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Senator Rubio Welcomes Chairman Inhofe’s Commitment To Passing Everglades Restoration Project
Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) today issued the following statement after Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-OK) announced in the Miami Herald that he is committed to authorizing the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) in the upcoming water resources bill:
“I have been a longtime advocate for solutions to address water management in the State of Florida, including the Central Everglades Planning Project. I commend Chairman Inhofe on committing to get this important project included in the upcoming water resources bill, and will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure its authorization moves forward this Congress.
“The deauthorization of the Ten Mile Creek water reservoir was an important step we already took to address Florida’s water issues, but nothing would be as impactful as finally getting this Everglades proposal done. We have a second chance to get it signed into law and help alleviate the harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee by sending water South to the Everglades. This announcement is only the first step towards a long term solution, but I will continue to fight at the federal level to address this important issue to the people of Florida.”
Timeline of Senator Rubio’s push for CEPP and other water management projects:
- May 15, 2013-Senator Rubio cited the absence of CEPP as a factor in his vote against the Senate version of the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA).
- April 18, 2014-Senator Rubio signed a delegation letter to WRRDA conferees requesting that CEPP be included in the final conference report.
- May 22, 2014-Senator Rubio voted in support of the final conference report on WRRDA, but expressed concern regarding the absence of authorization for CEPP. On the same day, he also sent a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers (ACOE) requesting that CEPP be approved as quickly as possible.
- June 20, 2014-Senator Rubio visited the Indian River Lagoon to see the effects of the discharges firsthand, and held a roundtable discussion with key stakeholders to hear community concerns.
- July 30, 2014-Senator Rubio convened a stakeholder conference call to discuss the urgent need for CEPP and draft legislation that would move operational authority of Lake Okeechobee to the state.
- September 18, 2014-Senator Rubio cosponsored S. 2861, Senator Nelson’s bill to authorize CEPP.
- January 8, 2015-Senator Rubio introduced S. 124, a bill to deauthorize the Ten Mile Creek Water Preserve Area Critical Restoration Project so the mismanaged federal project, that sat dormant for over a decade, could be transferred away from the federal government and into the hands of the State through the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD).
- January 8, 2015–S. 120 is introduced with Senator Rubio as an original cosponsor.
- January 21, 2015-Senator Rubio held a second stakeholder conference call where he discussed CEPP, Ten Mile Creek, Lake Okeechobee releases and the proposed state authority legislation.
- February 20, 2015-Senator Rubio took an aerial tour of the Northern Everglades to view the SWFWMD/ACOE projects.
- May 14, 2015– Senator Rubio wrote a letter to Chairman Lamar Alexander and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein requesting that language to deauthorize the Ten Mile Creek Water Preserve be included in the fiscal year 2016 Energy and Water Development Appropriations bill.
- December 18, 2015-Senator Rubio’s Ten Mile Creek deauthorization language became Public Law No. 114-113 as part of the end of the year spending bill.
- February 8, 2016-Senator Rubio signed a delegation letter to the Chairmen and Ranking Members of the committees of jurisdiction (Senate EPW, House Transportation) requesting CEPP authorization be included in the forthcoming water resources bill.
- February 16, 2016-Senator Rubio reiterated the need for CEPP to help alleviate discharges from Lake Okeechobee in an op-ed in the TC Palm.
- March 9, 2016-Senator Rubio reaffirmed his commitment to authorizing CEPP in a letter to the Army Corps of Engineers.
- June 15, 2016-The Ten Mile Creek water reservoir will officially be turned over to the State.