U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) released the following statement after U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Colonel Andrew Kelly announced that, in a reversal of a previous announcement, Lake Okeechobee discharges to the St. Lucie River will not occur:
“The Army Corps’ decision to delay discharges from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie Estuary is absolutely the right one. I thank the Florida Department of Environmental Protection and the South Florida Water Management District for working with me over the last week to convince the Army Corps not to discharge. It is absolutely critical that we exhaust all other possible options – including full utilization of dispersed water management projects and maximum flexibility to move additional water south – before again poisoning our communities. I will keep fighting to prevent discharges moving forward!”
The Army Corps’ reversal comes just days after Rep. Mast urged the Army Corps to reconsider and find alternatives that would prevent discharges to the estuary. Rep. Mast also spoke about the proposed plan for discharges with Col. Kelly over the phone earlier this week.