The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District, is preparing a National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) assessment for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) Operational Plan. The purpose of CEPP is to improve the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water flows to the northern estuaries, Water Conservation Area (WCA) 3, Everglades National Park (ENP), and Florida Bay while increasing water supply for municipal, industrial, and agricultural users. The purpose of the CEPP Operational Plan is to provide operating criteria for CEPP infrastructure, while integrating operations of related Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and non-CERP projects that contribute towards achieving the goals, purposes, and benefits of CEPP. The CEPP Project Operating Manual will be updated and will change the Combined Operational Plan (COP) Water Control Plan (the current operating plan for the WCAs, ENP, and South Dade Conveyance System) which went into effect in 2020. Additional updates of the CEPP Operational Plan, with supporting NEPA as appropriate, will be prepared as additional CEPP components are completed in the future.
The CEPP Operational Plan will enable the CEPP features that are complete, or will be completed in the near future, to be operated, corresponding with the planned completion of the Tamiami Trail Next Steps Phase 2 project. Plan formulation efforts for the CEPP Operational Plan may consider the following:
• New information gained from implementation of the 2020 COP Water Control Plan,
• Reevaluation of S-12 operations that convey water from WCA 3A to the Western Shark River Slough in ENP,
• Department of the Interior’s bridging and road raising projects along Tamiami Trail, which will enable sending more water to ENP under US 41,
• Incorporation of related CERP and non-CERP projects, and
• Reevaluation of WCA 2A and WCA 3A regulation schedules.
This planning effort will also incorporate the forthcoming updates to the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual, or LOSOM).
USACE invites the participation of Federal and State agencies, Native American Tribes, local agencies, interested parties and individuals to provide comments and to identify any issues or concerns. Please share this notice with any interested party. A hybrid public scoping meeting will be held in-person and virtually.
In-person NEPA Public Scoping Meeting
April 25, 2023, 1 to 3 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m.
In-person: Cutler Bay
Town of Cutler Bay Council Chambers
10720 Caribbean Boulevard
Cutler Bay, Florida 33189
Virtual NEPA Public Scoping Meeting
April 26, 2023, 6 to 8 p.m.
+1-844-800-2712 US Toll Free
+1-669-234-1177 US Toll
Meeting Number (Access Code) 2764 198 5432
Public Scoping Comments
Please provide public scoping comments that consider what the concerns are with current operations within the CEPP study area, what aspects need to be changed, and how those issues and changes should be evaluated. Please submit comments to CEPPOperationalPlan@usace.army.mil (recommended subject: CEPP Operational Plan Public Scoping Comments) by May 15.
All comments will be summarized, addressed, and used to inform the CEPP Operational Plan.