WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.
- The South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) Governing Board today initiated a rule-making process and asked for the public's input in amending rules to support water quality improvements in the Northern Everglades, which includes the Lake Okeechobee Watershed and the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee River watersheds and estuaries.
"The South Florida Water Management District is dedicated to working closely with communities and stakeholders as we work to support water quality improvements in the Northern Everglades," said
SFWMD Executive Director Drew Bartlett
. "Engaging with the public and stakeholders is central to our mission, and we are looking forward to gathering input from the public as we develop draft rules to support water quality."
The Governing Board approved the start of a public process to revise Chapter 40E-61 of the Florida Administrative Code. The rule was originally created in 1989, and in 2016, the Florida Legislature passed laws requiring SFWMD to revise the rule to support Northern Everglades restoration.
The public engagement process to revise the rule includes workshops across the District and opportunities to provide input through the District's website. The public will be able to review draft concepts from SFWMD including water quality monitoring, methods to evaluate and assess monitoring, and actions where data show reduction in harmful nutrients is needed. Public engagement and input on the draft concepts will inform a draft rule. The draft rule will also be presented to the public for public comment and input.
The first meeting of this process is scheduled for Nov. 5 at 10 a.m. at the Indian River State College campus in Okeechobee. SFWMD also will launch an interactive web board that will allow the public to submit comments online. The web board can be found by
starting tomorrow. Additional details on future public meetings will also be posted to the District's website.