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Water Conservation Area High Water Deviations

In coordination with federal, state, and tribal interests, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is implementing temporary operational changes to maximize  operational flexibility and alleviate high water conditions within the water Conservation Areas as a result of heavy precipitation early in the wet season.

High water levels are threatening Everglades’ wildlife and habitat and reducing the water storage available for additional precipitation brought about by wet-season rain and/or tropical events, warranting immediate action.

The Corps is implementing these measures while it continues construction on critical pieces of infrastructure being built as part of the Modified Water Deliveries and C-111 South Dade projects and while maintaining required levels of flood protection and flood mitigation for the region.

These actions will aid in reducing water levels within the water conservation areas while maintaining authorized flood mitigation within the 8.5 Square Mile Area, construction for Modified Water Deliveries and C-111 South Dade projects, and maintain pre-existing flood protection along the L-31N and C-111 canals.  

2018 Temporary Deviations

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Notice of Availability of the Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for 1) 2018 Planned Temporary Deviation to the 1988 Regulation Schedule for Water Conservation Area (WCA) 2A and 2) 2018 Planned Temporary Deviation to the 2012 Water Control Plan for WCA 3A
Notice of Availability for 2018 Planned Temporary Deviations to WCA 2A and 3A

Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
2018 PLANNED TEMPORARY DEVIATION FROM THE 2012 WATER CONTROL PLAN FOR WATER CONSERVATION AREA 2A
2018 WCA 2A Planned Temporary Deviation EA and FONSI
WCA 2A Appendix A
WCA 2A Appendix B

Environmental Assessment  (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)
2018 PLANNED TEMPORARY DEVIATION TO AFFECT RELIEF OF HIGH WATER LEVELS WITHIN WATER CONSERVATION AREA 3A
2018 WCA 3A Planned Temporary Deviation EA and FONSI
WCA 3A Appendix A
WCA 3A Appendix B

View the entire collection of documents:
WCA 2A and 3A EA and FONSI (Collection)

2017 Temporary Deviations

Corps implements new deviations to manage high water in Everglades - August 1, 2017


For the second time this summer, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is implementing temporary changes in operations to address high water conditions within the Everglades’ water conservation areas west of the Fort Lauderdale and Miami metro areas.  

The deviation approved on Tuesday (Aug. 1) allows for higher water levels in Water Conservation Area 2A for the rest of summer and the first half of fall.  The dry-season recession will start in November, and will take place over six months instead of the normal four months.

Heavy rain since the beginning of June have caused the water levels in the conservation areas to rise to historic levels for this time of year.  This temporary deviation aims to reduce stages in Water Conservation Area 3A in Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties. 

Due to the urgency of these operational changes, an expedited Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) has been prepared to assess any environmental impacts associated with this action. The EA and FONSI are currently available for public and agency review. Comments will be accepted through September 1, 2017.  

Comments will be accepted through September 1, 2017, and can be sent electronically to: taura.a.huxley@usace.army.mil, or mailed to:

Taura Huxley
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District
P.O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019


Corps implementing deviations to assist with Everglades’ high-water event; Environmental documents available for public and agency review - June 28, 2017


The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is implementing temporary operational changes to alleviate high water conditions within the Everglades’ water conservation areas west of the Fort Lauderdale and Miami metro areas. 

The temporary deviation aims to reduce stages in Water Conservation Areas 1, 2, and 3 in Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade Counties.  Heavy rain since the beginning of June have caused the water levels in the conservation areas to rise to historic levels for this time of year. 

The Corps plans to implement the following actions in response to the event:

  • Reducing flows from Water Conservation Area 1 into Water Conservation Area 2A.

  • Opening structures S-12A/B, S-343A/B, and S-344, increasing the amount of water released from Water Conservation Area 3A into Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. 

  • Opening a temporary water control structure, S-152, to allow additional water to flow from Water Conservation Area 3A into Water Conservation Area 3B.

  • Increasing flows through pump station S-332D in Miami-Dade County.  This allows additional water to flow from Conservation Area 3 through the L-29, L-31N, and C-111 canals.

  • Increasing flows at structure S-197 to accommodate additional flows from Water Conservation Area 3A through the South Dade Conveyance System, while maintaining capacity to handle local storm runoff from future rain events.

The Corps is implementing these measures while it continues construction on critical pieces of infrastructure which are part of the Modified Water Deliveries and C-111 South Dade projects in Miami-Dade County. 

Due to the urgency of these operational changes, an expedited Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) was prepared to assess any environmental impacts associated with this action. The EA and FONSI were available for public and agency review through July 28, 2017.

