[Senate Hearing 106-729]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]






                                                        S. Hrg. 106-729
 
                         EVERGLADES RESTORATION

=======================================================================

                                HEARINGS

                               BEFORE THE

           SUBCOMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

                                AND THE

                              COMMITTEE ON
                      ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS
                          UNITED STATES SENATE

                       ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS

                             SECOND SESSION

                                   ON

THE COMPREHENSIVE EVERGLADES RESTORATION PLAN PROPOSED BY THE STATE OF 
 FLORIDA, THE U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, AND THE U.S. ARMY 
                           CORPS OF ENGINEERS

                               __________

                      JANUARY 7, 2000--NAPLES, FL
                              MAY 11, 2000
                           SEPTEMBER 20, 2000

                               __________

  Printed for the use of the Committee on Environment and Public Works



                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
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_______________________________________________________________________
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                                 20402


               COMMITTEE ON ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WORKS

                       one hundred sixth congress
                   BOB SMITH, New Hampshire, Chairman
JOHN W. WARNER, Virginia             MAX BAUCUS, Montana
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN, New York
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming                FRANK R. LAUTENBERG, New Jersey
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri        HARRY REID, Nevada
GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio            BOB GRAHAM, Florida
MICHAEL D. CRAPO, Idaho              JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut
ROBERT F. BENNETT, Utah              BARBARA BOXER, California
KAY BAILEY HUTCHISON, Texas          RON WYDEN, Oregon
LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island
                      Dave Conover, Staff Director
                  Tom Sliter, Minority Staff Director
                                 ------                                

           Subcommittee on Transportation and Infrastructure

                  GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, Ohio, Chairman
JOHN W. WARNER, Wyoming              MAX BAUCUS, Montana
CHRISTOPHER S. BOND, Missouri        DANIEL PATRICK MOYNIHAN, New York
JAMES M. INHOFE, Oklahoma            HARRY REID, Nevada
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming                BOB GRAHAM, Florida
LINCOLN CHAFEE, Rhode Island         JOSEPH I. LIEBERMAN, Connecticut

                                  (ii)

  

                            C O N T E N T S

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                                                                   Page

                      JANUARY 7, 2000--NAPLES, FL
                           OPENING STATEMENTS

Graham, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from the State of Florida.........     5
Smith, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from the State of New Hampshire....     1
Voinovich, Hon. George V., U.S. Senator from the State of Ohio...     6

                               WITNESSES

Browner, Hon. Carol, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection 
  Agency.........................................................    10
    Prepared statement...........................................    61
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................    67
        Senator Smith............................................    68
Collins, Mike, chairman, South Florida Water Management District.    40
    Prepared statement...........................................    99
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................   103
        Senator Smith............................................   102
Doyle, Mary, Counselor to the Secretary, Chair, South Florida 
  Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, U.S. Department of the 
  Interior.......................................................    30
    Prepared statement...........................................    92
Lehtinen, Dexter, member, South Florida Ecosystem Task Force and 
  Governor's Commission on the Everglades, on behalf of the 
  Miccosukee Tribe...............................................    44
    Prepared statement...........................................   106
    Responses to additional questions from Senator Smith.........   109
Reed, Hon. Nathaniel, Florida environmentalist and former 
  Assistant Secretary of the Interior............................    49
    Prepared statement...........................................   110
Shore, Jim, esquire, general counsel, Seminole Tribe of Florida..    42
    Prepared statement...........................................   104
Struhs, Hon. David B., Secretary, Florida Department of 
  Environmental Protection.......................................    34
    Prepared statement...........................................    95
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................    97
        Senator Smith............................................    97
Wade, Malcolm S. ``Bubba'', Jr., senior vice president, U.S. 
  Sugar Corporation..............................................    52
    Prepared statement...........................................   115
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................   123
        Senator Smith............................................   121
Westphal, Hon. Joseph, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil 
  Works), U.S. Department of Defense.............................    21
    Prepared statement...........................................    72
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................    86
        Senator Smith............................................    77
        Senator Voinovich........................................    83
Williams, Hon. Nora, county commissioner, Monroe County, Florida.    55
    Prepared statement...........................................   124

                          ADDITIONAL MATERIAL

Letters:
    Florida Attorney General.....................................   126
    Florida House of Representatives.............................   126
    Mooney, Robert...............................................   129
    Nelson, Bill, Florida State Treasurer........................   128
    Young, Rep. C.W. Bill........................................   128
Statements:
    Foley, Hon. Mark, U.S. Representative from the State of 
      Florida....................................................   128
    Lake Worth Drainage District................................130-142
    Meek, Hon. Carrie, U.S. Represenatative from the State of 
      Florida....................................................   127
                                 ------                                

                              MAY 11, 2000
                           OPENING STATEMENTS

Baucus, Hon. Max, U.S. Senator from the State of Montana.........   152
Chafee, Hon. Lincoln, U.S. Senator from the State of Rhode Island   190
Graham, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from the State of Florida.........   145
    Letters, Department of the Interior and the Corps..164-187, 229-232
Lautenberg, Hon. Frank R., U.S. Senator from the State of New 
  Jersey.........................................................   242
Smith, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from the State of New Hampshire..143, 206
Voinovich, Hon. George V., U.S. Senator from the State of Ohio...   152
Warner, Hon. John W., U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth of 
  Virginia.....................................................156, 242

                               WITNESSES

Bush, Hon. Jeb, Governor, State of Florida.......................   147
    Additional statement.........................................   244
    Prepared statement...........................................   242
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Crapo............................................   247
        Senator Graham...........................................   247
        Senator Mack.............................................   248
        Senator Smith............................................   245
        Senator Voinovich........................................   250
Collins, Mike, Chairman, South Florida Water Management District.   200
    Prepared statement...........................................   263
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................   265
        Senator Mack.............................................   267
        Senator Smith............................................   265
        Senator Voinovich........................................   269
Doyle, Mary, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Office of Water 
  and Science, and Chair, South Florida Ecosystem Restoration 
  Task Force, U.S. Department of the Interior....................   213
    Letter, Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement.....   296
    Prepared statement...........................................   292
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Crapo............................................   302
        Senator Graham...........................................   303
        Senator Mack.............................................   308
        Senator Smith............................................   294
        Senator Voinovich........................................   296
Guggenheim, David, President, The Conservancy of Southwest 
  Florida, Co-Chair, The Everglades Coalition....................   235
    Letter, Lake Worth Drainage District.........................   362
    Prepared statement...........................................   348
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................   357
        Senator Mack.............................................   360
        Senator Smith............................................   353
        Senator Voinovich........................................   355
Guzy, Hon. Gary, General Counsel, U.S. Environmental Protection 
  Agency.........................................................   210
    Prepared statement...........................................   309
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Baucus...........................................   313
        Senator Crapo............................................   315
        Senator Graham...........................................   316
        Senator Mack.............................................   318
        Senator Smith............................................   313
        Senator Voinovich........................................   314
Keck, Ken, Director of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs, 
  Florida Citrus Mutual..........................................   232
    Letters:
        Florida Department of Consumer Services................324, 327
        Dade County, Florida, Farm Bureau........................   326
        Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida................   330
        Landers & Parsons, P.A...................................   331
    List, Organizations with concerns about the Restudy..........   233
    Minutes, Governor's Committee for a Sustainable South 
      Florida, Meetings of March 2-3, 1999......................333-344
    Prepared statement...........................................   319
    Reports:
        Florida Agriculture's Concerns With WRDA 2000............   233
        Position of Agricultural Advisory Committee to the South 
          Florida Water Management District......................   323
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Mack.............................................   344
        Senator Smith............................................   346
    Resolution, Miami-Dade County, Florida.......................   348
Lehtenin, Dexter, on behalf of the Miccosukee Tribe..............   193
    Prepared statement...........................................   259
Mack, Hon. Connie, U.S. Senator from the State of Florida........   146
Power, Patricia, on behalf of the Seminole Tribe of Florida......   191
    Prepared statement...........................................   250
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................   256
        Senator Mack.............................................   257
        Senator Smith............................................   255
Westphal, Hon. Joseph, Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil 
  Works), U.S. Department of the Army............................   207
    Prepared statement...........................................   269
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Baucus...........................................   280
        Senator Crapo............................................   283
        Senator Graham...........................................   286
        Senator Mack.............................................   290
        Senator Smith............................................   276
        Senator Voinovich........................................   280

