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: Palm Beach County Board of County Commissioners
c/o Ms. Kathleen Farrell
P.O. Box 21229
West Palm Beach, FL 33416
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect un-named freshwater wetlands found along the southern boundary of the linear project area, as well as waters within the C-51 Canal. The project is located in Section 31, Township 46 S, Range 40 E. The project area is approximately one-half mile long and 65 feet wide.
Directions to the site are as follows: From I-95, exit at Southern Boulevard (SR80) and travel west approximately 19.5 miles to E Canal Street (CR880), turn south to arrive at project location.
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
PROJECT PURPOSE: The project is replacement of an existing bridge and associated re-alignment of County Road 880 over the SFWMD C-51 Canal.
Basic: The basis project purpose is improved linear transportation.
Overall: The overall project purpose is improved linear transportation involving the existing CR 880 Bridge over the SFWMD C-51 canal, West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The majority of the project area is existing roadway and maintained road right-of-way that contains mowed upland herbaceous vegetation and weeds. Some disturbed forested areas are found at the northeastern portion of the project. These areas are dominated by Brazilian pepper with scattered occurrences of carrotwood, melaleuca, cabbage palm, gumbo limbo and Australian pine. There is approximately 0.46 ac of herbaceous wetland located within the southwestern portion of the project area. The herbaceous wetland area is dominated by common reed, primrose willow, torpedo grass, cattail, maidencane, white top sedge, beakrush, and saltbush.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicant seeks authorization to place fill over 0.46 acre (742 cubic yards) of wetland area for re-alignment of the existing roadway, place 288 cubic yards of bedding stone and 869 cubic yards of riprap along canal edge for bank stabilization, and dredge 5,648 cubic yards of material to meet SFWMD design section.
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 applicant reviewed several options for road alignments associated with the bridge replacement. The chosen alignment has the least amount of wetland impact. Wetland impact is unavoidable in order to meet county slope requirements adjacent to the roadway.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:
The wetland impacts will be mitigated through purchase of mitigation credits at Palm Beach County’s Pine Glades Mitigation Area.
The Corps is aware of recorded historic resources within or adjacent to the permit area and 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.
The project is within the range or in the consultation area of the threatened Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), wood stork (Mycteria americana), Florida bonneted bat (Eumops floridanus), Audubon’s Crested Caracara (Caracara cheriway), and Everglade’s snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus).
The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo snake, Audubon’s Crested Caracara, Wood Stork, Florida Bonneted bat and Everglades snail kite 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.
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 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.
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 Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 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, Carolyn Farmer, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Boulevard, Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410; by electronic mail at Carolyn.email@example.com or, by telephone at (561)472-3527.
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 South Florida Water Management District.
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.