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-1997-01891 (SP-TLW)

USACE - REGULATORY
Published March 30, 2021
Expiration date: 4/29/2021

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: Bay County Tourist Development Council

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the Gulf of Mexico. The project site is located at St. Andrews State Park, along an approximate 1-mile length of shoreline between FDEP Reference Monuments R-92 and R-97, in Bay County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: St. Andrews State Park can be accessed from US Highway 98 via Thomas Drive.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.124683 °
                                                                         Longitude -85.735500°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is shoreline stabilization and protection.

Overall: The overall project purpose is to stabilize the shoreline and address the adverse effects of past, and ongoing, shoreline erosion between FDEP monuments R-92 to R-97 in Bay County, Florida.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project extends along the Gulf of Mexico shoreline within St. Andrews State Park (mainland, west of the inlet). The beach placement area consists of beach and dune habitat and marine unconsolidated soft bottom substrate.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to modify the existing permit for the currently authorized Panama City Beaches Nourishment project to extend the project area approximately 1 mile east to R-97 to include fill placement on the shoreline of St. Andrews State Park and to add FDEP Division of Recreation and Parks as a co-permittee.

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:

This project will follow best management practices to reduce impacts to water quality and turbidity monitoring will be conducted in compliance with permit requirements. Project construction will adhere to all terms and conditions within permits and Biological Opinions to avoid and minimize impacts to wildlife.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:

There is no hardbottom or seagrass within the project vicinity, so no mitigation is needed.

CULTURAL RESOURCES:

The Corps is aware of historic property/properties within or in close proximity of the modification 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 determined the proposed project modification may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the West Indian manatee based upon implementation of the standard Manatee Conditions for In-Water Work. The Corps has also determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the St. Andrew’s beach mouse (Peromysus polionotus peninsularis). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

The Corps has determined the proposed project modification may affect the threatened loggerhead (Caretta caretta), endangered green (Chelonia mydas), endangered leatherback (Dermochelys coriacea), and endangered Kemp’s ridley (Lepidochelys kempii) nesting sea turtles and the Choctawhatchee beach mouse (Peromyscus polionotus allophrys) and its critical habitat. The Corps has also determined the proposed project may affect the threatened piping plover (Charadrius melodus) and its critical habitat and the threatened rufa red knot (Calidris canutus rufa). The Corps has determined that the proposed project modification is consistent with the Statewide Programmatic Biological Opinion (SPBO, USFWS 2015) for nesting sea turtles and the Choctawhatchee beach mouse and the project is consistent with the Panama City Beach Erosion Control and Storm Damage Reduction Project Biological Opinion issued by USFWS on May 16, 2014 (USFWS, 2014) for the piping plover and its critical habitat and the red knot. The Corps will coordinate with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

The Corps has determined the proposed project modification may affect the threatened Gulf sturgeon (Acipenser oxyrinchus desotoi) and its critical habitat, and swimming green, leatherback, loggerhead, and hawksbill (Eretmochelys imbricata) sea turtles. The Corps has determined that the proposed project modification is consistent with the National Marine Fisheries Service Biological Opinion for the currently authorized Panama City Beach nourishment project, which was issued on July 18, 2013. The Corps will coordinate with the National Marine Fisheries Service pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.

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 52.6 acres of unconsolidated sandy benthic habitat utilized by various life stages of penaeid shrimp, red drum, reef fish, stone crab, spiny lobster, and migratory/pelagic fish. There is no nearshore hardbottom or seagrass within the project area. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Gulf of Mexico. 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.

SECTION 408: The applicant will require permission under Section 14 of the Rivers and Harbors Act (33 USC 408) because the activity, in whole or in part, would alter, occupy, or use of the Panama City Harbor 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/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 Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Blvd, Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407 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, Tracey L. Wheeler, in writing at the Panama City Permits Section, 415 Richard Jackson Blvd, Suite 411, Panama City Beach, Florida 32407; by electronic mail at tracey.l.wheeler@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (850)763-0717 ex 4.

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.