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FDEP: Midnight Pass Intent

FDEP: Midnight Pass Intent

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Published by SarasotaObserver
Florida Department of Environmental Protection denies Sarasota County permit to re-open Midnight Pass.
Florida Department of Environmental Protection denies Sarasota County permit to re-open Midnight Pass.

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Categories:Types, Business/Law
Published by: SarasotaObserver on Aug 21, 2013
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11/13/2013

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Florida Department of Environmental Protection
Marjory Stoneman Douglas Building3900 Commonwealth Boulevard Tallahassee, Florida 32399-3000Charlie CristGovernor Jeff KottkampLt. Governor Michael W. SoleSecretary
“More Protection, Less Process”www.dep.state.fl.us
In the Matter of anApplication for Permit/Water Quality Certification,and Authorization to Use Sovereign Submerged Lands by:
APPLICANT:
Sarasota County Board of CountyCommissioners2817 Cattlemen Road Sarasota, FL 34232
AGENT:
Karyn M. Erickson, P.E.Erickson Consulting Engineers, Inc.1819 Main Street, Suite 402Sarasota, FL 34236
PROJECT NAME:
Midnight Pass OpeningFile No. 0241136-001-JCVariance File No. 0241136-002-EVSarasota County ______________________________________________________________________________ 
CONSOLIDATED NOTICE OF DENIALJOINT COASTAL PERMIT, VARIANCE AND AUTHORIZATIONTO USE SOVEREIGN SUBMERGED LANDS
The Department of Environmental Protection gives consolidated notice of denial of:(a) a joint coastal permit under Chapter 161 and Part IV of Chapter 373, FloridaStatutes (F.S.), and Title 62, Florida Administrative Code (F.A.C.), for the activity described  below.
 
Denial of the joint coastal permit also constitutes denial of certification of compliancewith state water quality standards pursuant to Section 401 of the Clean Water Act, 33 United States Code (U.S.C.) 1341; and 
 
(b) a letter of consent to use sovereign submerged lands for the proposed dredgingand beach fill, under Article X, Section 11 of the Florida Constitution, Chapter 253, F.S., Title18, F.A.C., and the policies of the Board of Trustees, as described below;
 
and (c)
 
a variance from the provisions of Rule 62-4.244(5)(c), F.A.C., to establish atemporary mixing zone greater than 150 meters within an area of Class III Waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
 
Notice of Consolidated Intent to DenyFile No. 0241136-001-JCMidnight Pass OpeningPage 2 of 24
This consolidated denial of the joint coastal permit and the authorization to use sovereignsubmerged lands also constitutes a finding of inconsistency with Florida's Coastal ZoneManagement Program, as required by Section 307 of the Coastal Zone Management Act.This consolidated notice of denial is based on the reasons stated below.
I. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROPOSED ACTIVITY
 The Applicant, Sarasota County, applied on November 29, 2004, to the Department of Environmental Protection for a joint coastal permit/water quality certification and authorizationto use sovereign submerged lands owned by the Board of Trustees of the Internal ImprovementTrust Fund (Board of Trustees) to perform the following activities.Sarasota County proposes to open a tidal inlet, with an interior sand trap, by excavating a3,150-foot channel connecting the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf of Mexico inSarasota County. The location of the proposed inlet is near the location of a former unstableinlet (known as Midnight Pass) that closed in 1983. Proposed depths would be -10 feet NGVDadjacent to the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (GIWW), -11 feet NGVD in the sand trap and adjacent channel, and -14 feet NGVD at the seaward location of the proposed channel in the Gulf of Mexico. The top of channel widths would be approximately 240 feet near the GIWW, 530feet through the interior sand trap and adjacent channel, 330 feet through the barrier island, and 280 feet in the Gulf of Mexico.In addition to opening the inlet, the Applicant proposes to dredge an access channelconnecting the Turtle Beach boat ramp to the proposed inlet channel at the site of the proposed sand trap. This access channel is proposed to be a maximum dredge depth of -7.0 feet NGVDand a maximum adjusted top channel width of 272 feet. The sediments to be dredged from theTurtle Beach Access Channel (approximately 63,450 cubic yards) are of an unknown quality.Therefore, the Applicant did not request the disposal of these sediments to be included in thisapplication, and intends to apply for a separate permit to dispose of this dredged material at alater date, once the sediment quality is known.The proposed project also includes the temporary creation of a 6-acre sedimentcontainment area, in which silty material dredged to create the Midnight Pass channel would bedewatered by gravity separation. This containment area would be built by excavating sand duneswithin and immediately to the south of the proposed inlet alignment.Approximately 327,260 cubic yards of sediment would be excavated during the dredgingof the Midnight Pass Channel and sand trap. Of this volume:
“More Protection, Less Process”www.dep.state.fl.us
 
Notice of Consolidated Intent to DenyFile No. 0241136-001-JCMidnight Pass OpeningPage 3 of 24
 
239,890 cubic yards would be placed on the adjacent beaches of Siesta Key and Casey Key, between DEP reference monuments R-71 and R-78, R-79 and R-81.5,and R-84 and R-89;
 
18,000 cubic yards would be used to fill a portion of the old Little Sarasota Baynavigation channel prior to mitigative seagrass planting;
 
63,770 cubic yards would be placed in the temporary sediment containment area for dewatering, sorting and future determination of use; and 
 
5,600 cubic yards would be placed in an unidentified upland disposal site.Direct impacts from the proposed initial dredging of the Midnight Pass Channel and Turtle Beach Access Channel would include approximately 3.34 acres of mangroves, 12.1 acresof seagrass and 4.25 acres of shallow unvegetated bay bottom and tidal flat habitat. To offsetthese impacts, the Applicant has proposed the following mitigation: 39.5 acres of seagrasscreation, 6.39 acres of mangrove creation, and 2.5 acres of tidal flat habitat creation. In order toconstruct the mitigation sites:
 
60,000 cubic yards of sediment would be excavated from the South Jim NevillePreserve upland spoil island, with placement in the sediment containment area for sorting and future determination of use;
 
90,000 cubic yards of near beach-quality sand would be excavated from the NorthJim Neville Preserve upland spoil island, with placement in the nearshore portion of the beach; and 
 
2,000 cubic yards would be excavated from mitigation site access channel at theSouth Jim Neville Preserve and used as substrate for seagrass plantings.After the initial construction of the inlet and sand trap, the Applicant also proposes periodic maintenance dredging, with placement of the dredged materials along the Gulf shorelines of Siesta Key and Casey Key. Additionally, because this volume of maintenancematerial will not be sufficient to offset the deficit of sediment attributable to opening an inlet, theApplicant proposes to dredge an offshore sand source to mitigate the adverse impacts to adjacent beaches. However, the location and quality of the offshore sand source has not been identified  by the Applicant at this time.The proposed activity is located between DEP reference monuments R-78 and R-79, atthe juncture of Siesta Key to the north, and Casey Key to the south, in Sarasota County, LittleSarasota Bay (Outstanding Florida Waters) and the Gulf of Mexico, Class III Waters.
II. AUTHORITY FOR REVIEW
The Department has permitting authority under Chapter 161 and Part IV of Chapter 373,F.S., and Chapters 62B-41, 62B-49, 62-330, and 62-343, F.A.C. The activity qualifies for  processing as a joint coastal permit pursuant Sections 161.055, F.S. Pursuant to Operating
“More Protection, Less Process”www.dep.state.fl.us

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