Water-Related News

Sugar growers sue to stop Army Corps from using Everglades reservoir

Sugar growers on Thursday [Aug. 26] sued to stop the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from using a massive Everglades reservoir south of Lake Okeechobee intended to help revive wilting marshes and Florida Bay.

In the lawsuit filed in federal court, U.S. Sugar argued the reservoir will violate a rule included in the federal law authorizing Everglades restoration in 2000. Known as the "savings clause," the rule required the Army Corps to maintain water supplies to farms and utilities as it worked to revive marshes and undo decades of damage from flood control.

The lawsuit also argues that a stormwater treatment marsh attached to the reservoir — and expected to be completed first — will need lake water to operate during the dry season. The lawsuit argues that would have “a significant, unstudied effect on water supply and those entities that depend on it.”

Growers asked the court to send the project back to the Corps for a new environmental analysis.