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On the last day of the 2017 legislative session, the House and Senate passed Senate Bill 10 and sent it to the Governor.
We did get it done against all odds. Never ever underestimate the power of the people when they’re educated on an issue and are willing to engage on multiple fronts. Hundreds of thousands of Floridians spoke in unison on this one. And the mighty Joe Negron is President of the Senate. In Florida, that proved to be an unstoppable combination.
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Against all odds, Florida Legislature approves Lake O reservoir bill, but will Congress do its part?
The governor signed Senate Bill 10 on May 9, 2017, making it the law of the land.
Another big step in the right (south) direction. Governor Rick Scott signs into law Senate President Joe Negron’s top legislative priority – the EAA Reservoir. Finally, after 17 years of waiting, we will be reconnecting Lake O to the Everglades. Now, the onus is on the SFWMD to get this moving, and pronto.
MIAMI HERALD: Gov. Scott approves Everglades water storage, ban on local Uber laws
“The reservoir south of Lake O won’t be as big or as instrumental in restoring the Everglades as we hoped. It’s a testament to the power of Big Sugar. Still, the plan will help ease pollution in a meaningful way, speed a return to the southerly flow of water into the Everglades by four years or more and underscore the need for more water storage in South Florida.”
TAMPA BAY TIMES: Smaller South Florida reservoir still worth the effort
We’re not kidding ourselves – there is much more to do. But let’s look at what real people, working together, accomplished: We fought for the EAA reservoir and got it, pushing up the planning by at least four years. We got the state’s portion funded. And we overcame Big Sugar’s ridiculous “It’s all fake science” and “It’s the septic tanks” or “Fix the dike – that will solve the problem” red herrings and won. Three cheers for the good guys!
MIAMI HERALD: We fought Big Sugar and we, and the Everglades, won
The project is now in the hands of the South Florida Water Management District. Their job is to follow the law.
SFWMD finally says it out loud: “The proposed reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee, in conjunction with other planned projects, will ‘put a huge dent’ in the current discharges plaguing the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.” As importantly, it will provide desperately needed clean water for the Everglades and the drinking water supply for 8 million of us.
TC PALM: South Florida Water Management District: Reservoir would “dent” Lake Okeechobee discharges
Give an inch and the sugar cartel takes a mile. “The plan being suggested by SFWMD is a staggering betrayal of the legislation signed into law by Gov. Scott” and prioritized by the Florida Senate. Time for the Governor to take the reins – if he wants it to work, that is.
WLRN: What To Do About Polluted Water? Florida Senate President Concerned About Reservoir Plans
It’s becoming obvious the District is playing games with the law and the intent of the law.
“The bureaucrats conducting these meetings wear red tape like pageant sashes, talking down to meeting attendees (literally) and providing excuses for why they cannot do as they’ve been told — evaluate the optimal configuration for the reservoir that fits within the budget.” – Captains for Clean Water
TC PALM: Florida’s water crisis in the hands of Gov. Scott | Guest column
We’ve already compromised on the amount of land needed to halt these devastating discharges and get clean water down to the Everglades and Florida Bay. Senate President Joe Negron is not buying what the District’s selling. Neither are we and neither should you.
WMFE: Negron raises concern as water managers consider reservoir proposals aimed at improving water quality
They could not overcome Senate President Joe Negron and hundreds of thousands of us earlier this year. So, sugar’s henchmen lay in wait to destroy it in its implementation. We are doing everything we can to ensure the optimal project gets built. And the cartel is working to ensure it doesn’t.
MIAMI HERALD: Florida could spend a billion dollars on an Everglades reservoir. But will it work?
Senate President Joe Negron begins to weigh in with his concerns.
Senate President Joe Negron was crystal clear in his missive to the water management district: Use all the tools we gave you and assemble state-owned land to build the optimal reservoir. Instead, the District has concepts that are more expensive and do not adequately address the devastation South Florida faces. Follow the science, not the political donors.
KEYS NEWS: Reservoir alternatives revealed as size debate continues
As the Water Management District continues to exclude publicly-owned land from the footprint for the OPTIMAL reservoir, Senate President Joe Negron sends them (and the sugar cartel) a very strong message: “We gave you all the tools you need. We expect you to use them.” And Joe is as serious as a heart attack.
TC PALM: Negron gives “personal commitment” reservoir will be big enough to cut Lake O discharges
“Let’s make this as clear as possible. More land for storing and treating water south of Lake Okeechobee = a better economy for Florida.” Less damaging discharges. Less toxic bacteria and beach closures. More stable water supply for South Florida and the Everglades. No undue harm to farming. The Governor cannot squander this opportunity.
TC PALM: Pivotal moment for our estuaries and the Everglades | Eve Samples
The SFWMD submits its “plan” to the Legislature on January 9, 2018. It is, in a word, inadequate.
It appears we’re working in parallel universes. We’re fighting to get a reservoir done the right way and the SFWMD seems content with checking boxes. They’ve designed a reservoir project that is too small and are actually suggesting, with straight faces, they won’t get around to it for 15 years!
KEYS NEWS: Reservoir dogged by debate as session begins