                          ADDITIONAL MATERIAL

Letter, Citizens for a Sound Economy.............................   365
Statement, Penelas, Alex, Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Florida....   367
                                 ------                                

                           SEPTEMBER 20, 2000
           SUBCOMMITTEE ON TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE
                           OPENING STATEMENTS

Graham, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from the State of Florida.........   377
Inhofe, Hon. James M., U.S. Senator from the State of Oklahoma...   372
Smith, Hon. Bob, U.S. Senator from the State of New Hampshire....   374
Voinovich, Hon. George V., U.S. Senator from the State of Ohio...   369

                               WITNESSES

Davis, Michael L., Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil 
  Works),U.S. Department of Defense..............................   387
    Prepared statement...........................................   430
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................   435
        Senator Voinovich........................................   433
Hill, Barry, Associate Director, Energy, Resources, and Science 
  Issues, General Accounting Office..............................   380
    Prepared statement...........................................   396
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................   429
        Senator Voinovich........................................   426
    Report, Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan: Additional 
      Water Quality Projects May Be Needed and Could Increase 
      Costs, General Accounting Office..........................400-426
Struhs, David, Commissioner, Florida Department of Environmental 
  Protection, Tallahassee, FL....................................   390
    Prepared statement...........................................   436
    Responses to additional questions from:
        Senator Graham...........................................   439
        Senator Voinovich........................................   437


                      EVERGLADES RESTORATION PLAN

                              ----------                              


                        FRIDAY, JANUARY 7, 2000


                                       U.S. Senate,
                 Committee on Environment and Public Works,
                                                   Naples, Florida.
    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 3:45 p.m. at the 
Naples Golf Club, 851 Golf Shore Boulevard, Naples, Florida, 
Hon. Bob Smith [chairman of the committee] presiding.
    Present: Senators Smith, Graham, and Voinovich.
    Also present: Representative Meek.

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB SMITH, 
          U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

