News: Draft report for Central Everglades Planning Project available online
Story by Jenn Miller
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- The Draft Integrated Project Implementation Report (PIR) and Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) is now available online for public review at: http://bit.ly/CEPP_DPIR. Public comments on the draft report will be accepted through Oct. 14, 2013.
"The team has worked extremely hard to get this draft report formatted and ready to go," said Kim Taplin, Central Everglades Branch Chief for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District. "Even though the target release date was August 30, we were determined to get this report out ahead of schedule and into the hands of our stakeholders who have remained dedicated and supportive throughout the duration of this planning effort. It is because of their dedication that we are where we are today."
Comments can be submitted electronically to: CEPPcomments@usace.army.mil or mailed to:
Dr. Gretchen Ehlinger
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
P.O. Box 4970
Jacksonville, FL 32232-0019
Additionally, a series of evening public meetings will be held the week of September 16 throughout south Florida to discuss the draft report and give all interested individuals, groups and agencies an opportunity to comment and ask questions. The meeting locations are currently under development and additional details will be provided in a future notification and will also be posted on the project website: www.bit.ly/CentralEverglades_CEPP.
CEPP is part of the Corps' National Pilot Program for Feasibility Studies and will test principles aimed at streamlining the project planning process. This project will aid in setting the foundation for future restoration efforts in the central portion of the Everglades system and focuses on capturing water lost to tide and re-directing the water flow south to restore the central and southern Everglades ecosystem and Florida Bay.
The goal of CEPP is to deliver, within two years, a finalized plan, known as a Project Implementation Report (PIR), for a suite of restoration projects in the central Everglades to prepare for congressional authorization, as part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP).