Central Everglades Planning Project Report delayed until 2014

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will not complete the Central Everglades Planning Project Report before the end of the year, WPTV NewsChannel 5 has learned.

The report, which was commissioned to develop a long-term plan to send discharges of water from Lake Okeechobee into the southern Everglades -- and, away from the east and west coasts of Florida -- was expected to be delivered to Congress this month.

"There was this assumption that there was this end-of-year deadline. As of this point, there is not a bill in which to include any sort of Everglades report," John Campbell, a spokesperson for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers told WPTV NewsChannel 5. "We, I think, are at a point where we know it's not going to be finished by the end of the year. But, there's still the same sense of urgency because, should Congress come to reconciliation and pass that bill, we want this report ready to go."

The bill, the Water Resources Reform and Development Act of 2013, would clear the way for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop the long-term plan.

If the draft report isn't delivered to Congress before the bill is reauthorized, it may be seven years before action can be taken.

The report is expected be completed in mid-2014, Campbell told WPTV NewsChannel 5.

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