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: Umdasch Real Estate USA, LTD
214 Gated Road
Little Ferry, NJ 07643
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the construction of a commercial development. The project is located adjacent to 7th Avenue and the Keller Canal in the City of Lake Worth (Section 20, Township 44 South, Range 43 East), in Palm Beach County Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: Take I-95 South and exit on 10 Avenue north and head West. Turn left onto Barnette and right onto 7th street. Continue on 7th street past Almond Boutwell Road until the road ends. The undeveloped parcel is south of where the road where it terminates.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Longitude: - 80.07950°
Basic: The basic project purpose is for commercial development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is for commercial development for storage facilities within Palm Beach County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS and Project History: A Department of the Army permit for the project site was issued on June 10, 2009, authorizing the discharge of fill in 1.78 acres of a total of 2.69 acres of onsite wetlands, which would be offset through onsite compensatory mitigation that included 0.91 acres of wetland enhancement and 0.28 acres of wetland creation. The permit was subsequently modified and extended February 5, 2014, authorizing a total of 2.69 acres of wetland fill offset by the purchase of 0.61 freshwater herbaceous mitigation credits. The Department of the Army permit expired February 2019. The property is an undeveloped 9.8 acre parcel that contains a total of 2.69 acres of highly degraded freshwater herbaceous wetland marsh. All exotic vegetation has been cleared and a portion of the property has been graded for construction. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of industrial development to the north and east, Keller Canal to the west and a single family development to the south.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks reauthorization of the previously approved activities that include the proposed fill of 2.69 acres of federally jurisdictional wetlands. Compensatory mitigation for wetland impacts has already been offset through the purchase 0.61 credits from the federally approved Loxahatchee Mitigation Bank.
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: Due to changes in the local municipalities requirements that resulted in the increase of the easement along the adjacent canal on the western side of the property forced the project to reconfigure the construction footprint that is unable to avoid wetland impact. An increase of the 20-foot easement resulted in loss of buildable land and impacted the internal traffic movement and site layout previously authorized.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: All previously authorized and proposed wetland impacts have been offset through the purchase of 0.61 credits from the federally approved Loxahatchee Mitigation Bank, therefore no compensatory mitigation is required.
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 proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the threatened eastern indigo snake and the endangered wood stork but would not adversely modify their designated critical habitats. According to both the Eastern Indigo Snake and Wood Stork key the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has given the Corps concurrence with the determinations and the requirements of section 7 of the Act are fulfilled for both the Eastern Indigo Snake and Wood Stork and no further action is required.
SECTION 408: The applicant will not require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, would not alter, occupy, or use a Corps Civil Works project.
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 Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Blvd. Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, 33410 Permits Section, 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, Ms. Linda Knoeck, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Blvd. Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, 33410; by electronic mail at Linda.C.Knoeck@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at 561-472-3531.
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.