    Senator Smith. The meeting will come to order.
    The Senators have set the example for those of you who want 
to take your jackets off. Please feel free to do it. What we 
should do is adjourn outside to the beach.
    I know it's warm in here and very crowded, but we are very 
grateful for the interest in the Everglades, and I certainly 
want to welcome our first witness, Administrator Browner. We 
will be talking with her in just a moment.
    I'm somewhat intimidated by sitting between two Governors 
who have to deal with these statewide problems much more than 
we do in the U.S. Senate, but maybe I will learn something from 
the Governor on either side.
    The purpose of today's hearing is to receive testimony on 
the proposed Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, and I 
extend, again, my gratitude to our hosts, the Everglades 
Coalition, for inviting us to participate as part of their 
fifteenth annual conference on the Everglades. Although the 
coalition will not be testifying today on any of these panels, 
they will be invited to testify to a subsequent Washington 
hearing, which will be chaired by Subcommittee Chairman 
Voinovich. I'm sure that they will be happy to receive their 
testimony at that time.
    I'm pleased to be here with Senator Bob Graham of Florida, 
who is well known to the Everglades and well known as a friend 
of the Everglades. As Governor of Florida, he was responsible 
for one of the first major Everglades restoration initiatives, 
Florida Save Our Everglades Act of 1983, when he was the 
distinguished Governor from this State.
    He remains a strong voice in the Senate for the protection 
of this vital national resource, and I'm delighted to be here 
in his State and appreciate very much his invitation to be 
here.
    Also joining us today is Senator George Voinovich of Ohio's 
jurisdiction. Senator Voinovich is the chairman of the 
subcommittee with jurisdiction over the Everglades restoration 
proposal, and I know he plans to hold additional hearings on 
this subject in Washington; and I also would like to 
acknowledge the important contribution of Senator Connie Mack, 
who I talked to yesterday, who could not be here today. He is 
also a strong supporter of Everglades restoration.
    I also want to acknowledge the presence today of 
Representative Carrie Meek, whose district encompasses part of 
the Everglades. Representative Meek, thank you for being here. 
Your statement will be made part of the record.
    Ms. Meek. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. There are many other people to be commended, 
not only for their efforts that went into this plan, but for 
the work that still remains to be done. Certainly Administrator 
Browner, a Florida native who has been an advocate and a leader 
within the administration on this project, Interior Secretary 
Babbitt and the Army Corps of Engineers, Joe Westphal, who are 
also in leading roles in this effort.
    The Federal Government has very strong partners here in 
Florida, starting with Governor Bush and including the 
Department of Florida Environmental Protection and the South 
Florida Water Management District.
    There are many others too numerous to mention right now who 
have been instrumental in bringing the Everglades restoration 
agenda to this critical juncture.
    People you see here today at this hearing and participating 
in the conference have been integral in this effort to preserve 
and protect the Everglades for the next century and beyond.
    At this point I might like to interject to say that 
oftentimes in politics, we think toward the next election, and 
sometimes in businesses we think toward the bottom line or the 
next profit and loss statement. I think we have to think very 
much long term when we talk about environmental matters. We 
have got to think about next generations, maybe even the next 
millennium.
    I hope that, when the fourth millennium starts, some other 
panel might be able to sit here and say, ``You know, those guys 
back there in 2000 saved the Everglades, along with the help of 
many, many good people.''
    This is my first hearing as the chairman of the Environment 
and Public Works Committee, and there is no mistake and no 
accident that the subject of my first hearing is the 
restoration of this national environmental treasure. We are 
here because the restoration of the Everglades is one of the 
nation's most urgent environmental priorities. That is my 
position. I think it's the position of many others, and it's my 
hope that today's hearing will set the tone for the committee's 
activities in the coming year.
    Let me also say that I appreciate the opportunity to be 
here in Florida to learn more about this effort. Over the past 
30 years, I have had the privilege of enjoying Southern 
Florida's hospitality many times as a private citizen, 
sometimes as a member of the house and as a Senator, but more 
often as a husband and a father with my children as I have 
basically vacationed all over the State from north to southeast 
to west.
    I have been to the Everglades National Park many times, and 
I want to take the time to thank Superintendent Richard Ring--
where is Richard Ring? Right here--for his private, informative 
tour of the Everglades last week. It's deeply appreciated. He 
is a fine outstanding public servant, and I wish more people, 
especially those who like to criticize those who work in 
government, could see the kind of dedication and commitment of 
Superintendent Ring. He believes strongly in what he does and 
it was evident and it was deeply appreciated and informative.
    I think, as most of you are aware, Senator Chafee was 
strongly committed to seeing this effort go through. I know 
that he talked to you, Senator Graham, about this, and I'm 
pleased to fulfill his commitment to be here and look forward 
to working with you in a bipartisan manner.
    Senator John Chafee was a very close friend of all of us. 
If I could turn back the clock and not be here as the chairman 
and be sitting either to the left or to the right of Senator 
Chafee, I would do it in a heart beat.
    Unfortunately, we cannot do that, but you will not find 
daylight between John Chafee and Bob Smith on the support for 
the Everglades. I will work to ensure that we in Congress do 
what we need to do to achieve this goal. I intend to take over 
where Senator Chafee left off and move with Senator Graham and 
other of my colleagues on the committee to craft legislation 
that we can all support that will get the job done and 
implement the goals of the plan early in the session of 
Congress, this session.
    The face of South Florida has changed significantly over 
the past 50 years. The entire region has experienced explosive 
growth in that time, and this growth in turn has exerted 
tremendous pressure on the natural resources of the region, 
especially the Everglades. The Everglades, estimated to be half 
the size they were at the turn of the century, are the largest 
wetland and subtropical wilderness in the country and home to 
countless species of wildlife.
    We know that the Everglades face grave peril. The 
unintended consequence of a massive Federal flood control 
project in the late forties is the too efficient redirection of 
water from Lake Okeechobee, and I emphasize unintended 
consequence. Clearly we didn't do it deliberately, but we did 
it, and if the Federal Government messed it up, then the 
Federal Government needs to step in and help us correct it.
    Water--1.7 billion gallons a day--is needlessly directed 
out to sea. The project was done with the best of intentions, 
but the Federal Government had to act when devastating floods 
took thousands of lives. This was a fact. Unfortunately, the 
success of the project disrupted the natural sheet flow of 
water through the so-called river of grass.
    I won't go into all the technical aspects of that. We will 
be hearing that shortly from the witnesses; but this plan, 
although there will be some who will be critical of parts of 
it, and we'll hear a lot of that and support as well, but it 
does strike a balance between restoring the biological health 
of South Florida and that ecosystem and delivering enough water 
to urban areas as well for farms and communities in the region 
to keep the economy moving. The multitude of projects that this 
plan contemplates will be constructed over many years at a cost 
of nearly $8 billion.
    Although I'm sure witnesses will comment on the cost, I 
would like to remind witnesses that we intend to explore costs 
and the financing of the project at the hearing in Washington. 
We are not necessarily accepting every single point here in 
terms of the cost. We will be looking at the cost. We have an 
obligation to do that, and I'm sure Senator Voinovich will be 
working on that as well.
    Today, we want to hear the details of the project, its 
impact on the health of the Everglades, including its many 
species of plants and animals, as well as the impact on the 
nearby communities and industries.
    The scope of the plan is as large as the problem. Some of 
the key elements are 181,000 acres of new reservoirs to 300 
underground aquifer storage wells, and so forth.
    I can assure everyone that the committee will take a hard 
look at this plan. There are many important questions that need 
to be answered before legislation is finalized, and again we 
will receive a budget at some point, hopefully sooner rather 
than later, from the administration on WRDA. We will then--the 
sooner we get it, the sooner we can begin the process of 
crafting legislation. We will carefully scrutinize that plan, 
compare it to the administration budget, and work with it 
within the committee in a bipartisan way to put all of these 
facts together and craft a piece of legislation that answers 
the problem.
    Many will ask: Why should the Federal Government be 
involved?
    Well, it's a national treasure. As I said, you don't have 
to visit here too many times, probably not more than once, to 
know that this is a national treasurer. Restoring the 
Everglades benefits, not only Floridians, but to the millions 
of visitors who flock to Florida each year. This is the Grand 
Canyon of Florida. It has been said that the Everglades are to 
Florida and the Nation what the Rockies are to the western 
States or what the Grand Canyon is to Arizona.
    It was Federal legislation that authorized the Central and 
South Florida project in 1948 and we have a responsibility to 
correct what we did in that legislation, what we damaged.
    Finally, this is a legacy to our future generations. When 
our descendants move into the fourth millennium, I hope it will 
be remembered that this generation at the beginning of this 
millennium put aside partisanship, put aside self-interest, and 
put aside short-term thinking and answered the call to save the 
Everglades.
    There are a lot of birds and fish and wildlife out there 
that don't have any lobbyists, Senator Graham. They don't have 
any money, and so we have an obligation, I think, to protect 
them. In fact, I met one of those alligators the other day when 
the superintendent took us a little bit too close to the bank 
and he came into the water after us and said, ``Get out of 
here.'' So we did just that.
    Before I conclude, I would like to recognize the 
contributions of four Senate members. I hate to single out four 
because so many have done so much, but Catherine Cyr of Senator 
Graham's staff, and Ellen Stein of Senator Voinovich's staff, 
and Jo-Ellen Darcy of Senator Baucus' staff, and Chelsea 
Henderson of my staff, and, of course, Tom Gibson and Dave 
Conover as well. I also want to thank Senator Baucus for his 
support. His staff director, Tom Sliter, is here. Thank them as 
well.
    I want to close by saying, reiterating my position, there 
will be some differences on how we go about looking at this 
plan, but the bottom line is I support the restoration of the 
Everglades and that is my goal, to get this legislation crafted 
which we will deal with it before we get too far along into the 
session and not be able to make this happen. So the goal is to 
do it this spring. We will do what we need to do to achieve 
that goal, and in close cooperation with Senator Voinovich, who 
will work together to closely scrutinize the details and costs 
of this plan, and I commit to working in an open, bipartisan 
manner to move forward with this bill this spring.
    I tried to find a poem that nobody else had in theirs, in 
their statement. I think I succeeded. Did I succeed, Dave? I'm 
not sure. Let me use Marjory Stoneman Douglas, author of The 
Everglades: River of Grass in which she says, quote, ``A 
Century after man first started to dominate the Everglades, the 
progress has stumbled. Consequences have started to catch up. 
It is perhaps an opportunity. The great wet wilderness of South 
Florida need not be degraded to a permanent state of 
mediocrity. If the people will it, the Everglades can be 
restored to nature's design.''
    I don't think you can say it any better than that as far as 
how I feel about it. So, again, thank you for your hospitality, 
to all the people here in South Florida, and I now turn it over 
to my distinguished colleague and your Senator here in Florida, 
the Honorable Bob Graham.

