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: Amkin Hill Street, LLC
Attn: Mr. Ramon Llorens
1450 Brickell Avenue
Miami, Florida 33131
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with the St. Johns River. The project site is located at 1900 Wambolt Street in Section 10, Township 2 South, Range 27 East, Jacksonville, Duval County, Florida.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate-95 take Exit 353B and turn east onto Union Street. Proceed until the road conjoins with Beaver Street. Proceed until the exit for Church Street. Proceed until the road intersects Talleyrand Avenue and turn left. Proceed until the intersection Wambolt Street and turn right and the project site is located at the waterfront.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: Latitude 30.328746°
Basic: The basic project purpose is commercial development.
Overall: The overall project purpose is the expansion of an existing shipping facility to improve navigation and upgrade facilities.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The area is an open saltwater system. The existing area surrounding the project area consists of industrial shipping facilities, Matthews Bridge, and a national historic structure.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to demolish an existing pier and dredge two existing open water properties located north of Mathews Bridge in downtown Jacksonville, in Duval County, on the St. Johns River. The two property parcels are Duval County Property Appraiser #12-19-60-0100 and #13-11-46-0000.
In addition, the applicant requests to excavate of approximately 139,070 square feet (3.19 acres) of the existing Ford Motor Company Pier, including a concrete deck, building, timber piles, concrete foundations, and fill to match the proposed dredging depth of the project. The Applicant proposes to excavate the Ford Motor Company Pier down to -54 feet mean lower low water (MLLW), resulting in the excavation of roughly 228,000 cubic yards of material. The dredging elements of the proposed project consist of maintenance and new work dredging of the resulting basin surrounding the upland excavation area to -54 feet MLLW. The remaining channel to the north and south would be dredged to -20 feet MLLW. The result would be the dredging of approximately 201,600 cubic yards of dredged material from within the two property parcels. All project limits would maintain a side-slope horizontal to vertical unit ratio of 3 horizontal to 1 vertical (3:1). A new roughly 37,383 square-foot (0.86-acres) steel bulkhead and concrete cap pier will be installed to service the new drydock basin. The net result
is the overall increase of open water by 101,687 square feet (2.33 acres) for servicing vessels.
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:
“Best Management Practices will be utilized during all construction activities, such as manatee lookouts and silt protection devices as required.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION –
The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:
“The project would not impact a special aquatic site.”
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.
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the Wood Stork (Mycteria americana) and the eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi) or its designated critical habitat. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife/National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act. In addition, the Corps has determined the proposal may affect the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus). The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife Service/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 1996Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the St. Johns River. 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 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/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.
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.
COMMENTS regarding the potential authorization of the work proposed should be submitted in writing to the attention of the District Engineer and QUESTIONS concerning this application should be directed to the project manager, Mr. Brad Carey, in writing by electronic mail at Brad.J.Carey@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (904) 232-2405 within 21 days from the date of this notice..
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.
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.