Government Shutdown Is Going to Screw the Everglades
The Everglades restoration bill is being threatened to be Hiroshima'd by the government shutdown, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Florida politics as a whole has traditionally screwed the state's environmental priorities to begin with, but now the the Water Resources Development Act is about to lose its funding as it gets stuffed even further back on to-do lists by lawmakers.
All thanks to the government being shut down by Speaker John
Boner Boehner and his GOPer pals.
The bill might be delayed another seven years, as the project will have to wait for Congress to authorize the projects in another WRDA bill.
Not that the project needed any more help in getting the shaft.
Even before the shutdown, the project was on a tight schedule. The public-comment period for the Central Everglades Planning Project ends October 15. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers then has 30 days to review the comments and make any changes.
Those changes must be reviewed again before the corps can issue its chief's report, the last step in its approval process. Then, the South Florida Water Management District, the corps' state partner in the project, would also have to approve the project.
Making matters tougher, though, thanks to the shutdown, agencies that need to approve the project have no staff at the moment because they've been furloughed.
Eric Eikenberg, CEO of the Everglades Foundation, had been pleading for a quicker response to the project as the shutdown loomed, but to no avail. Because if it's not about gun laws, politicians in Florida won't really make much haste to things.
Meanwhile, Lake Okeechobee is a giant cesspool, and the Everglades is turning into a sewer.