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB GRAHAM, 
             U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA

    Senator Graham. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and it was 
particularly appropriate that you concluded with those poetic 
words from a Floridian who was a close friend of many of us 
here and who in many ways was the voice of the Everglades and 
particularly the transition to the current attitude of the 
Everglades as a national treasure for which each of us has a 
responsibility for protection.
    I am anxious to move forward so that we can hear from the 
many witnesses we have. Also, since I am the speaker this 
evening, I don't want to give my whole speech and end up with 
nobody coming to dinner. So I warn you that there will be more 
to come later.
    I want to thank the chairman for having this hearing. As he 
indicated, this had been a hope of Senator Chafee to have 
started the new year here with us in Naples, participating in 
this important hearing on the future of the Everglades. He was 
taken from us, and we fortunately have a man who, I believe, we 
have come to know and understand shares that commitment. I like 
that phrase, ``There is no daylight between you and Senator 
Chafee.''
    I'm also very pleased Senator Voinovich, who brings a great 
deal of experience, not only in his period in the U.S. Senate, 
but as Governor of Ohio, as mayor of Cleveland, as a State 
legislature who has dealt with similar environmental issues 
throughout his political career, is going to be playing such a 
pivotal role and has taken the time to spend today, starting 
last evening with a briefing in West Palm Beach, and then a 
flyover and a visit to Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. 
Those are all indications of his commitment to this important 
work.
    The year 2000 is going to be a very important year for the 
Everglades. If you wrote down the years of significance to the 
Everglades, and this will again be a teaser to come back for 
dinner tonight, you would write dates like 1882, 1947, 1948, 
and I think the year 2000 will justify being entered in that 
list of pivotal years for the Everglades.
    This is going to be the year, hopefully, which we will 
authorize the restudy that has been done by the Corps of 
Engineers, that we will lay the financial foundation that with 
convert that authorization into reality and, through 
initiatives, such as the fifteenth Everglades Conference, will 
continue to expand, face a public understanding and support for 
the coalition of Americans who will bring this to reality.
    In the spirit of bipartisanship, I will quote President 
Reagan, who asked the question, ``If not now, when? If not us, 
who?'' I would ask those questions as it relates to the 
Everglades. If the year 2000 is not the year to move forward, 
what will be the year, and if the people to lead that effort 
are not the ones who are in this room and our colleagues across 
America, what group of Americans will assume the responsibility 
for leadership to save the Florida Everglades?
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to the hearing.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Senator Graham. Senator 
Voinovich.

        OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, 
              U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF OHIO

    Senator Voinovich. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    I think the fact that the chairman of the Environment and 
Public Works Committee, the new chairman, and the chairman of 
the subcommittee are here in Florida with Senator Graham is an 
indication of how important we think the Everglades are to this 
country and are anxious to receive the restudy report that has 
been done.
    I'd like to thank my good friend, Senator Graham, for 
inviting me to his home State. Your Senator is one of the most 
admired members of the U.S. Senate. I'd also like to thank the 
South Florida Water Management District folks, the Army Corps 
of Engineer people, the Florida Department of Environmental 
Protection for their warm hospitality that they have extended 
to me last night and today.
    Senator Graham and I have worked together on several 
issues. This is my first year in the Senate and he is very much 
committed to legislation that deals with children's issues, and 
one of the most significant pieces of legislation that I think 
that came out of this last Congress was the legislation 
Congress passed to allow the States to keep their tobacco 
money, and I don't know if you fully comprehend how important 
that is, but Senator Graham really took a leadership role to 
get that passed.
    Senator I don't know how much money that means to the State 
of Florida, but I can tell you to the State of Ohio that that 
tobacco money is over half of our annual growth in all State 
revenues. Think of that. That money coming into the State makes 
other money available so that we can do some other things that 
are so very important.
    I'd also be remiss if I didn't mention Connie Mack, who 
happens to be a good friend of mine. Connie is the facilitator 
of our weekly prayer breakfast, and Connie is leaving the 
Senate, and I want you to know I tried very hard to convince 
him to stay.
    I refer to Connie as a born-again Catholic, and I'm sure 
that the holy spirit is leading him, has led him to his 
decision and has something else in store for both Connie and 
his family.
    As many of you know, there are lots of Ohio Buckeyes in 
Florida. The warm weather and the lack of State income tax have 
enticed many of our retirees to move here, and my wife, Janet, 
and I have visited this State many years, just as you and your 
wife and your family; and do you know something, we have seen 
the pressure on Florida's environment, aquifers and, of course, 
the Everglades as development has occurred over the years.
    I'm no stranger to the Everglades. When I was Governor, 
thanks to the Florida Fish and Game Commission, I spent almost 
a day helicoptering around the Everglades, taking one of those 
boats into the Everglades, and I reminded the head of the South 
Florida Management District that I have fished Florida Bay, 
Flamingo, tried to get some snook in the Everglades.
    So the point is that I'm fairly familiar with the 
Everglades and some of the challenges and opportunities that 
you have here in this State.
    I think that in too many cases that the development has 
occurred without sufficient planning and consideration of its 
impact on the environment, water supply, and, yes, the 
Everglades themselves. We realize that, and the problems 
confronting the Everglades today are mostly man-made and as 
such can only be corrected by a man's proper stewardship of the 
environment and by regulating current and future growth.
    I don't wish to appear to be singling out Florida because 
Florida is not alone in terms of impact of rapid growth. A lot 
of States have not given appropriate consideration to the 
environmental impacts of aggressive, commercial, housing and 
agricultural development.
    Two years before I left the Governor's office in 1996, I 
realized the effects of encroaching development in Ohio's 
farmland. After seeing acres and acres of farmland gobbled up 
