JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District is one step closer to finalizing a report on the Central Everglades Planning Project after receiving unanimous approval to release the document for state and agency review in the next few weeks.
This milestone was achieved today at the Corps’ Civil Works Review Board (CWRB) in Washington D.C., which served as the follow-up meeting to the April 22 CWRB that determined additional time was needed to complete the policy assessment of the report. The extra review time was taken to ensure consistency with legal requirements, Corps policies, and administration priorities. Today, the board concluded that the final report is ready to be released for state and agency review after their recommended revisions are incorporated into the report. It is anticipated that the report will be released in the next few weeks.
"We now have a report that’s ready to move forward with state and agency review,” said Col. Alan Dodd, Jacksonville District commander. “I’m sincerely grateful for everyone’s patience and continual support as we worked on our assessment. CEPP is moving forward and we remain committed to delivering a quality final report that is ready for congressional authorization.”
The state and agency review will begin once the board’s recommended revisions are incorporated into the report and are coordinated with the local sponsor, the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). It is anticipated that this will take between 4-6 weeks to complete. Once the report is updated, a notice will be published in the Federal Register, starting the 30-day state and agency review period. Comments and responses during the review will be incorporated into the final report and the Chief of Engineers Report, also known as a 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.
“We have made great progress with this report, but there’s still more work to be done before it’s ready to be submitted for congressional authorization,” said Dodd. “Our goal is to deliver a completed Chief of Engineers report by this summer following state, agency and administration reviews. We’re on track to deliver the final report this summer, in less than three years since the study initiated, and we remain dedicated to achieving this goal.”
The final report will be posted on the project’s Web page at: www.bit.ly/CentralEverglades_CEPP once the state and agency review period begins. Additional comments and/or questions on the final report can be submitted to: CEPPcomments@usace.army.mil.
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. The Corps is jointly conducting this planning effort with the SFWMD.