The 625-foot-long Berth 9 was deteriorating and in need of redesign and reconstruction. RS&H was responsible for the stormwater management design and completing the environmental permitting required to facilitate this effort. A permit application package for berth reconstruction was submitted to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) in May 2015 and the permit issued October 2015. The similar United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) permit application package was submitted June 2015 and issued June 2016. RS&H overcame USACE internal review back-log challenges at the various agencies due to our proactive follow-up, close working relationships with each of the agencies, and direct coordination with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and National Marine Fisheries Services to secure the necessary permits on time. One innovation used to facilitate permit issuance was inviting the USACE permit reviewer to construction meetings to provide first-hand information related to agency review updates.
In addition to the construction permits for Berth 9, RS&H also developed a stormwater management design and obtained a conceptual environmental permit for the replacement of Berths 6, 7, 8, 10, and 11, as well as the ultimate build-out condition including the elimination of two existing permitted stormwater management ponds to facilitate container storage expansion. RS&H evaluated offsite treatment opportunities within the overall watershed to determine where compensatory treatment could be provided and successfully obtained a conceptual permit from FDEP utilizing an innovative approach of baffle box and nutrient removal using a non-presumptive treatment approach. The conceptual phase jurisdictional permitting agency was FDEP for the elimination of existing ponds and the ultimate build-out of the container storage area. The initial permit application package was submitted in December 2015 and the permit issued April 2016.