by development and urban sprawl, we created the Ohio Office on 
Farmland Preservation for the purpose of developing a statewide 
management policy to preserve farmland and encourage 
responsible development.
    In addition to recognizing the need to recycle our urban 
wasteland, we undertook Brownfields legislation, and I hope 
that my colleagues agree that one of the things that our 
committee may get at this year is Brownfields legislation. We 
have acres and acres of urban wasteland out there and you have 
them here in Florida and, if you're going to save the 
Everglades and not continue to encroach it with development, 
you are going to have to go back into other areas and redevelop 
those areas, and Brownfields legislation is, I think, very 
important to us.
    I share--I'm not as eloquent as the chairman--the 
importance of the Everglades as a national treasurer; however, 
I think, and I'm going to be very candid because that's the way 
I am, the problems facing the Everglades need to be viewed from 
a national perspective. The primary concern before Congress on 
the Everglades issue is what course of action will best help 
restore and preserve the Everglades ecosystem and what level of 
responsibility should be assigned to the Federal Government as 
Congress puts together the water resources bill for 2000, as 
well as future water bills.
    I would like to stress that, as chairman of the 
subcommittee, equity among the States is a key factor in terms 
of things that come before the committee. Every State wants its 
share of project authorizations under the Army Corps of 
Engineers' Civil Works program.
    In other words, there are over 400 projects that have 
received funding, and others have not received any funding at 
all. We could authorize the projects, folks, but Senator 
Domenici's Appropriations Committee on Energy and Water 
appropriate the money for the authorizations that come out of 
our committee.
    Today, the State of the Florida has about $3 billion in 
project authorizations from past WRDA bills for Federal runs 
for projects under design and construction. This represents 
about 10 percent of the $30 billion backlog. Think of that, a 
$30 billion backlog of projects that have been authorized by 
the committee, and, Mr. Chairman, there are other projects that 
we haven't spent any money in design and construction for that 
we still haven't put into the hopper.
    With the request from WRDA 2000 for $1.7 billion in 
construction authorization, half of which would be Federal 
expenditures to begin implementation of the Everglades project, 
Florida would have the largest requirement for Federal funding 
to complete authorized water projects of any State. You would 
be No. 1 in the country.
    For example, the State of Ohio has uncompleted flood 
control projects in Cincinnati and Columbus that require 
additional funding, and you know they're all over the country.
    So I think that everyone has to know that we are going to 
have to measure water projects currently on the books with 
those that are coming on board, and I think that Florida--I 
know you have got projects for beach nourishment in several 
locations, channel improvements in Canaveral Harbor, Miami, and 
Tampa Harbor, and Kissimmee River restoration project. All of 
it's very important stuff.
    With respect to water development projects, the authorized 
level of funding is rarely matched with a full level of 
appropriations and, therefore, it's clear that we must review 
projects to the fullest extent and only authorize those 
projects which are of utmost importance to the individual 
States.
    In addition, Florida is going to have to make, and I talked 
with your secretary about this, decisions about its own 
priorities for water resources development within the State. 
With its current backlog, what will Florida's priorities be? 
Your Governor and your congressional delegation will have to 
decide what you want to do with those authorized projects when 
you come before the committee.
    Just this last year, our committee, Mr. Chairman, 
authorized 248 State-specific projects for a total Federal and 
non-Federal cost of $5.6 billion, and of that amount, 14 
projects were included for Florida in the amount of $341.2 
million. OK? That's a lot of money. So you add that on to the 
backlog of three billion to give you some sense of the dollars.
    Now, what does that mean? What it means is this, is that 
this last year, the Appropriations Committee have provided $1.4 
billion. Think of that, just $1.4 billion for all of these 
projects all over the United States; and Florida is going to 
receive 11 percent of the funds of that appropriation, $157.7 
million; so that out of every dollar, ten cents will be going 
to Florida.
    So the thing is that we have a major problem that needs to 
be addressed, major opportunity, but I want all of you to know 
that this project is--we are talking about $7.8 billion over 20 
years; and we can talk all we want to and have the greatest 
plan and this committee can authorize every project on the 
restudy commission, and, if there is no money, it's not going 
to get done.
    So I think that one of the things that all of the groups 
represented here should understand is that, unless we get more 
money in that appropriations bill, and we are expecting the 
administration to come through with some more, but we're not 
going to be able to really do anything about this problem, and 
that's important.
    I'm editorializing, but the Federal Government is going off 
into many directions today. Your Senator and I have talked 
about it and we are concerned about our national debt, aren't 
we, Bob? Out of every dollar we spend, 14 cents goes for 
interest. OK? Fifty-four percent of every dollar goes for 
Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security. In 10 years, it's going to 
be 66 percent and, if we don't do something about the debt and 
get the interest cost down, what's going to be left for 
projects like the Everglades? I mean, we have a real challenge 
here.
    So in the process of hearing from you today, I would hope 
all of you here, whatever groups you represent, you all are 
concerned about the Everglades, but it's really important that 
you understand that we need to have those resources in 
Washington so that we can make them available to the Everglades 
and we can move forward with the Everglades and other projects 
in Florida throughout the United States of America. This is 
important to our country.
    So I'm anxious to hear from our witnesses today about the 
plan. I mentioned to Mike last night that it didn't have the 
specificity of some of the other things that we had and he 
tried to explain to me why that is, but we're anxious to hear 
from you. We will have hearings in Washington and then we will 
have to sit down and figure out how we're going to prioritize 
things and move forward.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Senator.
    I want to say I see another--if you want to know what 
happens to ex-Congressman when they leave the Congress, they 
move to Florida and retire. We have Congressman John Meyer here 
from Indiana. Welcome. Good to see you again, John.
    Administrator Browner, welcome. Welcome home, I guess I 
should say, and we're looking forward to your testimony, so 
here we go.

