Boca Raton, FL – U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) released a statement after a phone conversation this evening with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Major General Scott Spellmon to discuss the Lake Okeechobee discharges and South Florida algal blooms. Maj. Gen. Spellmon is the Deputy Commanding General for Civil and Emergency Operations.
“After speaking with Major General Scott Spellmon, I’m encouraged by the steps the Army Corps is taking to balance its responsibility to protect the structural integrity of the Herbert Hoover Dike with the concerns of downstream residents. We discussed the Army Corps’ recent Long Term Disaster Recovery Investment Plan, which includes funding I secured for the completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike rehabilitation, and could provide the Corps with even more flexibility in conducting discharges. Finally, I raised the importance of strong federal funding for the Everglades infrastructure projects, including the proposed EAA Reservoir and the Central Everglades Planning Project, that will significantly reduce these discharges in the future. These projects are not just about the environment, they’re critical to preserving Floridians’ quality of life and our state’s economic future.”
Earlier this month, Rubio spoke on the Senate floor on the harmful algae blooms and requested the Small Business Administration (SBA) quickly open a Business Recovery Center and make agency resources available to small businesses that are adversely affected by them.Following his June request, Rubio welcomed the announcement by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) that it approved the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) Post-Authorization Change Report (PACR) to reduce harmful Lake Okeechobee discharges.