Statement on Federal Approval, Continued Momentum on EAA Reservoir and Termination of the State’s Option Agreement

Clewiston, Fla. – U.S. Sugar spokeswoman Judy Sanchez, Senior Director for Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, today released the following statement regarding the state’s option agreement with U.S. Sugar:

“Many compromises were made to pass Senate Bill 10, bringing together advocates for agriculture and the environment. As part of that compromise, the EAA reservoir is being constructed well ahead of schedule and now, in accordance with SB 10 (F.S. 373.4598(6)), the state’s option agreement can be terminated.

Congress has approved a Post Authorization Change Report (PACR), fulfilling a necessary requirement that now allows U.S. Sugar to terminate the state’s pending option agreement. With this condition met and the requirement of the law fulfilled, there’s no need for the South Florida Water Management District to hang on to the remnants of a failed scheme. These approximately 150,000 acres of U.S. Sugar’s actively productive farm land were never slated for any planned or approved restoration project.

U.S. Sugar will continue to support the EAA Reservoir project, the Florida Legislature, the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as they move forward to build and operate the projects that will store, clean and convey more water south of Lake Okeechobee to reduce discharges, protect our coastal estuaries and the Florida Everglades.”

Florida Statute 373.4598(6) (excerpt from Senate Bill 10):

The district must terminate the option agreement at the request of the seller if: (a) The post-authorization change report receives congressional approval; or (b) The district certifies to the board, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the House of Representatives that the acquisition of the land necessary for the EAA reservoir project, as provided in subsection (4), has been completed.

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