More than two and a half years after the City learned its new seawall along Indian Creek was not in compliance with environmental policies and regulations and two years after its proposal to rectify the situation, approvals are still pending but City Engineer Nelson Perez-Jacome says "significant progress" has been made.
To cause “the least environmental harm,” the City proposed replacing three sections of the seawall that “are an excessive distance from the preexisting bulkhead,” according to a letter from Assistant City Manager Eric Carpenter apologizing to the regulatory agencies involved and seeking resolution that did not involve replacing all of the improperly installed seawall.
Perez-Jacome gave us an update via email:
“There are three regulatory entities that need to approve permits in order for the City to commence construction: South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), Division of Environmental Resource Management (DERM) and the Army Corps of Engineers (ACoE).
“After conducting all required mitigation, including a payment to a mangrove mitigation bank and the removal of four (4) derelict vessels, we have obtained the permit from the SFWMD. The DERM permit is well underway – we are able to avoid presenting before the Environmental Quality Control Board (EQCB) and can proceed directly to county commission."
Perez-Jacome indicated, however, DERM has requested an additional signature from one property owner which he's hoping can be obtained within two weeks. "Once we present DERM with the signature we believe it will take approximately six to eight weeks before presenting at county commission," he wrote.
“The ACoE permit is currently under review. ACoE submitted a request for additional information a few days ago [and] we are working with our consultant to respond by the end of this week. We are following up with ACoE regularly and will continue to do so. I believe once we obtain the DERM permit, we will be able to explain to ACoE that their review is the last one pending – this should help expedite the permit.”
Photo courtesy DMSI
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