Environmental concerns continue to affect the Sunshine State as Florida combats the COVID-19 pandemic. This week, Governor Ron DeSantis (R) addressed that he is working diligently to prevent a “real catastrophic flood situation” in the Piney Point reservoir area in Tampa. Also, Florida lawmakers are asking the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to eliminate regulatory discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie as part of the Lake Okeechobee System Manual.
State Senator Gayle Harrell (R) and State Rep. Toby Overdorf (R) joined Rep. Brian Mast (R) in making the call, noting that “the modeling presented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District over the last several months proves that it is possible to eliminate discharges in the operational band while also benefitting performance for water supply and the other Congressionally-authorized project purposes.”
In a statement, Mast argued that “the Army Corps has determined that discharges from Lake Okeechobee to St. Lucie are unnecessary for flood control and that eliminating these discharges can actually be beneficial to water supply, the environment, and more.”
“The Army. Corps must not settle for incremental progress but rather should take the bold action needed to protect Floridians and stop government-sanctioned poisoning.”
Rep. Mast’s Water Resources Development Act led to an analysis conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which “found that permanently eliminating discharges to St. Lucie was feasible from the perspective of dam safety, proving that discharges to St. Lucie are unnecessary for flood control purposes.”