TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN: The Jacksonville District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) has received a revised 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. The previous public notice was published on December 3, 2021:
APPLICANTS: Feeding America Tampa Bay, Inc.
4702 Transport Drive, Building 6
Tampa, FL 33605
SP Tampa Causeway Partners, LLC
8801 River Crossing Blvd., Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46240
WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The project would affect waters of the United States associated with McKay Bay, which empties into Hillsborough Bay, then Tampa Bay, and ultimately the Gulf of Mexico. The project site is located at 3600 Causeway Boulevard, on east side of the Causeway Boulevard Bridge, on the north side of the roadway, in the City of Tampa, Hillsborough County, Florida, in Section 28 of Township 29 South and Range 19 East.
Directions to the site are as follows: From Interstate 4, proceed south on 50th Street (US Highway 41) for approximately 3 miles. Turn right (west) on Causeway Boulevard (South 22nd Street). Travel approximately three-quarters of one mile and the site is on the right (north site of road).
APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:
Basic: To construct warehousing facilities.
Overall: On the eastern portion of the site, to develop a multi-use warehouse logistics center to coordinate and provide food to those in need in the Tampa Bay area; on the western portion of the site, to construct warehousing facilities to serve demand generated by the nearby Port Tampa Bay.
EXISTING CONDITIONS: The approximately 59-acre project area consists of vacant lots that have been used in the past for disposal of fill material, waste oil transport, a trucking facility, commercial use, and a wrecking operation. The northwest portion of the site was historically utilized as a drive-in movie theater in the 1940s. The on-site uplands consist of primarily of improved pasture. The wetlands along the northern part of the site (Wetland A) are tidal in nature, forested mangrove systems with portions invaded by Brazilian pepper. Wetland D consists of a freshwater, upland-cut pond. Waters B, C, and E consist of a roadside ditch. The site is bordered by a roadway to the south, industrial use to the east, the waters and wetlands of McKay Bay to the north and west.
PROPOSED WORK: The applicants seek authorization to construct a multi-use warehouse logistics center and warehousing facilities, requiring impacts to 0.81 acre of tidal forested wetlands (Wetland A), a 0.33-acre freshwater pond (Wetland D), and 1.09 acres of roadside ditches (Waters B, C, and E).
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: Impacts to Wetland A across the site have been minimized by the use of retaining walls, compact car parking, and vaulted stormwater. On the western portion of the site, the square footage of warehouse building #1 was reduced from 247,713 ft2 to 234,809 ft2 by reducing the length of the building from 580 feet to 560 feet, thereby reducing impacts at this location from 0.49 acre to 0.35 acre. On the eastern portion of the site, impacts to Wetland A were reduced from 1.28 acres to 0.46 acre by shifting the footprint to the south, reducing parking, incorporating stormwater vaulting, and adding compact car parking.
COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment: The applicants propose to purchase 0.43 credits from a federally approved mitigation bank to offset unavoidable functional losses to aquatic resources.
CULTURAL RESOURCES: The Corps is evaluating the undertaking for effects to historic properties as required under Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. The applicants have completed a cultural resources assessment survey of the project area. This survey is currently under review by the Corps and will be coordinated with State Historic Preservation Officer and federally recognized tribal interests. 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 wood stork and Eastern indigo snake. The Corps will request U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service concurrence with these determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act.
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 0.81 acre of tidally influenced habitat utilized by various life stages of intertidal marine species. Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in McKay Bay. 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.
NAVIGATION: The project is not located adjacent to a federal channel nor are open water impacts proposed.
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. The project is in close proximity, but will not affect the Tampa Bypass Canal or projects at the Port of Tampa Bay. No impacts are proposed over open water.
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 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 Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida 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 applicants’ 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, Tracy Hurst, in writing at the Tampa Permits Section, 10117 Princess Palm Avenue, Suite 120, Tampa, Florida; by electronic mail at Tracy.E.Hurst@usace.army.mil; or, by telephone at (813) 769-7063.
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.
WATER QUALITY CERTIFICATION: Water Quality Certification is required from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD). The SWFWMD is reviewing the western portion of the project under Application No. 845198 and the eastern portion of the site under Application No. 830053.
COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT CONSISTENCY: In Florida, the State approval constitutes compliance with the approved 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.