Public Notice Notifications

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SAJ-2006-02694 (SP-TMM)

Published Nov. 9, 2020
Expiration date: 11/23/2020

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 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act of 1899 (33 U.S.C. §403) and Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (33 U.S.C. §1344) as described below:

APPLICANT:  Keystone Properties, LLC
                       Attn: Mr. William Harris
                       1915 Wigmore Street
                       Jacksonville, Florida 32206

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States (wetlands) hydrologically connected to a tidally influenced segment of the St. Johns River. The project site is located at 1915 Wigmore Street, in Section 6, Township 2 South, Range 27 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.

Directions to the site: From downtown Jacksonville, travel north over the Main Street Bridge and take a right to travel east on East Bay Street. Curve around the Jaguars Stadium and take a right to travel north on Talleyrand Avenue. Take a right off Tallyrand Avenue to reach 1915 Wigmore Street. The project work location can be reached by traveling further west on Talleyrand Avenue and taking a right on Hudson Street. The project work location is south of and within the three railroad spurs north of Hudson Street and Meta Street.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:  Latitude 30.367240°
                                                                          Longitude -81.632918°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is stormwater management.

Overall: The overall project purpose is the enhancement of stormwater management to improve the water quality of runoff from the Keystone Bulk Terminal Facility in Jacksonville, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:

a. Project History: The Corps previously evaluated several activities proposed within the project site location. On February 10, 2010, the Corps authorized the construction of a 1,100-foot-long bulkhead. On June 16, 2010, the Corps modified that permit and authorized alterations to the bulkhead and the implementation of dredge operations using clamshell methodology. On May 20, 2011, the Corps verified that Nationwide Permit 14 authorized the discharge of fill to construct a road, install a culvert, and re-shape a swale associated with a rail line. On April 24, 2014, the Corps authorized the placement of fill over 5.36 acres of wetlands to expand the port facility, which included expanding the existing bulk storage area, completing a rail system throughout the facility, constructing a limestone kiln and haul road, creating a railroad and vehicle storage area, and constructing two stormwater ponds. On February 23, 2015, the Corps authorized work affecting wetlands associated with the construction of an additional railroad spur connecting the existing Norfolk Southern line entering the property from the west and the previously authorized Keystone railroad loop.

b. General: The proposed work area is located within the western portion of the Keystone property, is approximately 8.15 acres in area, and is adjacent to a tidally influenced section of the St. Johns River.

c. Soils: Soils on the property include Arents, nearly level (map unit 07), Urban Land-Leon-Boulogne Complex with 0 to 2 percent slopes (map unit 71), and Urban Land-Hurricane-Albany Complex with 0 to 5 percent slopes (map unit 75).

d. Vegetative Communities: The project site encompasses five communities characterized by the Florida Land Use, Cover, and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS). The on-site mixed forested wetlands contain a well-established, typical vegetative community. The vegetated non-forested wetland has been degraded by fragmentation and maintenance activities along the railroad.

(1) FLUCFCS Code 310 Herbaceous (Dry Prairie) 2.71 acres - This upland is dominated by saw palmetto (Serenoa repens), large gallberry (Ilex coriacea), saltbush (Baccharis halimifolia), and bracken fern (Pteridium aquilinum).

(2) FLUCFCS Code 434 Hardwood-Conifer Mixed 2.72 acres – This upland is dominated by live oak (Quercus virginiana), sabal palm (Sabal palmetto), slash pine (Pinus elliottii), and camphor (Cinnamomum camphora). The understory species include wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), laurel oak (Quercus laurifolia), saw palmetto, large gallberry, and bracken fern.

(3) FLUCFCS Code 630 Wetland Forested Mixed 2.17 acres - This wetland is dominated by sweet gum (Liquidambar styraciflua), laurel oak, sabal palm, red maple (Acer rubrum), and sweet bay (Magnolia virginiana). The understory species include wax myrtle, Virginia chain fern (Woodwardia virginica), and Royal Fern (Osmunda regalis).

(4) FLUCFCS Code 640 Vegetated Non-Forested 0.15 acres - This wetland is dominated by sweet gum, laurel oak, and sweet bay. The understory species include wax myrtle, Peruvian primrose-willow (Ludwigia peruviana), saltbush, cattail (Typha domingensis), netted chain fern (Woodwardia areolate), and Virginia chain fern.

(5) FLUCFCS Code 812 Railroads 0.40 acre – Railroad spurs to support the Keystone Bulk Terminal Facility

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to discharge fill material over 0.834 acre of wetlands to create berms associated with the establishment of several stormwater ponds. The stormwater ponds would be 1.60 acres in size, the berms would create 0.834 acres of impacts, and the excavation of the stormwater ponds would be 0.766 acres. The excavation of wetlands to form the stormwater ponds does not require Department of the Army authorization [reference 33 CFR 323.2(d)(2)(ii)] as it is not a regulated activity. Approximately 0.72 acres of wetlands would remain.

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:

Measures to avoid and/or minimize wetland impacts include sizing the stormwater and water transfer systems as efficiently as possible; and, utilizing erosion control measures during construction to minimize impacts to adjacent undisturbed areas. Unavoidable impacts are limited to approximately 0.434 acre of lower quality wetlands. Construction areas would be isolated from adjacent wetlands through installation of staked turbidity screens and/or silt fencing along the perimeter of construction work areas.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

The applicant submitted a Uniform Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM) quantifying and qualifying the loss of wetland functions and services associated with the work proposed. The UMAM calculated the loss as 0.834 units. In consideration of the UMAM, the applicant would purchase 0.834 credits from the Fishtail Mitigation Bank.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is not aware of cultural or historic resources on site. 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 project area.

ENDANGERED SPECIES:

a. Wood Stork (Mycteria americana): The project would affect less than 0.5 acre of suitable foraging habitat for Wood Stork. In consideration of that information, the Corps evaluated the project using 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. Use of this key resulted in the sequential determination A>B>C>not likely to adversely affect; and, per that key, additional coordination with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is not required.

Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi): The Corps evaluated the project using the Eastern Indigo Snake Programmatic Effect Determination Key, January 2010. Use of this key resulted in the sequential determination A>B>C>not likely to adversely affect, as the property does not support gopher tortoises, gopher tortoise burrows, or other holes, cavities, or refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped; and, as the Corps would require the implementation of the FWS Standard Protection Measures For The Eastern Indigo Snake during site preparation and project implementation. In addition, per this key, additional coordination with the FWS is not required.

Manatee (Trichechus manatus): The Corps evaluated the project using The Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, and the State of Florida Effect Determination Key for the Manatee in Florida, April 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequential determination A>no effect, as the project site is not located in waters that are accessible to manatee and the project would not directly or indirectly affect manatees. Due to the no effect determination, additional coordination with the FWS is not required.

Red-Cockaded Woodpecker (Picoides borealis): The Corps has determined the proposed work would have no effect on Red-Cockaded Woodpecker. Due to the no effect determination, additional coordination with the FWS is not required.

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 site does not encompass EFH; and, the work proposed would not affect EFH. The Corps’ initial determination is that the proposed action would have no impact on EFH. Our final determination relative to project impacts 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 or to the project manager Terri M. Mashour (terri.m.mashour@usace.army.mil) within 15 days from the date of this notice. Please note, due to office staffing precautions associated with CoVid-19, electronic mail correspondence is preferred.

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 terri.m.mashour@usace.army.mil; by facsimile transmission at (904) 232-1940; or, by telephone at (904) 570-4512. Please note, due to office staffing precautions associated with CoVid-19, electronic mail correspondence is preferred.

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.