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: Florida Power and Light Company
c/o Michael Sole
700 Universe Boulevard
Juno Beach, FL 33408
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Black Creek Canal (C-1); Gould Canal; L-31E Barrow Canal; Princeton Canal (C-102); Military Canal; Mowry Canal (C-103); North Canal; Florida City Canal; Saltwater Intrusion Levee. The project site extends from the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department (MD WASD) South District Wastewater Treatment Plant (SDWWTP) located at 8950 SW 232nd St, in Miami-Dade to the FPL- Miami Dade Clean Water Recovery Center (CWRC) located at the Turkey Point Clean Energy Center Property in Homestead, Florida. In Sections 4, 5, 8, 9, 17, 20, 21, 28, 29 and 32, Townships 56 and 57 South, Range 40 East.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Florida’s Turnpike exit 9A for FL-989 South. and head south on SW 112th Avenue, turn left onto SW 268 Street, turn right onto SW 107th Avenue which becomes SW 304th Street, then turn left onto SW 112th Avenue, turn right onto SW 316th Street, then turn left onto SW 117th Avenue, turn left onto SW 344th Street for 2 miles and continue onto Florida City Canal, continue until the road becomes Palm Drive and the Turkey Point Clean Energy Property in Homestead, FL.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES: The approximate coordinates are
(North) Latitude: 25.549047°, Longitude: -80.346669°,
(South) Latitude: 25.437374°, Longitude: -80.329093°, respectively.
Basic: The basic project purpose is the generation of power.
Overall: The overall project purpose is to provide a redundant cooling water source and increase operational resiliency in FPLs service territory within Miami-Dade County.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The existing project site conditions take place along an 8-mile corridor and consists of an existing transmission line and road right of way, a previously developed upland area adjacent to an existing Sewage Treatment Plant and Solid Waste Disposal site, which include holding ponds, and are surrounded by herbaceous dry prairie, ditches, mixed wetland hardwood, wetland shrub, freshwater marshes, and canals. The CWRC and solar array will be constructed upon previously disturbed uplands at the Turkey Point Clean Energy Center property; no discharge of dredge or fill material is proposed.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization for the construction of a 42-inch, 8-mile-long waterline from the Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Department South District Wastewater Treatment Plant to provide up to 15 million gallons per day (MGD) of reclaimed water to be used as the primary source of cooling water for Turkey Point Unit 5, which currently utilizes groundwater from the Floridan Aquifer for cooling. Further treatment of the reclaimed water will be required via a new advanced reclaimed water treatment facility, the Miami Dade Clean Water Recovery Center (CWRC), to be constructed upon uplands at the Turkey Point Clean Energy Center property. The waterline will be installed within an approximately 60-foot-wide temporary construction area utilizing open trench methods and horizontal direction drilling (HDD). The CWRC and a new solar array will be constructed upon previously-disturbed uplands; no discharge of dredge or fill material is proposed. Construction of the waterline will require approximately 0.40 acres of permanent impacts to existing jurisdictional dwarf mangrove scrub-shrub wetlands for the placement of clean fill for access manholes, isolation valves, and air release valves, and a total of approximately 40.52 acres of temporary impacts to jurisdictional dwarf mangrove scrub-shrub wetland associated with temporary trench excavation. The approximate distance for trenching is 6.93 miles, with 3.39 acres of temporary impacts and horizontal directional drilling for a total of 1.27 miles with temporary impacts to 7.58 acres of jurisdictional dwarf mangrove scrub-shrub wetland impacts. Additional temporary impacts for construction matting and access areas include 29.55 acres. All areas of temporary wetland impact associated with waterline installation will be restored, thereby avoiding any permanent reduction in wetland acreage. Wetland soils removed during trench excavation will be segregated and replaced to original grade following waterline installation to allow the natural vegetative community to re-establish from the existing seedbank.
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:
According to the applicant “Efforts to avoid and minimize wetland impacts include construction of the CWRC and solar array upon a previously developed upland area, placement of the waterline within and/or adjacent to existing transmission line and road rights-of-way, and utilization of erosion control best management practices to reduce the potential of secondary impacts to adjacent undisturbed wetlands.”
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
Unavoidable wetland impacts associated with the waterline include approximately 40.52 acres of temporary impact associated with trench installation and 0.40 acre of permanent impact associated with access manholes, isolation valves, and air release valves. All areas of temporary wetland impact will be restored and allowed to revegetate naturally. To facilitate wetland restoration, approximately 6-12” of wetland topsoil removed during trench excavation will be segregated and replaced to original grade following waterline installation to allow the natural vegetative community to re-establish from the existing seedbank. Wetland functional loss associated with unavoidable permanent wetland impacts and the time lag associated with restoration of temporary impacts will be offset through purchase of 4.78 federal saline mitigation credits from the Everglades Mitigation Bank are proposed to offset the time lag associated with wetland restoration.
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 West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus) and its designated critical habitat; swimming sea turtles: (green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas), Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle (Lepidochelys kempii), and Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta)); smalltooth sawfish (Pristis pectinata); Johnson’s seagrass (Halophila johnsonii); American Crocodile (Crocodylus acutus); Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea), Hawksbill sea turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata); wood stork (Mycteria americana), Piping Plover (Charadrius melodus), and Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife and National Marine Fisheries Service concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
The Corps has determined the proposal may affect the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi). The Corps will request initiation of formal consultation with the Fish and Wildlife 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 site does not contain EFH and the Corps’ initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the South Atlantic Region. 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, may 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 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 North Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida 33410 within 21 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, Kelly Egan, in writing at the North Permits Section, by electronic mail at Kelly.A.Egan@usace.army.mil.
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.
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.