Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

USACE: Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) Finally Issued


South Florida - Friday May 24, 2024: After more than five-years in the making, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), Jacksonville District, has finally announced that the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual, known as LOSOM, has been finalized and is now available.

Pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), the final environmental impact statement for LOSOM was published today, May 24 in the Federal Register. It is now subject to a 30-day public review and a 30-day state and agency review. Implementation of the regulations in LOSOM should take place by August. The Final EIS evaluates an array of alternative Lake Okeechobee regulation schedules and describes and compares their potential environmental effects, including consideration of comments from public and agency review.

LOSOM is a new regulation schedule for Lake Okeechobee, within an updated Water Control Plan (WCP).

The regulation schedule is a compilation of operating criteria, guidelines, and figures that govern the quantity, timing, and duration of releases out of the lake. It establishes the Army Corps' operational strategy to balance the congressionally authorized project purposes for flood risk management, water supply, enhancement of fish and wildlife, navigation, and recreation.

Implementation of this regulation schedule corresponds with the completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD) rehabilitation and considers completed or nearly completed Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan projects.

LOSOM is intended to replace the current Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule, known as the 2008 LORS (LORS08).

The proposed LOSOM regulation schedule and Water Control Plan will govern lake releases and C&SF Project operations in portions of Glades, Martin, Palm Beach, Hendry, Lee, St. Lucie, and Okeechobee counties, Florida. Effects may extend to Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe, and Collier counties, Florida

The plan remains the same as documented in the Draft EIS and WCP released in July 2022, which the USACE developed over almost four years in collaboration with stakeholders. The schedule and operational criteria have not changed, and the performance of the plan remains the same as documented in the Draft EIS.

Significant Shift in Operational Philosophy
The LOSOM represents a significant shift in operational philosophy to a system-wide benefits approach. Lake level management would be focused on making beneficial releases at times and in quantities that improve water supply availability and enhance fish and wildlife in the region. The LOSOM plan also improves the ability of water managers to use system-wide analysis to adapt to real time conditions to make informed decisions on lake releases. The LOSOM also includes more robust and structured communication and collaboration between the USACE and stakeholders, as operational decisions are made.

Questions concerning the proposed action can be submitted by email at