0.03 acre would be constructed within wetland area
- 24" RCP drainage pipe and outfall: Approximately 0.003 acre and 20 linear feet would be installed within wetland area
- Perimeter fence: Approximately 0.01 acre and 427 linear feet would be installed within wetland area.
Site preparation in connection to these actions would require soil excavation and placement of clean fill material within wetland area. Wetland impacts associated to the project are estimated in 0.18 acre.
AVOIDANCE AND MINIMIZATION INFORMATION – “Current design is the result of a cohesive and integrated planning effort, avoiding and minimizing impacts over wetland areas creating a balance between pre-development and post-development conditions. The project avoids impacting higher-quality wetlands, and maintains the alignment of the new access road contiguous and running parallel to the existing EYW's developed footprint where the presence of wetland habitat is limited. This, required design reconfiguration of uplands areas such as existing parking areas and commercial transportation staging area, and realignment of a portion of Nancy Cherry Lane.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: Proposed wetland impacts are limited to low-quality habitats with the presence of invasive species and decaying wetland species. Compensatory mitigation is proposed via credits in coordination with USACE.
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 project will have no effect on the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) or its designated critical habitat. Use of the Key resulted in the sequence A-> “no effect” because the project is not located in waters accessible to manatees and does not directly or indirectly affect manatees The Corps has concurrence with this determination pursuant to the Effect Determination Key for the manatee dated April 2013.
The real estate parcel number is 00064810-000000 and is on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Suitable Habitat List, dated August 2010, for Monroe County for the following species: the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), the Key Tree Cactus (Pilosocereus robinii), and the Stock Island Tree Snail (Orthalicus rese, not incl. nesodryas).
The subject parcel is listed on the FWS 2011 Suitable Habitat List for the Eastern Indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). Since critical habitat has not been designated for the indigo snake, potential impacts to D. c. couperi were evaluated using the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key dated August 1, 2017 (Snake Key). Due to the permit being conditioned for use of the Service’s Standard Protection Measures for The Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and project construction, use of the Snake Key resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B > C > D (1), “may affect but is not likely to adversely affect”. Therefore, pursuant to the Snake Key, no further consultation with the FWS is required.
Potential impacts to the Key tree cactus were evaluated using the Key Tree Cactus Species Key, dated July 29, 2013, and resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B (1), “may affect, but not likely to adversely affect” for the listed species. The proposed project is occurring on previously disturbed beach and is not removing or making modifications to the Key tree-cactus native habitat. The Corps received programmatic concurrence from the FWS for projects that have a NLAA determination; therefore, no incidental take will occur and no further consultation with the FWS is required.
Potential impacts to the Stock Island tree snail (Orthalicus reses, not incl. nesodryas) were evaluated using the Stock Island Tree Snail Species Key, dated July 29, 2013, and resulted in the following sequential determination: A > B (1), “may affect, but not likely to adversely affect” for the listed species. The proposed project is occurring on previously disturbed habitat adjacent to the existing airport and is not removing or making modifications to the Stock Island tree snail native habitat. The Corps received programmatic concurrence from the FWS for projects that have a NLAA determination; therefore, no incidental take will occur and no further consultation with the FWS is required.
The Corps has determined the proposed project will have “no effect” on the American crocodile, Acropora spp. or its critical habitat, green sea turtles (Chelonia mydas), loggerhead sea turtles (Caretta caretta) and their critical habitat, hawksbill sea turtles (Eretmochelys imbricata), kemps ridley sea turtles (Lepidochelys kempii), leatherback sea turtles (Dermochelys coriacea), and the smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata), and the Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus). A no effect determination was also reached on smalltooth sawfish critical habitat, Acorpora sp. and listed corals species; (Dendrogyra cylindrus, Orbicella annularis, Orbicella faveolata, Orbicella franksi, Mycetophyllia ferox).
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. The proposal would impact approximately 0.18 acres of submerged bottom utilized by various life stages of marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida Keys. 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 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 Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176 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, Megan Clouser, in writing at the Miami Permits Section, 9900 Southwest 107th Avenue, Suite 203, Miami, Florida 33176; by electronic mail at Megan.L.Clouser@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (305)526-7182.
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.