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Officials act to expedite EAA Reservoir Project construction

By Staff | Oct 30, 2019

On Oct. 22, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet took action to expedite construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir Project. During a meeting of the governor and Cabinet, the board of trustees of the Internal Improvement Trust Fund approved the early termination of a state lease with Florida Crystals on lands needed for the EAA Reservoir Project.

“A clean, safe and abundant water supply is critical to Florida’s future,” DeSantis said. “Today’s action will accelerate construction of the EAA Reservoir Project and help ensure we achieve the directives set forth in my executive order. We are proceeding full steam ahead on this critical project to reduce harmful discharges and help send more clean water south of the Everglades.”

The action follows DeSantis’ recent announcement regarding the voluntary early termination of Florida Crystals’ leases for the stormwater treatment area (STA) component of the EAA Reservoir Project by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and South Florida Water Management District. In January, DeSantis issued an executive order calling for the SFWMD to immediately start the next phase of the design and to help ensure the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers approves the project on schedule.

“When Governor DeSantis took office, he committed to expediting critical Everglades restoration projects that reduce harmful discharges to the coastal estuaries and send more water south where it’s needed,” SFWMD Chairman Chauncey Goss said. “Today’s vote by the governor and Cabinet upholds his strong commitment to expediting the EAA Reservoir Project. This vote allows the South Florida Water Management District to continue its path of expedited construction. Thank you to Governor DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet for your action to help save the Everglades.”

The EAA Reservoir Project is a joint Everglades restoration project between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and SFWMD. The Army Corps will construct the storage reservoir and the district will construct the water-cleansing STA. The SFWMD is already conducting geotechnical work on the site and will begin site preparations as soon as the permits for the project are approved by the Army Corps.