Public Notice Notifications

The Jacksonville District currently has five categories of public notice notification mailing lists. If you wish to receive email notifications when new public notices are added to this page, please send a request to Regulatory Webmaster.  Each category is described below. Be sure to specify which list(s) you want to be included on.

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-2021-03239 (SP-KAE)

USACE - REGULATORY
Published Feb. 23, 2022
Expiration date: 3/15/2022

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 & Light
                      c/o Mr. Franck L. Leblanc
                      15430 Endeavor Drive (Mail Stop DOI-JW)
                       Jupiter, FL 33479

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with freshwater herbaceous wetlands. The project site is located at P.C.N. 00-37-46-41-00-000-0053 and 00-37-46-40-00-000-0046, adjacent to South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) L-19 Canal along S US Highway 27, in Sections 4 and 5, Township 46 South, Range 37 East, in Unincorporated Palm Beach, within Palm Beach County, Florida.

Directions to the site are as follows: From West Palm Beach take FL-80/US-98. Continue on US-98 to Belle Glade (35.5 mi). Turn left onto FL-15 S/FL-80 W (4.2
mi). Turn left toward CR 827A (3.6 mi). Turn right onto FL-827 (2.5 mi). Then, turn left onto US-27 S. The destination will be on the right in 9.4 miles.

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:  Latitude 26.48794°
                                                                          Longitude -80.65796°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic: The basic project purpose is the construction of an electric utility support center.

Overall: The overall project purpose is to construct a support facility associated with the A-2 Stormwater Treatment Area (part of the SFWMD Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project) within Palm Beach County.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The project site is located on two separate larger parcels owned by the South Florida Water Management District, totaling 24.6735 acres and 56.2528 acres, respectively. The proposed project shall occur on a parcel that was a former agriculture site on approximately 10 acres, of which contains jurisdictional freshwater herbaceous wetlands. The onsite vegetation consists of species such as cattails (Typha latifolia), wild taro (Colocasia esculenta), salt bush (Baccharis halimifolia), Brazilian peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia), coastal plain willow (Salix caroliniana), evening primrose (Ludwigia maritima), southern wax myrtle (Morella cerifera), bushy bluestem (Andropogon glomeratus), water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri), giant leather fern (Acrostichum danaeifolium), and torpedo grass (Panicum repens). The existing area surrounding the project area consists of US Highway 27, fallow croplands to the west and agriculture lands. The project is located to the west of L-19 Canal in western Palm Beach County, Florida.

PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to construct an electric utility service center, consisting of an access road, stabilized area, dry retention area, substation building, septic tank, management facilities, and a perimeter security fence. The proposed service center will allow for a support facility associated with the A-2 Stormwater Treatment Area (part of the SFWMD Everglades Agricultural Area Storage Reservoir Project) within Palm Beach County. The proposed project will result in the total discharge of 30,492 cubic yards of fill within 5.98 acres of jurisdictional herbaceous wetlands, 0.05 acres of other waters of the U.S., and 0.45 acres of temporary fill (e.g., matting) in wetlands. The project will also result in a total of 2.65 acres of secondary impacts to existing wetlands.

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: The project has been designed to have minimal impact to natural functions provided by the area by reducing the overall footprint to the maximum extent needed for safe construction. Furthermore, the initial design planned to clear vegetation within the entire 10-ac project area, therefore converting the wetland habitat type. In order to preserve the existing wetland habitat around the proposed substation footprint, the design was modified to leave the remaining ~4 acres of the site undisturbed. Around the perimeter of the site (as a means of security), FPL will be using native species as part of their landscaping.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: To compensate for the unavoidable adverse impacts to 5.98 (5.48 acres of fill impacts to jurisdictional wetlands, 0.05 acres of fill impacts to other waters of the U.S., and 0.45 acres of temporary fill (e.g., matting) in wetlands, FPL intends to purchase 3.7245 freshwater wetland credits from the Everglades Mitigation Bank.

CULTURAL RESOURCES:
The Corps is evaluating the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. This public notice serves to inform the public of the proposed undertaking and invites comments including those from local, State, and Federal government Agencies with respect to historic resources. Our final determination relative to historic resource impacts may be subject to additional coordination with the State Historic Preservation Officer, those federally recognized tribes with concerns in Florida and the Permit Area, and other interested parties.

ENDANGERED SPECIES:
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon couperi) and the Woodstork (Mycteria americana). The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife concurrence with this determination pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.

The Corps has determined the proposal may affect the Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus). The Fish and Wildlife Service has developed a revised Florida Bonneted Bat Key, dated 22 October 2019, to determine effects of a project on the species. Use of the Florida bonneted bat key results in a determination of may affect, the species based on the following: 1a-2a-3b; project size/footprint greater than 5 acres (2 hectares) (conduct full acoustic roost survey). 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.

The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on any other listed threatened or endangered species or designated critical habitat.

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. Our 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 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 not been verified by Corps personnel.

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, Jacksonville Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 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 Jacksonville Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 or 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.

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.

WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: This public notice serves as the notification to the EPA pursuant to section 401(a)(2) of the Clean Water Act. Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and/or one of the state Water Management Districts.

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.