Review of LOSOM Draft Documents Postponed Until Mid-Summer
Jacksonville - Wednesday May 11, 2022: The release of the Lake Okeechobee System Operating Manual (LOSOM) draft Environmental Impact Statement and Water Control Plan documents has been delayed until to mid-summer.
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District explained in a news release that feedback from the initial draft documents requires them to conduct additional analysis. Once that analysis is complete they will release the documents for review by their federal, state, tribal partners and members of the public. No firm date has been set yet.
“Through the last three years of this process, LOSOM has enjoyed extraordinary levels of engagement from our partners and stakeholders,” said Tim Gysan, project manager for the LOSOM effort. “This latest part of the process continued that trend of unprecedented public engagement. The Jacksonville District team feels the substantive comments we received deserve careful consideration as we work to find the best solution for the future management of Lake Okeechobee. We want to ensure a clear NEPA evaluation is presented and the operational guidance that will inform our water managers moving forward captures the lake management decision process developed through the LOSOM effort.”
The new date for the state and agency review required under the National Environmental Policy Act is now scheduled to begin in late July rather than May, and the Jacksonville District team will put that additional time to good use.
“We are still confident that we will have a new schedule in place early in 2023 and will be ready to leverage the completion of the Herbert Hoover Dike Rehabilitation Project,” said Col. James Booth, Jacksonville District Commander.
The Jacksonville District team will post the updated schedule to the project website.
More information about the project, along with details on past and future PDT meetings, is available on the district website at https://www.saj.usace.army.mil/LOSOM/.