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Public input sought on Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule

By Staff | Feb 1, 2019

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will kick off public meetings next week to comment on development of the next Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule, or LORS.

The LORS establishes when, where and how much water is released through all different outlets from Lake Okeechobee for both flood control and water supply demands from competing users.

For Lee County, the meetings will be held on Feb. 5 from 1 to 3 p.m. and again from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Lee County Mosquito Control District Training Center, at 15191 Homestead Road, Lehigh Acres.

The meetings are “scoping” meetings for the public to share concerns about how water is managed, concerns citizens have over water management and changes or recommendations the public would like to make to the Corps to inform its modeling and development of the next LORS.

Public comments can also be submitted at LakeOComments@usace.army.mil or to Dr. Ann Hodgson, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District, P.O. Box 4970, Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019.

Comments and feedback are due by March 31.

The Corps will prepare a NEPA assessment for the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual or LOSOM, which is required by Section 1106 of the 2018 Water Resource Development Act.

The purpose of the effort is to re-evaluate and define operations for the LORS that take into account additional infrastructure that will soon be operational. The infrastructure that will be taken into consideration includes the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation and Kissimmee River Restoration Project, as well as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan’s C-43 West Basin Storage Reservoir and C-44 Reservoir and Stormwater Treatment Area.

Information will be available on the LOSOM website at www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/JacksonvilleDistrict/ and on Twitter @JaxStrong.