The chairwoman of the Lee County Commission struck a conciliatory tone yesterday over Lake Okeechobee water releases. But Tammy Hall threatened new legal action if the U-S Army Corps of Engineers doesn’t alter its release schedule. The Corps manages the water level of Lake Okeechobee. Too much and the dike is in danger of bursting, flooding thousands of nearby homes and businesses. So Corps managers send polluted water to the east and west down the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers to ease the pressure, but doing environmental damage to the waterways and their estuaries. The Corps met with concerned residents in Fort Myers last week and soon another group of local officials will address the issue. Speaking on Gulf Coast Live, Lee Commission Chairwoman Tammy Hall says they unsuccessfully sued the Corps in 2002.
“We’re prepared to go back to court if we have to. But I’m hoping that our dialog with the Corps can be more conducive to working together, waiting for three years in a court and $5 million later for a decision. If we go to court, we want to win.”
Hall says ‘science’ should drive water release decisions...not political pressure. She says the Caloosahatchee River is just as important to Florida as Lake Okeechobee.
Wednesday, 20 September 2006 01:00
Tammy Hall on Lake OWritten by WGCU Newsroom