Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers currently determines when to discharge water to the east and west of Lake Okeechobee using a document called the Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule (LORS). This outdated and harmful regulation schedule is based on data from 2008 and causes serious damage to our community through frequent discharges of toxic water. As you know, these discharges threaten our community's health, environment and economy.
As a result, I wrote a law forcing them to update the discharge schedule with the goal of stopping harmful discharges to the estuaries. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun the process of revising this schedule (now called the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual) and is expected to select a final plan this July.
Currently, the Army Corps has narrowed down the selection to five plans. Four of these plans were written by the Army Corps; however, the fifth plan ("Alternative BB") was written by two lobbyists for the sugar industry!
Letting the sugar industry write the management plan for Lake Okeechobee is like letting the fox guard the hen house. This is a brazen attempt by the sugar industry to skew the results of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual to put corporate profits ahead of the health of Floridians across the state, which is why I am fighting to get the Army Corps to eliminate "Alternative BB" from consideration.