We're not suggesting that the district staff assigned to this project are incompetent or impolite. They seem to be working hard on a compressed schedule, within the parameters they've been given. They've just been given the wrong parameters.
We're not going to get into the weeds (again) on the various ways that this project is being hobbled -- we've been doing that every week for the last 2 months, and frankly we understand if you’re sick of hearing it.
We’re sick of saying it. But the fact remains that the SFWMD is trying to cram this reservoir and its necessary treatment marshes onto too small a piece of land, and they are fudging numbers to do it.
Quite simply, they need just a little more land for this to work. And they have it.
The SFWMD is misinterpreting and/or ignoring Florida state law, that says they shall get more land if the project needs it, and they are authorized to terminate leases on public land if necessary. They have chosen not to get the necessary land, instead they are playing games with the parameters used to create these 4 alternatives.
We strongly encourage the press to do their homework -- speak to independent hydrologists, speak to federal agency scientists, ask if the assumptions used by the district are defensible.
Is the SFWMD prepared to defend these 4 alternatives in federal court, on challenges that they will fail state and federal water quality rules for the Everglades?
Is the SFWMD's best answer, "Don't worry, the sugar industry doesn’t always use 100% of existing treatment, we'll just share?" We know how that works -- whenever it rains the sugar industry DOES use 100%, then back-pumps into Lake O. At the exact same time we get toxic discharges.
A lot of people have worked decades for the opportunity we have before us right now. A lot of those same people, smart people, don't think we will ever have this opportunity again if we let it slip away.
Senate President Joe Negron, representing ground zero for toxic discharges, stuck out his neck on SB10, and got it passed at great personal and political cost against the wishes of the most powerful lobby in the state, maybe the country. Big Sugar never stopped fighting SB10, even after it passed. We need Joe Negron to step up one more time, or our efforts will have been wasted.
Please call 844-505-2887 now, and let Senate President Joe Negron know:
We are grateful for your heroic efforts on SB10, but now it is on track to fail. The South Florida Water Management District didn't follow the law, and their proposed alternatives won't work.
There's still time to fix it -- Please push the District to update their proposal to include 13,000 acres of treatment before presenting it on January 9th. Independent hydrologists say it can work with that much treatment. We need your leadership to make it happen.
Joe Negron helped get us here. Now we need him again to get this EAA Reservoir done right.