Acquisition of Florida Power and Light Company Lands in the East Everglades Expansion Area
April 2015 Update
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) for the Acquisition of Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) Land in the East Everglades Expansion Area (EEEA) was released for public review and comment on January 17, 2014. The Draft EIS presented several alternatives for National Park Service (NPS) acquisition of FPL land in the EEEA to facilitate hydrologic and ecologic restoration of Everglades National Park.
The Draft EIS addressed the potential environmental impacts from the acquisition of FPL land in the park, as well as the indirect impacts that could result from the subsequent construction and operation of transmission lines that could be built by FPL either inside or outside the park as a result of the land acquisition alternative selected. The Draft EIS did not identify a preferred alternative as the NPS wanted to obtain public input on the alternatives under consideration to help inform this important decision.
A public meeting was held at Florida International University on February 19, 2014 to provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the project purpose and need, proposed alternatives, environmental issues, and the decision-making process. The meeting included a presentation and displays about the project, the EIS process, and provided for comments to be recorded in a public hearing format. NPS staff members were available to answer questions and provide information on how to submit comments. The meeting transcript, slide presentation, and handouts are available on the Documents List link on this page. A 60-day comment period on the Draft EIS ended on March 18, 2014.
Status and Next Steps:
The NPS has carefully reviewed 275 correspondences containing 13,000 signatures and more than 700 comments received during the public comment period. We are currently working to complete the public comment analysis report and to select the agency preferred alternative. The public comment report will be posted on this web page when complete. The preferred alternative will be identified in the Final EIS scheduled for release in late summer 2015. The availability of the Final EIS will be announced in the Federal Register, by press release, posted on the park website, and by email sent to the park mailing list.
After a 30-day waiting period, the NPS Southeast Region Director will sign a Record of Decision announcing the alternative selected for implementation and completing the National Environmental Policy Act process. Please check back for periodic updates with more detailed information.
Thank you for your continued interest in Everglades National Park.
Brien F. Culhane
Chief, Planning and Compliance
Everglades National Park