POLITICO: Corps of Engineers recommends moving forward on Lake O reservoir planning without new authorization

Politico: Written by Bruce Ritchie. September 1, 2017.

TALLAHASSEE — The Army Corps of Engineers is recommending moving forward under its existing authority for planning an Everglades water storage reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee rather than seeking congressional approval.

Gov. Rick Scott in May signed FL SB10 (17R), authorizing $800 million in bonds for the state's half of the cost of a reservoir on 31,000 acres of state land in the Everglades Agricultural Area. The bill set an Oct. 1 deadline for the federal agency to request congressional approval and directs the state to request a detailed study if the request isn't submitted.

In a letter this week, Corps district commander Col. Jason A. Kirk recommended to the South Florida Water Management District that the project proceed with planning under existing authority in federal law rather than seeking congressional approval. Senate President Joe Negron (R-Stuart) said Friday that the recommendation showed the Corps is committed to accelerating work on the project.

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