The National Park Service (NPS) announces the issuance of the Record of Decision (ROD) by Everglades National Park (ENP) adopting the Central Everglades Planning Project (CEPP) Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) in July 2014. The ROD was approved and signed by NPS Associate Regional Director Ed Buskirk on August 21, 2017. It documents the decision by the NPS to adopt the programmatic environmental analyses in the CEPP FEIS to inform site-specific National Environmental Policy Act reviews of CEPP actions proposed within the park prior to implementation. The ROD is available at the Documents List on this page. The CEPP FEIS is available online at: http://www.saj.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environmental/Ecosystem-Restoration/Central-Everglades-Planning-Project/
Because the NPS was not a formal cooperating agency for the CEPP, recirculation of the FEIS to the public for a period of 30 days was necessary under Council on Environmental Quality regulations prior to adoption (40 CFR 1506.3). The recirculation period began on December 2, 2016, with the publication of a Notice of Availability in the Federal Register by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and concluded on January 3, 2017.
The CEPP FEIS proposes broad actions to capture water that is currently discharged to coastal estuaries and direct additional flows to the Everglades and Florida Bay. The Selected Plan, Alternative 4R2, includes features to store, treat, and deliver water as sheet flow at the top of Water Conservation Area (WCA) 3A and calls for removal of barriers to sheet flow between WCA-3A, WCA 3B, and ENP.
The removal of Old Tamiami Trial within ENP is one of multiple CEPP projects proposed to increase conveyance capacity, enhance sheet flow to the south, and alleviate high water conditions in Water Conservation Area 3A. The FEIS analyzed the impacts associated with removing 5.7 miles of the Old Tamiami Trail to improve hydrologic sheet flow. The FEIS determined that the removal of the 5.7-mile section of Old Tamiami Trail in its entirety would result in significant long-term impacts to this historic road. While the FEIS included a sufficient level of detail at the programmatic level, additional data analysis and consideration of a wider range of viable alternatives will be included in the next phase of the project
The NPS is currently preparing an Environmental Assessment (EA) of potential modifications to Old Tamiami Trail that will tier to the CEPP FEIS. This EA will analyze the site-specific hydrological, ecological, and cultural resources effects of restoring sheet flow that could result from removing different amounts of roadway.
The EA will be available for a 30-day public comment period that will be announced by press release, posting on this website, and by electronic mail to the park mailing list. Please check back for project updates. For further information, contact Robert Johnson, Director of the South Florida Natural Resources Center at (305) 224-4240 or by email at Robert_Johnson@nps.gov.
Thank you for your interest in Everglades National Park.
Pedro M. Ramos
Director, South Florida Natural Resources Center
950 N Krome Ave, 3rd Floor
Homestead, FL 33030