The Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee of the senate approves Joe Negron’s plan.
A State Senate panel has approved Senate President Joe Negron’s plan to build a $2.4 billion project that aims to buy 60-thousand acres south of Lake Okeechobee. The plan is to build a 120 billion-gallon reservoir to help prevent discharges to the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.
Committee chairman Jack Latvala said to expect changes to the bill before it gets to the full Florida legislature.
Several people who live and work south of the lake testified that the bill would hurt their local economy.
Latvala promised that the bill would have an economic development component. He said that if they were going to hurt jobs in one direction, they would need to help jobs in another direction.
The legislature will vote on the bill during their three month session which starts in March.
Critics of the reservoir have focused on efforts to increase storage north of the lake. That does not take in consideration the persistent problems in Biscayne and Florida Bays.