The Department of Environmental Protection’s Office of Ecosystem Projects introduced a consolidated Environmental Resource Permit, or ERP, to the United States Army Corps of Engineers for the Herbert Hoover Dike (HHD) Repair and Rehabilitation Project (R&R Project).
The permit authorizes construction and replacement of Culverts 2, 12A and HP-2 with new water control structures S-278 (C-2), S-274 (C-12A) and S-287 (C-HP-2).
“The residents of South Florida are dependant upon a stable dike around Lake Okeechobee,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard Jr. “DEP was able to streamline its permitting process for critical dike rehabilitation projects to alleviate flooding and environmental concerns for residents in the communities impacted by Lake Okeechobee.”
The HHD R&R Project is intended to reduce the risk of flooding, piping and seepage as a result of higher lake levels. The dike, which was constructed in the early to mid-1900s, is comprised of gravel, rock, limestone, sand and shell and does not currently meet the rigorous standards for dams and levees that exist today; limiting the flexibility of water managers with regard to lake operations. Enhancements to the HHD are critical to the restoration of the Everglades, and last year, the state urged the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) to expedite work on this dike system.
The culvert repair project is one component of the Corps comprehensive HHD R&R Project to enhance the stability of the 143 mile earthen dike around Lake Okeechobee. Replacement of the culverts will strengthen particular areas of the dike, reducing the risk of seepage, piping and levee failure when Lake Okeechobee reaches certain water levels.
The project is located within five counties: Glades, Hendry, Martin, Okeechobee and Palm Beach.
Press Release, May 6, 2014