Stating Florida must comply with the original 1992 consent decree to address Everglades pollution, U.S. District Judge Federico A. Moreno granted on March 31 the Miccosukee tribe’s motion to compel completion of a key reservoir. Since 2008, the work has stopped on the $700-million project in Palm Beach County; instead, state funds have been plowed into buying private sugar-growing land near Lake Okeechobee for a new restoration plan.
Parties now are weighing the potential impact. Landowner U.S. Sugar Corp. says the ruling “does not preclude” the state’s continuing land purchase to meet the consent decree’s terms. Tribal officials and those of the South Florida Water Management District, which manages the state’s Everglades restoration, declined to comment.