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.

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SAJ-2009-02637 (SP-KGM)

Jacksonville District
Published April 30, 2024
Expiration date: 5/29/2024

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) as described below:


APPLICANT: Florida Power & Light Company (FPL)

Attn: Mr. Franck Leblanc

15430 Endeavor Drive, D01/JW

Jupiter, Florida 33478


WATERWAY AND LOCATION:  The project would affect waters of the United States associated with Turnbull Bay.  The project site is located at 3210 Pioneer Trail (Volusia Property Appraiser Parcel Identification Number 730800000033), in Section 4, Township 17 South, Range 33 East, within New Smyrna Beach, in Volusia County, Florida.


Directions to the site are as follows:  Site is located on the south side of Pioneer Trail, immediately west of Interstate 95


APPROXIMATE CENTRAL COORDINATES:         Latitude      29.04604°

                                                                                 Longitude -81.01077°




Basic:  Vehicular access


Overall:  Vehicular access and associated stormwater treatment for an existing electrical transmission corridor in the City of New Smyrna Beach, Volusia County


EXISTING CONDITIONS:  The land cover types and vegetative communities occurring within the approximate 1.94 acre project area were classified using the Florida Land Use, Cover and Forms Classification System (FLUCCS), 1999.


Pine Flatwoods (FLUCCS code 411), 0.03 acres:  Common throughout much of Northern and Central Florida. The pine flatwood in this area is dominated by slash pine.  The common understory species include Serenoa repens, Myrica cerifera, Ilex glabra and a wide variety of herbs and brush.


Wetland Forested Mixed (FLUCCS code 630), 1.05 acres:  This area was a mix of hardwoods and conifers which included Pinus elliotti and Taxodium distchum with an understory of Myrica cerifera, Sabal palmetto, Serenoa repens, and variety of other herbs.


Vegetated, Non-Forested Wetlands (FLUCCS code 640), 0.22 acres: This is a low lying area that appears to be a transition ecozone between the Wetland Forested Mixed FLUCCS and the dirt road, also identified as the Electric Power Transmission Line.  This area is composed of a variety of herbs and brush.


Electrical Power Facilities (FLUCCS code 831), 0.52 acres: This is a utility power electric facility.


Electrical Power Transmission Lines (FLUCCS code 832), 0.12 acres: This is the path of the transmission line with contains the poles to support the lines.  The vegetation below is usually maintained to be herbaceous height max and capable of being driven over for any repair or maintenance of the transmission lines.


PROPOSED WORK:  The applicant seeks authorization to construct a new access path along the east side of the transmission facilities.  The construction will include the discharge of 8,116 cubic yards of fill into 0.68 acres of vegetated, non-forested and forested wetlands. The work would also include modification to an existing stormwater pond.  This activity will not impact wetlands or any other waters of the United States.


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 is occurring due to an FDOT road project. FDOT will be using FPL’s existing access road as a staging area for their project preventing FPL’s access to the substation.  The proposed access road is the smallest, feasible road given the turn radii required for vehicles and equipment needed to maintain the adjacent transmission line facilities that were previously accessed off of Pioneer Trail. 


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


Proposed wetland impacts results in a total of 0.62 Functional Loss Units consisting of 0.53 Functional Loss Units for Direct impact and 0.09 Functional Loss Units for Secondary Impacts. Mitigation for onsite wetland impacts will be provided by the purchase of federal mitigation bank credits from Tiger Bay Mitigation Bank.






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 Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on the Atlantic Salt Marsh Snake (Nerodia clarkia).  The Atlantic salt marsh snake is a small, slender snake that inhabits coastal salt marshes and mangrove swamps that vary in salinity from brackish to full strength seawater. They have most often been found in association with saltwort flats and salt grass-bordered tidal creeks and are also often associated with fiddler crab burrows. This species is historically reported from coastal areas of Volusia, Brevard, and Indian River Counties. The Atlantic marsh snake feeds on small fish in shallow water and is most active at night, during periods of low tide. This species is listed as an ESA threatened species in Volusia County.  The project site is in palustrine wetlands which is not a suitable habitat for the Atlantic Salt Marsh Snake.


The Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on the Eastern Black Rail (Laterallus jamaicensis ssp.). Eastern black rails occur in fresh, brackish, and saltwater marshes with clumping grass, rushes, or sedges.  The dense vegetation creates an over-arching canopy that is somewhat open at the base of the clumps where eastern black rails can move around under the overhead cover.  Eastern black rails require dense vegetative cover that allows movement underneath the canopy, and, because birds are found in a variety of salt, brackish, and freshwater marsh habitats that can be tidally or non-tidally influenced, plant structure is considered more important than plant species composition in predicting habitat suitability. Eastern black rails tolerate a few shrubs but are absent from woody or shrub dominated areas. The eastern black rail is a wetland dependent bird requiring dense emergent cover and extremely shallow water depths (≤ 3 cm) over a portion of the wetland-upland interface to support its resource needs.  The eastern black rail uses the transition zone (ecotone) between emergent wetlands and upland grasslands.  These transitional areas are critical to this species as they provide dense cover habitat as the wetland area shrinks or swells with the variations in hydrology and refugia during high water events caused by excessive precipitation or extreme tidal flooding.  This species is listed as an ESA threatened species for Volusia County.  The project site is too close to forested habitats to be a suitable habitat for eastern black rails.


The Corps has determined the proposed project may affect, but is not likely to adversely affect the Eastern Indigo Snake (Drymarchon couperi).  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.  Use of this key resulted in the sequential determination: A, B, C -> May Affect, Not Likely to Adversely Affect.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) previously indicated that they concur with determination of may affect, not likely to adversely affect based on the key; and that no additional consultation is required.


The Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on the Everglade snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis plumbeus).  Everglade snail kites inhabit large, open, freshwater marshes and lakes from the St. Johns River headwaters south. They prefer relatively shallow water (less than 4 feet) and a low density of emergent vegetation. Their primary food source is the apple snail (Ampullariidae sp.) which they catch at the water’s surface. Snail Kites usually nest over the water in a low tree or shrub. Dense growth of vegetation of any kind is not conducive to the bird’s ability to forage. It is important that nesting sites be close to foraging habitat.  This species is listed as ESA endangered species for Volusia County.  The project site is too far north in addition to the only open water on the project site is a storm water pond.  The remainder of the emergent vegetation to of high density which is not a suitable habitat for the Everglade snail kites. 


The Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on the Florida scrub-jay (Aphelocoma coerulescens). The Florida scrub-jay lives only in the scrub and scrubby flatwoods habitats of Florida. This type of habitat grows only on nearly pure, excessively well-drained sandy soils, and occurs along present coastlines in Florida, on paleodunes of the high central ridges and other ancient shorelines of the Florida Peninsula, and inland on scattered alluvial deposits bordering several major rivers. This species' habitat is dominated by a layer of evergreen oaks [myrtle oak (Quercus myrtifolia) and/or Archbold oak (Q. inopina), sand live oak (Q. geminata), Chapman oak (Q. chapmanii), and runner oak (Q. minima)], rusty lyonia (Lyonia ferruginea), and Florida rosemary (Ceratiola ericoides). This layer is rarely greater than two meters in height, except where fire has been suppressed. Ground cover is sparse, dominated by saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) and sand palmetto (Sabal etonia). Bare sand patches are essential for foraging and acorn-caching. Slash pines (Pinus elliottii) and sand pines (P. clausa) are widely scattered with usually less than 15 percent cover.  This species is listed as ESA threatened for Volusia County.  The project site is far inland from the coastlines and is surrounded by wetlands which is not a suitable habitat for the Florida scrub-jay. 


The Corps has determined the proposed project would have no effect on Sea Turtles (Green, Hawksbill, Leatherback, and Loggerhead).  The sea turtles inhabit marine aquatic environments, coming up on the shore to lay their eggs during breeding season.  They have been observed within lagoons and upstream of large rivers in search of seagrasses and algae. Green Sea Turtles and Loggerhead are listed as ESA threatened for Volusia County.  Hawksbill Sea Turtle and Leatherback Sea Turtle are listed as ESA endangered for Volusia County.  The project site is far inland and will not affect any open water 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.  The proposal would impact 0.68 acres of forest and non-forested palustrine wetlands inland of the Spruce Creek.  Our initial determination is that the proposed action would not have a substantial adverse impact on EFH or Federally managed fisheries in the Spruce Creek.  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 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, Kimberly Mann, in writing at the Jacksonville Permits Section, 701 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207; by electronic mail at; or by telephone at (904 ) 251-9190. 


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: Water Quality Certification may be required from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). The project is being reviewed under FDEP application no. 64-0296797-006-EI.


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.