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Project To Restore The Everglades Is Suspended

By KJ Mullins     May 18, 2008 in Environment
A project to store runoff water to the Everglades in southern Florida has already cost $250 million dollars and is expected to have a final cost of up to $800 million. The plan was to have the project completed by 2010. It has now been suspended.
The cause behind the suspension is that the National Resources Defense Council is suing the state. They claim that the state is not legally committed itself to using the water primarily for restoration.
The state says that at least 80 percent of the waters will be used for environmental purposes with the rest possibly being used for agricultural or development resources.
The Council said that the lawsuit was not meant to stop construction of the project but instead to legally bind a resolution that would insure that the waters are used mostly for the environment.
"It will be much more expensive if we got into the middle of this contract and then all of a sudden it gets shut down," district spokesman Randy Smith said. "The board's decision was made solely on prudent financial responsibility to the taxpayers."
The project will be halted on June 1 until the end of the year. The contractors will still be paid $1.9 million per month that the project is delayed. That could end up costing taxpayers $14 million for work not being done until the end of 2008.
The project will redivert waters that used to flow south of Orlando into the Everglades. As more and more people populated the area the overflow was sent to the ocean to allow for the population growth. That has left the Everglades in a precarious situation and near collapse.
The reservoir when finished will store water and divert it to the Everglades at various times instead of sending it out into the Atlantic.
More about Florida, Everglades, Restoration