WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today released the following statement after the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved the EAA Southern Storage Reservoir, sending it back to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers who is responsible for formally transmitting the project to Congress:

“Since we passed a placeholder to authorize this project in May, our community has been under attack from a barrage of toxic algal blooms that pose a significant risk to human health.  This storage reservoir is critical to reducing the frequency of these discharges.  Congress must authorize this project as soon as possible because every day that goes by without it means more business being forced to close, more animals dying and more people getting sick.  Lives are quite literally hanging in the balance, and I will continue doing everything I can to get this across the finish line.  Failure is not an option.”

In June, Rep. Mast wrote to OMB urging them to expedite review of the reservoir because of the urgent need for the Treasure Coast community.  The statutory deadline to complete the review was the end of July. 

Rep. Mast’s top priority is to authorize the project as part of the Water Resources and Development Act.  That bill passed the House of Representatives earlier this year with a “placeholder” provision to authorize the reservoir, which will be replaced by authorization once the project is formally referred to Congress.  The Senate is expected to vote on their version of the Water Resources and Development Act later this month and Rep. Mast has been working closely with Florida’s Senators to ensure the project is included in that bill.