By Sunshine State News
The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) announced Wednesday its latest effort to aggressively accelerate construction of the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) Reservoir, submitting permit applications that will shave 18 months off the project's finish time.
The permit applications will allow land clearing to begin and implement Gov. Ron DeSantis' "Achieving More Now For Florida's Environment" Executive Order.
"This is great. We are moving forward on this reservoir project at full speed ... because it is a crucial component of the overall (restoration) plan," said SFWMD Executive Director Drew Bartlett. "The permit applications are the latest major milestone that will get this project built and its benefits realized in the foreseeable future."
Late Tuesday, SFWMD applied to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Florida Department of Environmental Protection for permits to allow the District to clear a 700-foot-wide strip of land, encompassing about 690 acres on the site of the proposed reservoir project.
The work will prepare the land to build a canal and perimeter levee for the project's stormwater treatment area. The canal will feed water diverted from Lake Okeechobee through existing canals into the 240,000 acre-foot reservoir and stormwater treatment area. The proposed A-2 Stormwater Treatment Area will treat and cleanse water before it is sent to the Southern Everglades.