WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) is urging Colonel Andrew Kelly of the Army Corps of Engineers to eliminate regulatory discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie estuary as part of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM). The modeling presented by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District over the last several months proves definitively that it is possible to eliminate discharges in the operational band while also benefiting performance for water supply and the other Congressionally-authorized project purposes. The Army Corps is expected to tentatively choose the discharge schedule that will be used for the next decade by July 2021.

“I think it would be unconscionable if the Army Corps selected a final plan that does not eliminate regulatory discharges to the St. Lucie given that the Army Corps’ own modeling proves it is not only possible but actually beneficial to other Congressionally-authorized project purposes,” Rep. Mast wrote in the letter. “We have a once-in-a-decade opportunity to solve a debilitating public health crisis. The Army Corps must not settle for incremental progress but rather should take the bold action needed to protect Floridians and stop government-sanctioned poisoning.”

The full text of the letter is attached.