     STATEMENT OF HON. CAROL BROWNER, ADMINISTRATOR, U.S. 
                ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

    Ms. Browner. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and it is indeed a 
pleasure to refer to you as Mr. Chairman at this, your first 
hearing, and I will say, I think, on behalf of all of us who 
care deeply with the Everglades, it is quite significant for us 
that you chose this as your first hearing.
    It is also a pleasure to be with my Senator, Senator 
Graham, and with Senator Voinovich.
    If I might, Mr. Chairman, just take a moment to recognize 
all in the Federal family who have worked so hard over the last 
7 years of this administration on the Florida Everglades--my 
colleagues at the Environmental Protection Agency, the 
Department of Interior, the Army Corps of Engineers, and so 
many others; and it really has been a collegial effort, each of 
us bringing to this challenge, this task of the Everglades, our 
own expertise and a shared vision and a shared commitment.
    I also want to say a word about the State of Florida and 
the leadership that they are providing. The task of restoring 
and preserving the Everglades is not a task that will be done 
by one institution, by one level of government. It will take 
all of us working together, Federal, State, local, Federal 
Government, the State of Florida, the Water Management 
District, a public/private partnership.
    Obviously an important part of this effort and those who 
continue to remind us daily of the need for the work that we 
are here to discuss are the environment groups that make up the 
Everglades Coalition. So I also want to take a moment to thank 
them for the work that they do and for holding our feet to the 
fire, reminding us that we need to do more and questioning us 
when they think we have not done enough.
    As I think everyone knows, I am a native Floridian. I grew 
up in Miami and in many ways my childhood backyard was the 
Everglades. But it is really, really much more than that. I 
think, for all of us who choose to do the work of public health 
in the environment, we are inspired in our work by a very 
special place, and perhaps, Mr. Chairman, for you it is the 
White Mountains. Well, for me it is the Florida Everglades on a 
warm January day and a great blue heron has just taken flight. 
There is nothing more inspiring, more beautiful than that.
    In many ways, the Everglades has been threatened since 
Florida's earliest days as a State, considered really nothing 
more than a swamp that stood in the way of progress.
    Florida entered the union in 1845. Just 5 years later, 
Congress passed the Swamp and Overflowed Land Act and thus 
began the draining of South Florida, the literal draining of 
Florida's liquid gold.
    There is a great debate that took place in the Florida 
legislature about the turn of the century where one member of 
the Florida Senate stands on the floor and says, ``Let's get it 
drained and put it back the way God intended it to be.'' We 
have drained and drained and drained the Florida Everglades.
    After more than a century, we did come to realize, 
unfortunately, almost too late, but nevertheless we did come to 
realize that we were in danger of losing this most unique and 
beautiful place, and gradually a new sense of environmental 
awareness emerged thanks to activists like Marjory Stoneman 
Douglas, leaders like then-Governor Graham, now Senator Graham, 
and my mentor, the late Senator and Governor Lawton Chiles.
    When Lawton Chiles first ran for the Senate in 1970, he 
walked the length and breadth of this great State, and I dare 
say, if one of us were to walk the path that Lawton Chiles took 
in 1970, we would see a very different Florida, a growing, a 
dynamic, a vibrant place, but also a Florida that has beautiful 
places forever protected because of the work of Senator and 
then-Governor Chiles.
    One of his greatest commitments was to create a coalition 
of government, business, farmers, environmental leaders to 
build on the work of Governor Graham to really preserve and 
restore the Everglades. Today at the dawn of this new 
millennium, we need to seize the opportunity to expand this 
legacy.
    With the leadership of President Clinton and Vice President 
Gore, we have embarked on an ambitious, long-term restoration 
plan that will give new life to this great natural wonder.
    As a member of this administration, I was very pleased to 
join Vice President Gore in February 1996--Senator Graham and 
others joined us--as he set forth the Everglades restoration 
blueprint, a vision that has already been delivered on, the 
acquisition of the Talisman land and other critical restoration 
lands, key to water quality and quantity, increased Federal 
funding, and now the comprehensive restoration plan.
    For the first time ever, we recognize that, to sustain that 
which gives us this incredible quality of life we enjoy here in 
South Florida, we must sustain, restore and preserve the 
natural system, that we cannot simply put the needs of the 
natural system third, fourth or fifth.
    The challenge is two-fold, water quality and water 
quantity, clean fresh water where and when the natural system 
needs it. The heart of the Everglades must once again pulse 
with the water that is essential to its health.
    As Harry Truman said when he dedicated Everglades National 
Park in 1947, ``Here are no lofty peaks seeking the sky, no 
mighty glaciers or rushing streams wearing away the uplifted 
land. Here is land, tranquil in its quiet beauty, serving, not 
as the source of water, but as the last receiver of it.''
    One of my most important responsibilities as the head of 
the country's Environmental Protection Agency is to ensure that 
we honor the Clean Water Act, the nation's most important 
environmental law. The Clean Water Act is essential to 
maintaining and preserving water quality, everything from water 
quality standards to where we measure those standards, to 
protecting the wetlands, which are nation's only way of 
cleaning the water. That is the essence of the Clean Water Act.
    As the State of Florida completes its work to set a 
phosphorous standard, which is essential to the health of the 
Florida Everglades, essential to clean water, it is not just 
the standard or the number that will be important but where you 
measure that standard, where you measure compliance with that 
water quality standard.
    If we are to be successful in our efforts for the clean 
water that is fundamental to the health of the Everglades, we 
must commit ourselves to meet the standard at the point of 
discharge, not somewhere downstream.
    In other words, we must eliminate the mixing zones, the 
waters where pollutants are allowed to mix and hopefully dilute 
with the clean receiving waters.
    If we have learned anything over the last 30 years of 
working to protect our environment in this country, we have 
learned that dilution is no solution to pollution. You have to 
prevent it.
    Several Great Lake States have already taken this step. If 
we don't do the same for the Everglades, we will sacrifice this 
river of grass to the grinding march of the cattails and other 
exotic plants.
    The measurement of success must be the needs of the 
ecosystem, not merely what one particular technology may or may 
not achieve, but the needs of the ecosystem. Success should not 
be defined as the installation of this or that technology and 
whatever water quality it may bring. Success is the clean water 
necessary to restore the health of the Everglades.
    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, the clock is 
ticking. We must move forward at an aggressive pace. In the 
coming year, it is my strongest hope that we can work together 
to do the following four things. First, to authorize the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan in WRDA 2000, 
including the critical projects; second, I believe that we 
should amend the original project, the Central and South 
Florida project in WRDA 2000, to include water quality as an 
explicit project purpose. With such amendments, we will ensure 
that water quality is a fundamental component to all Everglades 
decisions and that Federal cost sharing is available for 
achieving essential water quality; third, we must agree to set, 
not only tough water quality standards, but to measure 
compliance--our success in meeting those standards at the point 
of discharge, not somewhere downstream.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman and, Senator Voinovich, you spoke to 
this, let us pledge to work together to secure long-term 
funding commitments. Many ideas have been put forward. Senator 
Graham has put forward ideas. Let us look at these ideas, let 
us evaluate these ideas, and let us make a commitment to a 
long-term funding mechanism.
    Mr. Chairman, in addition to the work that I hope we will 
all be able to do with the Everglades, I think I would be 
remiss in my responsibility for clean water for all the people 
of this country if I did not also ask you and this committee to 
close a loophole in the Clean Water Act which is resulting in 
the loss of wetlands from Maine to the Mississippi Delta, the 
Great Lakes, the San Francisco Bay Delta, even the Florida 
Everglades. Because of a court decision commonly referred to as 
the Tulloch Decision, EPA estimates that as many as 30,000 
acres of wetlands have been destroyed in just the past year, 
30,000 in just 1 year. Although EPA and the Corps are working 
hard to use our remaining tools to protect wetlands, the 
court's ruling makes it clear that only action by Congress that 
closes the Tulloch loophole and fixes the Clean Water Act can 
ultimately stop the destruction.
    We hope that we can work with the committee to close the 
Tulloch loophole.
    I think that, if we can commit ourselves to the Everglades 
and to the restoration plan, that if we can do all of these 
things in the new century, we will do much to correct the 
mistakes of past centuries, a past where clearly we looked at 
the Everglades and we said, ``It's a swamp; let's drain it.''
    That's kind of like looking at the Grand Canyon and saying, 
``It's a hole; let's fill it.''
    Mr. Chairman, 7 years ago next week, I appeared before this 
