Public Notice Notifications

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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-2023-02239 (SP-TDS)

Jacksonville District
Published Jan. 16, 2024
Expiration date: 2/5/2024

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:  Mr. Richard Smith

                       Clay County Board of County Commissioners

                       477 Houston Street

                       Green Cove Springs, Florida 32043

WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Little Black Creek. The project site is located on County Road-220 from east of Henley Road to Knight Boxx Road in Section 4 and 33, Township 5S and 4S, Range 25 East, Middleburg, Florida 32068.

Directions to the site are as follows:  CR-220 from East of Henley to Knight Boxx Road (1 mile)

APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:         Latitude       30.097364°

                                                                                 Longitude –81.808956°

PROJECT PURPOSE:

Basic:  To widen an existing road and bridge

Overall:  To widen an existing road from 2 to 4 lanes and reconstruct the existing CR-220 bridge over Little Black Creek from a 2-lane bridge to a 4-lane bridge.

EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The approximate 19.01-acre project area has environmental resources and land uses that have been characterized pursuant to the Florida Department of Transportation publication Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCFCS).

Open Land (FLUCFCS 190)  (0.01 ac) – Areas within the project area are classified as open land.  These areas have mowed and maintained grasses.

Unimproved Pastures (212) (4.73 ac) - This classification is used to describe an open, occasionally mowed area located within a proposed stormwater pond location.  This area is primarily vegetated by Bahia grass.  

Streams and Waterways (FLUCFCS 510) (0.42 ac) – Little Black Creek is located under the proposed bridge reconstruction area.

Upland Cut Ditch (FLUCFCS 511) (0.55 ac)- This land use type describes storm water conveyances associated with existing roads and buildings within the corridor.

Streams and Lake Swamps (Bottomland) (FLUCFCS 615) (1.98 ac) - This describes areas of forested wetlands that include portions of channelized streams.  Vegetation in this habitat includes red maple (Acer rubrum), buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), greenbriar (Smilax spp.), non-native bamboo (Bambusa multiplex), and saw blackberry (Rubus pensylvanicus).  

PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to discharge 16,800 cubic yards of fill material into 1.882 acres of  Waters of the U.S (WOTUS) (freshwater forested wetlands) and permanently clear 0.2 acre of WOTUS (freshwater forested wetlands) for the widening of an existing road/bridge approaches. The proposed bridge widening would shade an additional approximately 0.104 acre of WOTUS (surface waters of Little Black Creek),. Secondary impacts to 1.25 acres of WOTUS (freshwater forested wetlands) adjacent to the fill areas are anticipated. The proposed work also includes the discharge of fill material into 0.582 acre of roadside ditches presented by the applicant as being non-jurisdictional for the Corps.  

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:

Due to the nature of the required work and the location of wetlands, it was not possible to avoid all impacts to wetlands. Wetland impacts have been reduced to the fullest extent practicable while achieving the project purpose. The proposed project maximizes public safety by improving roadway geometry, surfacing, creating additional travel lanes, and widening medians.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION – The applicant has offered the following compensatory mitigation plan to offset unavoidable functional loss to the aquatic environment:

The applicant is proposing to purchase 1.35 UMAM credits from a federally approved mitigation bank.

CULTURAL RESOURCES: 

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.

ENDANGERED SPECIES: 

a. The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to

adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon corais couperi). The Corps

evaluated potential impacts to the eastern indigo snake using the Eastern Indigo Snake

Programmatic Determination Key 2013. Use of this key resulted in the sequential

determination A > B > C > Not Likely to Adversely Affect due to the project area having no gopher tortoises, no burrows, holes, cavities, or other refugia where a snake could be buried or trapped, and due to the permit verification being conditioned for the use of the USFWS’s Standard Protection Measures For The Eastern Indigo Snake during site

preparation and project implementation. In consideration of the key sequence,

additional coordination with the USFWS is not required. The USFWS previously

indicated that they concur with determinations of not likely to adversely affect based on

that key; and, that no additional consultation is required.

b. The Corps has determined the proposal would have no effect on Eastern Black Rail

(Laterallus jamaicensis ssp. Jamaicensis.

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 2.082 acres of freshwater forested wetlands and 0.104 acres of surface waters inland of EFH.  Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Florida.  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 proposed activity is not located in the vicinity of a federal navigation channel.

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, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207 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, Tracy Sanders, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207; by electronic mail at Tracy.d.sanders@usace.army.mil or by telephone at (904) 232-1171. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  After reviewing all available information pertaining to the completed work, the Department of the Army has not recommended legal action at this time.  Final determination regarding legal action will be made after review of the project through the permit procedure. 

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 may be required from the St. Johns River 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.