 

2016 Temporary Emergency Deviation

BACKGROUND

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division approved a request from Florida Governor Rick Scott for deviation from its water control plan for a key Everglades reservoir located west of Miami on Feb. 15, 2016. 

The division made the decision to grant the request for deviation based on extensive documentation from within the Corps and multiple partners representing federal, state, and tribal interests.

The deviation raised water levels in the L-29 canal, which runs along the north side of the Tamiami Trail (US Hwy 41) between Water Conservation Area 3 (WCA-3) and Everglades National Park. The WCA-3 water control plan limited those levels to elevation 7.5 feet (NGVD). The deviation raised the levels as high as elevation 8.5 feet, which would allow more water to flow from WCA-3 to Everglades National Park.

Before granting the deviation, the Corps coordinated with tribal staff, while the State of Florida coordinated to obtain the necessary permissions from private property owners who face potential flooding from higher canal levels. The action will allow up to 900 additional cubic feet per second (cfs) to flow through the L-29 canal and into Everglades National Park.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers partnered with the U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, South Florida Water Management District, Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, and coordinated with the Miccosukee and Seminole tribal staff to undertake this emergency action.


ENVIRONMENTAL DOCUMENTS

Temporary emergency deviation recovery period extended - July 11, 2016

The recovery period for the temporary emergency deviation was extended to maintain lower canal levels in the South Dade Conveyance System during the wet season.  This provided operational flexibility to address high water events during the wet season and also enable additional water to be sent into Everglades National Park, when conditions allowed. 

The recovery period was  implemented until the Revised Increment 1 Operational Strategy was approved, which incorporated necessary operational adjustments based on  lessons learned from the temporary emergency operations.


Environmental documents for additional temporary emergency deviation -  April 21, 2016

The Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for an additional temporary emergency deviation to alleviate high water levels in Water Conservation Area-3A (WCA-3A) were available for public and agency review through May 18, 2016. 

This temporary emergency deviation affected the S-344 structure in the southwest portion of WCA-3A and the L-28 Levee and Borrow Canal located near Big Cypress National Preserve (BCNP).  The deviation called for water managers to open S-344 immediately instead of waiting for July 15, 2016, which is the normal opening date in the approved water control plan. The opening allowed water to be released from WCA-3A into BCNP and the L-28 Canal. The temporary emergency deviation was needed due to the elevated water levels in WCA-3A, and benefited natural resources within WCA-3A and BCNP.

The Corps initiated a temporary emergency deviation for purposes of providing high water relief in WCA-3A on February 15, 2016 by removing the current operating constraint of 7.5 feet National Geodetic Vertical Datum (of 1929 NGVD) in the L-29 Canal. The proposed deviation for the S-344 and L-28  complemented that effort by providing another outlet to reduce high water levels in WCA-3A. 

Appendices:

Comments were accepted through May 18, 2016.


Supplemental environmental documents for temporary emergency deviation - March 29, 2016

The Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a temporary emergency deviation to alleviate high water levels in Water Conservation Area 3A (WCA- 3A) were available for public and agency review through April 27, 2016.
 

Comments were accepted through April 27, 2016.


Environmental documents for temporary emergency deviation - Feb. 17, 2016

The Environmental Assessment (EA) and Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for a temporary emergency deviation to alleviate high water levels in Water Conservation Area 3A (WCA- 3A) were available for public and agency review through March 18, 2016. 

In response to a request made by Florida Governor Rick Scott for a deviation from the Corps’ Water Control Plan in WCA-3A, the Corps  initiated a temporary deviation for 90-days to raise water levels in the L-29 Canal in order to allow more water to flow from WCA-3A to Everglades National Park.

Comments were accepted through March 18, 2016.  

* This EA and FONSI is for an emergency purpose.  A supplemental National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) document will be completed to supplement this EA and FONSI, providing additional discussion of the actions proposed as appropriate.  Completion of the draft document is expected by the end of February, upon which members of the public will receive an additional 30 day comment period.


Corps approves request for increased Everglades’ flows - Feb. 15, 2016

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers South Atlantic Division  approved a request from Florida Governor Rick Scott for deviation from its water control plan for a key Everglades reservoir located west of Miami.

The division made the decision to grant the request for deviation based on extensive documentation from within the Corps and multiple partners representing federal, state, and tribal interests.

The deviation raised water levels in the L-29 canal, which runs along the north side of the Tamiami Trail (US Hwy 41) between Water Conservation Area 3 (WCA-3) and Everglades National Park. The WCA-3 water control plan limited those levels to elevation 7.5 feet (NGVD). The deviation raised the levels as high as elevation 8.5 feet, which allowed more water to flow from WCA-3 to Everglades National Park.