The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District announces a 30-day public comment period for the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Proposed Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) for proposed construction and interim operations of features of the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) South. Comments are due June 15, 2020.
Review the Draft Central Everglades Planning Project South Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) and Proposed FONSI at www.saj.usace.army.mil/CEPPSouth.
Please submit comments via email by June 15, 2020 to Melissa.A.Nasuti@usace.army.mil (recommended subject “CEPP South Draft EA Comments”). Please call 904-232-1368 if additional assistance is needed.
Due to the size and complexity of CEPP, project implementation will involve the integration of multi-year construction through individual project partnership agreements (PPAs) or amendments to existing PPAs between the Corps and our partners at the South Florida Water Management District.
The Corps plans to advertise the first construction contract for CEPP South in July, with the contract award expected in September 2020.
The Draft CEPP South EA and Proposed FONSI address the proposed construction and interim operations (as defined in the 2020 CEPP Draft Project Operation Manual (DPOM) of features associated with CEPP South Contract 1 in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, Florida.
Components proposed for the first construction contract for CEPP South include: the new L-67A gated culverts (S-631, S-632, S-633); an interim 3,000 foot gap on the L-67C levee; and spoil pile removal along the northwestern side of the L-67A canal.
National Environmental Policy Act documentation for the construction and operation of CEPP South features was completed in 2014, with the Final Project Implementation Report and Environmental Impact Statement (PIR/EIS) for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP). The Corps is not proposing changes to the general locations or design capacities of the CEPP South features identified in the 2014 CEPP Final PIR/EIS.
This Draft EA further evaluates components previously identified in the 2014 CEPP Adaptive Management and Monitoring Plan (AAMP) that were not explicitly described in the 2014 CEPP Final PIR/EIS that are now proposed to be pursued as part of CEPP South. These AMMP components include: backfill of the east-west agricultural ditch in Water Conservation Area (WCA) 3B; installation of temporary pumps adjacent to the L-29 canal; and active vegetation management to improve flow conveyance in WCA 3B.
The DPOM contained in the 2014 CEPP Final PIR/EIS detailed an initial draft operational plan for the full complement of CEPP project features while accounting for “new water” inflows to WCA 2 and WCA 3A. The 2014 CEPP DPOM did not prescribe interim operations for CEPP features as they are incrementally constructed over several years. Modifications and/or revisions to the 2014 CEPP DPOM were expected to occur at periodic intervals during the detailed design phase, construction phase, and operations, testing, and monitoring phase of the project. This EA also further evaluates potential effects associated with proposed revisions to the 2014 CEPP DPOM to define interim operations of features associated with CEPP South Construction Contract 1
The Central Everglades Planning Project South is part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), and will construct infrastructure for operations to improve the quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water flows to the Northern Estuaries, Central Everglades (Water Conservation Area 3 and Everglades National Park), and Florida Bay to aid in restoring pre‐drainage vegetative communities and habitat for fish and wildlife.
For more on the Central Everglades Planning Project South, visit: www.saj.usace.army.mil/CEPPSouth.
The Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) was authorized by Section 1401(4)1 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2016, Public Law 114-322, and amended by Section 1308(a) of the WRDA of 2018, Public Law 115-217.
For more information on the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP), including project documents, visit: www.saj.usace.army.mil/CEPP/.