JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District will be scheduling an additional briefing to seek approval to release the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) final report for state and agency review. It is anticipated that the report will be released no later than the end of June 2014.
The report was presented to Corps leadership yesterday at the Civil Works Review Board (CWRB) in Washington D.C., to discuss the recommended plan to restore the central Everglades. The CWRB is part of the Corps' internal process to facilitate the review of the recommended plan to ensure it complies with all applicable federal laws and policies. It serves as a corporate check to ensure the report is ready for state and agency review. The CWRB concluded that while the analysis and project plans are extremely well done, additional time is needed to finalize the document assessment prior to releasing the report for the final 30-day state and agency review.
"The efforts made to date on CEPP are monumental. In less than three years, this team has accomplished what has previously taken six to ten years to complete. This challenging feat has required us all to step outside of our comfort zones and standard timeline durations to deliver a final plan that will set the foundation for our future restoration efforts," said Col. Alan Dodd, Jacksonville District commander. "The one thing that cannot be rushed on the final report for this complex project is ensuring that it meets the Corps’ required quality standard."
The Corps is scheduled to present the updated final report to the CWRB no later than the end of June 2014. Once approved, the report will be released for a 30-day state and agency review. After which, comments and responses will be incorporated and the Chief's Report will be finalized for signature. The signed Chief's Report will then be submitted to the administration for review. Based on this timeline, it is anticipated that the final Chief's Report will be submitted to Congress this summer.
"Completing this final report to restore a significant amount of the remaining Everglades ecosystem has been a challenging endeavor, requiring a collaborative and dedicated effort from federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations and the public," said Dodd. "The Corps is continuing to work collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders to complete this study and deliver a final Chief's Report for policy-makers' consideration."
The goal of the Central Everglades Planning Project is to capture water lost to tide and re-direct the water flow south to restore the central and southern Everglades ecosystem and Florida Bay.
Release no. 14-020