TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Engineering Society (FES) and American Council of Engineering Companies of Florida (ACEC-FL) applaud the Senate Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee for following science and the recommendations of technical experts, and advancing Senate Bill 94 to safely manage the flow of water north of Lake Okeechobee.
With the southern reservoir project fully funded and under construction, the next priority projects, according to SB 94, should be focused on water storage north of Lake Okeechobee. The projects, including a number of Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells, are already part of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) - a plan approved by Congress and the Army Corps of Engineers.
In testimony before the Senate ENR Committee, Florida professional engineer and FES member David Pyne, explained that ASR is a safe, cost-effective and proven technology that is protective of the environment. Pyne is a pioneer in the development and implementation of dozens of ASR projects across Florida and the U.S. over the last four decades.
“Florida can cost-effectively manage the flow of water into Lake Okeechobee, supporting Everglades restoration, and reduce 80 percent of the harmful discharges to the estuaries by implementing these planned ASR wells,” Pyne explained during his committee presentation.
Fast facts about ASR:
• Widely used in more than 25 U.S. states, including Florida, and around the world (Australia, Canada, England, Spain, UAE, Israel, India and more);
• Safely stores water during wet periods and floods;
• Safely recovers and releases water during dry periods and droughts;
Creating a holistic strategy to address statewide environmental, water supply and flooding issues is a top legislative priority for FES and ACEC-FL. SB 94 is sponsored by Senator Jason Brodeur.
Urban Search & Rescue Engineer Liability Protections
FES and ACEC-FL also applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee for today advancing SB 1060, which provides liability protections for structural engineers who volunteer their urban search and rescue expertise during times of natural disasters. Since 2017, the number of licensed engineers volunteering their search and rescue services has dropped by 60 percent due to threats of liability lawsuits. SB 1060 is sponsored by Senator Jennifer Bradley.