Senate committee in Washington as President Clinton's nominee 
to head the United States Environmental Protection Agency. I 
said that day in seeking the support of this committee that my 
greatest hope was for my son, who was then five, to grow up and 
to know the same Everglades and other natural wonders of this 
great country that I had known as a child, to know the same 
special place that has meant so much to me.
    I said 7 years ago that I believed that, if we were 
prepared to make tough decisions, we could give my son, we 
could give all of our children that opportunity and 
inspiration, and I believe that this administration, working in 
a bipartisan manner, has made a set of tough decisions. We have 
put forth a vision and a plan to finally save the Everglades. 
Now it is incumbent on all of us working together with the 
Congress to write the law, to provide the funding, to achieve 
the shared vision of a healthy, restored, protected Everglades. 
There is no other river of grass and there will be no other 
chance. Now is the time to act.
    Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Administrator Browner. 
It's been a pleasure working with you over those 7 years. As a 
member of this committee, we have worked on a number of issues. 
We have had some successes, a few failures, but it's been a 
pleasure, though, to work with you during that time.
    In terms of process here, we are in Senator Graham's home 
State, so I'm going to defer to Senator Graham in a moment for 
the first question. What I would like to do is have each of us 
ask a question or two, not be confined to the clock; and then 
after that, open it up so that anyone feels, if they wish to 
interject with a question, we will do that. Then Administrator 
Browner can move on. We will bring the next panel up.
    Senator Graham, the floor is yours.
    Senator Graham. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I'm 
going to ask a similar question of most of the witnesses 
because it goes to what I think will be one of the most 
challenging aspects of the authorization of the Corps study 
and, that is, the issue of assurances language, assurance to 
what various stakeholders in the Everglades will have relative 
to the quality, quantity, hydroperiod of water.
    In 1999, as part of the Interior Appropriations Bill, it 
was agreed to defer this issue of assurances language to the 
Water Resource Development Act of 2000. I know that the 
administration and various State officials have been working to 
try to develop what would be those appropriate words of 
assurance. I wonder if you could describe what your feelings 
are as to what some of the principles should be in developing 
this assurance language.
    Ms. Browner. Well, I think language will be extremely 
important. I think we do need to recognize and we do need to 
commit ourselves to restoring and preserving the natural system 
because it's only when you do that that you can meet all of the 
other demands, whether it be the agricultural demand, whether 
it be the drinking water demands of the people of South 
Florida. So I think it is important when we look at allocation 
of this resource that I suppose at one point the thought was 
that the supply was never ending, but we now know today has to 
be managed carefully to ensure that we do what is necessary to 
rehydrate the natural system. With that will then come other 
resources that we need for the other uses, and this is 
certainly something the administration has had a lot of 
experience with out of the San Francisco Bay Delta where you 
have a very similar situation.
    You have drinking water demands. You have agricultural 
demands and you have a natural system demand, and we need the 
recognition there, that by serving the natural system, you 
could better meet other, competing needs.
    I think, Senator Graham, given the nature of this 
particular proposal, where it's very project-specific, you may 
make slightly different decisions, depending on what is the 
ultimate purpose of that project. So in some ways it may 
initially be easier to have the conversation around the 
specific project that would move forward in the first several 
years and to make determinations within the specific projects 
because some of them are clearly designed to meet one set of 
needs versus another set of needs. I think the overarching 
principle has to be to recognize that, when you take care of 
the natural system, when you provide for the natural system, 
that gives you the greater flexibility then to deal with the 
other competing demands, which are primarily the people of 
South Florida and the agricultural community.
    Senator Graham. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Administrative Browner, in your testimony, 
in your written testimony, you devoted a significant portion of 
it to the mercury problems and, in fact, you indicated that 
some of the fish might be bordering, may not be edible, some of 
the game fish, and also that significant amounts of mercury 
were showing up in other wildlife and birds in the whole 
ecosystem.
    I guess the question is, No. 1: What do you view the major 
source of this mercury because it's not really addressed in the 
plan, the issue of mercury; and, No. 2, is this unusual in the 
Everglades? Is this an anomaly or are we talking about 
something that's pretty much in every ecosystem where you have 
water and wildlife?
    Could you address that, because I think, if we wind up 
making all these corrections and save the quality of the water 
but lose the wildlife, then we have lost a significant portion 
of the treasure.
    Ms. Browner. We certainly think that mercury is a 
significant problem and one that we have only become more aware 
of in recent times. It was not something that the scientific 
community studied or understood 30 or 40 years ago.
    More than likely in most systems, the mercury is a result 
of air deposition, probably from coal fire utility plants and 
other types of incineration. It's a byproduct of the process, 
and I think there's certainly some who believe that the 
mercury, some of the mercury in the Everglades, may be from air 
deposition.
    The scientists are looking at questions of whether or not 
certain agricultural practices may be resulting in increased 
mercury levels. EPA is very engaged in research that looks at 
what we could perhaps do working with people and perhaps the 
agricultural industry to manage that source of mercury 
contamination.
    I should tell you, EPA sent to Congress last year a report 
on mercury and air deposition, as was required by law. As part 
of that report, we indicated that, by December 15 this year 
under the Clean Air Act, we would make a determination as to 
whether or not mercury emissions, air emissions, should be 
regulated subject to a technology-based standard, and we are on 
track to make that decision by the end of this year. We have 
not made a final decision yet.
    If we were to make an affirmative decision that mercury is 
a pollutant that should be regulated in air emissions, that 
would then trigger a whole rulemaking process to set standards 
on particular industry sectors.
    Senator Smith. The question for me is: Is this showing up 
disproportionately here in the Everglades than, say, the 
Mississippi Delta or some other ecosystem?
    Senator Voinovich. It's the biggest problem we have in the 
Great Lakes.
    Ms. Browner. Yes, it's very big in the Great Lakes. They 
have fish consumption advisories in the Great Lakes. Mercury is 
a significant problem and though we haven't made a final 
determination at EPA, I will tell you within the scientific 
community, that large numbers of scientists think it is one of 
the greatest challenges we face right now in terms of healthy 
ecosystems and wildlife.
     Senator Smith. Thank you.
    Senator Voinovich?
    Senator Voinovich. I would like to get to some specifics. 
The plan has many elements to it and part of, I think, the 
committee's responsibility is to sift out through those 
elements projects which are what we refer to as genuinely a 
Federal project and one which we should be involved with, 
perhaps some that may not be Federal in nature.
    Two wastewater treatment facilities that have capital costs 
of 800 million and contribute to about half of the $84 million 
in proposed operation and maintenance costs as planned are in 
the proposal, and the question is: What's the Federal interest 
in those plans? I mean, that's a lot of money, and one of the 
things that you are proposing to doing or the plan is proposing 
to do is the Federal Government picking up a lot of maintenance 
costs which we have not done before. So I would like your 
comment about those waste treatment facilities and how do they 
fit in with the project.
    If you can't comment on it, perhaps some other witnesses 
later can do it.
    Ms. Browner. You are asking about the money and that's the 
question I was trying to get an answer to.
    The State of Florida, as did every State, as you're well 
aware, received some money through the State Revolving Fund 
program, the Clean Water SRF program. It's a population-driven 
formula.
    Senator Voinovich. Which you would like to get 
reauthorized?
    Ms. Browner. We would like to get reauthorized? Yes, 
exactly. I wasn't going to bring that up but thank you for 
bringing it up.
    Generally these types of projects are eligible for funding 
through the State of Florida's SRF program. I don't know where 
they have ranked them or if they have ranked them yet at this 
point in time.
    Right now, nationally, that fund is revolving at two 
billion annually. So it's a fairly large amount of money that's 
moving through the system and available to each of the States.
    Senator Voinovich. So the answer is that, if it's not 
funded out of WRDA and doesn't perhaps meet the requirements, 
that it could be funded out of another fund, which is the State 
Revolving Fund program?
    Ms. Browner. Yes, sir, generally, loans are available it 
its a local responsibility.
    Senator Voinovich. One other question I would like to ask 
and, that is, I think it's what Senator Smith had to say, 
that--this is CERP, right?
    Ms. Browner. Right.
    Senator Voinovich. One of the things that I pointed out 
