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).

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SAJ-2023-02157 (SP-RJP)

USACE Jacksonville District, Regulatory Division
Published March 19, 2024
Expiration date: 3/28/2024

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 (DA) permit pursuant to Section404 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: South Florida Water Management District
c/o Natasha Warraich
3301 Gun Club Road
West Palm Beach, Florida 33406

WATERWAY AND LOCATION: The C-23 Canal Conveyance Improvement project would affect waters of the United States, associated with the C-23 Canal and adjacent wetlands. The project site is in St. Lucie County, south of State Road (SR) 70 within the northwestern portion of the C-23 drainage basin in Sections 1, 6, 7, 12, 13, 18, 19, 24, 25, 30, 31, 36, Townships 36 and 37, Range 37 and 38.

Directions to the site are as follows: Directions to the site are as follows: The C-23 Canal Conveyance Improvements Project site is in St. Lucie County, south of SR70 within the northwestern portion of the C-23 drainage basin (Figure 1). To access the site, starting from the Florida Turnpike Offramp, exit 152 heading South Bound, head west on SR70 approximately 11 miles. Turn south onto Summerlin Road. Head south approximately 1.2 miles until Summerlin road ends. Head east-southeast along the C-23 service road approximately 2.0 miles to the project site.





C-23 Canal Northern Project Point



C-23 Canal Southern Project Point




Basic: The basic project purpose is to convey water to the C-23/24 South Reservoir.

Overall: The applicant states that the proposed activity meets the project requirements set forth in the Indian River Lagoon-South (IRL-S) Restoration Project for Martin and St. Lucie Counties.

EXISTING CONDITIONS: The C-23 canal system is located within Florida’s Eastern geomorphological Valley. Lands adjacent to the C-23 canal had been used for agricultural production. Although a few of the former citrus groves are overgrown, a large percentage of the area has been cleared. The C-23 canal is surrounded by a combination of various wetland types and agricultural fields, predominately used for citrus production. Irrigation canals and agricultural fields can be seen along much of the project site with some low, wooded areas also present.

According to the Florida Soil Survey Staff (1992), soils in the area can be grouped into
five major categories based on hydrologic and physical characteristics: soils of the
sand ridges and coastal islands, soils of low ridges and knolls, soils of the
flatwoods, soils of sloughs and freshwater marshes, and soils of the tidal swamps.

PROPOSED WORK: The proposed C-23 Canal Conveyance Improvements Project is a component of the Indian River Lagoon-South (IRL-S) C-23/C-24 South Reservoir (South Reservoir) and is considered Phase I of the South Reservoir Project. The applicant seeks authorization to expand the C-23 canal by dredging approximately 46,575 CY of fill material along the northern portion of the canal beginning a quarter of a mile (0.25-miles) south of the S-446 discharge structure, continuing south approximately 5 miles to water control structure S-97. Approximately 2-miles of conveyance improvements will be completed down to the G-78 structure and an additional 3.0-miles further south to the end of the project location (see Figure 2). The G-78 structure will be replaced with a new larger structure.

The proposed structure, identified as S-456, will be able to accommodate the additional conveyance capacity of 2,000 cubic feet per second (CFS) upon completion of the C-23 canal improvements. The additional capacity will support drawdown operations of the south reservoir in the event of an emergency. The proposed improvements will grade the canal to a center depth of approximately 5.0 feet (NAVD88) within the project footprint.

The S-456 will be three 12-ft gated box culverts approximately 50-ft in length. The S-456 will regulate flows or isolate flow from the C-23 when S-447 is pumping and provide access across the C-23 Canal. This project is part of the larger Indian River Lagoon South Restoration Project. Dredged spoil material will be stockpiled at a temporary Dredge Material Management Area (DDMA) and used for the future South Reservoir construction (Fig. 3 and Fig. 4). The project will require construction a new shell rock access road and concrete boat ramp for canal maintenance. The project will also involve the replacement of 11 C&SF Project Culverts (PC51W, PC-50G, PC-49W, PC-48E, PC-47W, PC-45W, PC-46E, PC-34W. PC-44E, PC-41W and PC-42E). These culverts were installed in the 1960s and will be preserved and replaced in kind as part of the C-23 Canal Improvements. There are 11 non-project culverts, right-of-way (ROW) culverts which will be replaced. Details and location information can be found in the attached final design drawings and DDR.

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 design considered several alternatives to avoid and minimize impacts to the wetlands and ditches/other surface waters. The applicant states that the proposed project will have minimal to no impacts to wetlands and ditches/other surface waters adjacent to the C-23 canal.

In addition, implementation of erosion control measures and turbidity curtains will protect water quality and adjacent habitats and will minimize impacts to the adjacent wetland systems. The applicant has proposed to utilize all applicable Best Management Practices for in-water work.

COMPENSATORY MITIGATION: The applicant has provided the following explanation why compensatory mitigation should not be required:

The project is not anticipated to result in any impacts to adjacent wetlands, and existing adjacent agricultural ditches that will be filled will be re-constructed within adjacent farmed and/or spoil areas.

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: The Corps has reviewed the effects the proposed project may have on federally listed threatened or endangered species. The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern indigo snake (Drymarchon corais couperi), the Florida panther (Puma concoryli), Everglade snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus), Audubon’s crested caracara (Caracara cheriway), wood stork (Mycteria americana) and West Indian manatee (Manatus trichechus). Additionally, the project is not likely to destroy or adversely modify the Everglade snail kite designated critical habitat. The Corps will consult with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with the determinations pursuant to Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act by separate letter.
ESSENTIAL FISH HABITAT (EFH): The applicant has indicated that there would be no essential fish habitat proposed to be impacted by this activity. 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 applicant has proposed that dredging and fill will be required in the C-23 Canal along with construction of a new Water Control Structure S-456. The applicant indicates that there will be no restrictions to navigation to the C-43 Canal during or after construction.

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 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 Blvd., Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410 within 15 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, Ryan J. Poland, in writing at the Palm Beach Gardens Permits Section, 4400 PGA Blvd. Suite 500, Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410; by electronic mail at; or, by telephone at (561) 472-3512.

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, aesthetics, 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. A permit will be granted unless its issuance is found to be contrary to the public interest.

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