earlier is that I think it's really important that everybody 
understand that this isn't the comprehensive restoration plan 
for the Everglades because of the fact that we have mercury. 
When we were up at Loxahatchee today, we learned about the 
exotic plants that have invaded the Everglades and the serious 
problems that they have in regard to that.
    Is there any thought from any other of the Federal agencies 
that are represented here today about how they're going to deal 
with those very serious problems, because we can go ahead and 
do this project and it will help substantially, but there are 
some other things that all ought to be concerned about; and I 
wonder, is this high priority with some of the other Federal 
agencies that could help in dealing with this?
    Ms. Browner. In terms of the other problems?
    Senator Voinovich. Yes.
    Ms. Browner. Well, for example, in terms of exotic species, 
there are a number of programs which the State of Florida 
participates in, I know through USDA and others, to try and 
eradicate exotic species.
    You know, if I could step back for a moment, in developing 
the comprehensive plan, there was a vision and the vision was 
about bringing the water back to the system, and so the plan's 
components focused on that.
    It is not to say that there may not be some ongoing 
activities, like exotic species, eradication, like mercury, 
that are not also important to the health of the system and 
will continue to go on. They will, in fact, continue to go on, 
but the primary challenge in this system and the most important 
thing we can do is to bring the water back into the system and 
that is what the plan focuses on.
    Senator Voinovich. It in itself is not going to--there are 
other problems that need to be addressed; that's the point I'm 
making.
    Ms. Browner. They are. For example, the issue of mercury, 
there are mechanisms in the Clean Air Act for addressing those 
problems. There is research underway. The same thing on exotic 
species. It's not as if those issues are being ignored. They 
are being addressed. They are being addressed in other ways.
    Senator Voinovich. I'd like to know from somebody later on 
specifically how they are being. I think it's really important, 
if we are going to spend this money, that we are also working 
on the other problems.
    Ms. Browner. I agree. We can do that.
    Senator Smith. Senator Graham.
    Senator Graham. Carol, I would like to go back to one of 
your four points for 2000, which was the inclusion of the issue 
of water quality as one of the purposes of this project.
    I wonder if you can elaborate on what is the current 
significance of not having water quality as an objective and 
what would be the consequences of that. Maybe you could give an 
example of those consequences.
    Ms. Browner. The current WRDA project, not the restudy, but 
the current project you know as the Central and South Florida 
project, is the mechanism under which much of the work 
heretofore has gone on. I think because it's not what the way 
people thought when that project was originally conceived, 
water quality has never been included as a project purpose.
    It has largely been about the draining of South Florida, 
and water quality was not a component of that project; but as 
we continue to work within that project and that project is 
ongoing and there are certainly many important efforts underway 
within that project, we think it would be extremely important 
to add water quality to the project purpose.
    Now, the State of Florida, I'm fairly certain, agrees with 
us on this. In part they would agree with us because some of 
the work that they might do under the project, which has a 
cost-share requirement, might bring water quality benefits, but 
they would not be eligible for some of the cost share as they 
would be within other types of activities. So it allows us to 
do some of the kind of cost sharing that I think is important 
to the long-term success.
    I think it would also allow us to make a set of evaluations 
for any other activities that might take place under the 
original project to ensure that, in making those types of 
decisions, we weren't simply making water quantity decisions or 
water transfer decisions, but that, if those quantity or those 
transfer or their drainage decisions had a water quality 
impact, it was part and parcel of the decisionmaking process.
    I think for a long time down here we didn't really see the 
two as interconnected, but they're completely linked, water 
quality and water quantity. In some ways, it almost appears as 
if it's a silly oversight now, that the original project 
doesn't include water quality; and so going back and adding it 
would ensure that any decision that might have to be made under 
the original project wouldn't come at the expense, maybe 
unintentionally, but nevertheless at the expense, of water 
quality.
    Senator Smith. Administrator Browner, the comprehensive 
plan addresses and frankly relies pretty heavily on the 
Stormwater Treatment Areas to reduce the flow of phosphorus, 
and the plan actually proposes to construct stormwater 
treatment that would deal with some--I think it's 36,000 acres, 
as I recall of wetlands.
    I guess one question: How effective have these areas been 
at reducing the phosphorus discharges. That's No. 1, which is 
under your responsibility anyway. Second, can they really deal 
with the volume of water that we are anticipating coming 
through here in this plan? I don't want to put too much on you.
    The third point is: When this happens, when they no longer 
can be as effective at removing phosphorus from the billions of 
gallons of water, it would seem that these treatment areas may 
not provide the term-long solution. I mean, we don't want to 
have these beds of phosphorus-filled weeds or grass that become 
basically phosphorus holding pens, if you will.
    So I'm concerned that, with the increase flow of water 
through the plan, you've had experience in dealing with the 
phosphorus nonpoint source of pollution as it is.
    Just comment, if you could, on how you feel this will 
enhance us in regards to eliminating phosphorus in the plan.
    Ms. Browner. I think there is wide-scale agreement that the 
Stormwater Treatment Areas, the STAs, are effective in reducing 
levels of phosphorus as it enters the STAs through management 
of the STA, through vegetation and other activities.
    Senator Smith. By creating those vegetation areas, right?
    Ms. Browner. There's an uptake that you can create through 
vegetation and other practices and that has been effective. The 
water management district just yesterday released another 
report showing what kind of clean-up you can get through the 
STAs.
    I think you raised an important question, which is: What 
happens over a long period of time? Do you reach a moment when 
they've sort of done everything they can do? I think it's 
important to note that the comprehensive plan does not 
necessarily limit STAs to 36,000 acres. It recognizes that, 
with experience, with the passage of time, you may find that 
you need some additional STA; you may find you may learn more 
about some other technologies that could provide answers. So it 
doesn't limit it. It doesn't say--in no way does the plan say, 
this amount of STA will solve the problem.
    The point I made in my opening statement I'd like to make 
again: The solution to the Everglades will not simply be to 
install technology and, whatever it does, so be it.
    The solution has to be clean, available water, and what the 
plan does is put together a variety of tools for cleaning the 
water. Some of them we know more about than others. They all 
bring some benefits, but as we proceed, we may find that 
they're not enough and we may need to add to them, but we won't 
know that until we go out there and do it. It's like any other 
sort of large challenge. You have to begin. You have to start. 
You have to get the knowledge. You have to get the expertise, 
and then you can make adjustments, if necessary.
    The STAs certainly have proven to work. I think everyone 
agrees that a large number of them will be important to this, 
but we have to keep our eye on the ultimate goal, which is the 
clean water, and that may mean making some adjustments down the 
road.
    Senator Smith. Do we have any science or evidence, though, 
in regards to what the capacity of these phosphorus storage 
beds can handle?
    Ms. Browner. Yes, there is evidence now. The Water 
Management District would actually be in the best position to 
answer that. They have been studying the assimilation capacity.
    Senator Smith. We'll want to pursue it.
    Ms. Browner. They're better than was originally thought, 
although they are not hitting the kind of phosphorus level that 
many of us think will be important to hit to get to the health 
of the Everglades. They're not getting all the way down, but 
they are doing a good job and they're taking up more than was 
originally, I think, anticipated.
    Senator Smith. I assume the canal system being removed will 
enhance that, as well, correct?
    Ms. Browner. Probably should.
    Senator Smith. Yes.
    Senator Voinovich. This is a little technicality, but it's 
interesting. The water runoff that comes into the canals, a lot 
of it is runoff from----
    Ms. Browner. Agricultural lands.
    Senator Voinovich.--agricultures. Any of it come off of 
housing developments?
    Ms. Browner. Yes. Some of it is urban. Some of it is 
agricultural.
    Senator Voinovich. You know we have a real problem with 
combined sewer, sanitary----
    Ms. Browner. CSOs.
    Senator Voinovich. The fact is that, in those areas where 
they don't have separate sanitary and storm, does all that 
water come into those canals too and then----
    Ms. Browner. Yes, it's not that much. From Broward County, 
which is north of here, there is some coming in. There is not 
all that much urban stormwater runoff coming into this system.
    Senator Voinovich. The reason I'm saying that is this is an 
alternative way of doing something and you are talking about 
the period where once a while you have that big flood or, you 
know, that big rain. That could save some of those communities 
money if this was an alternative in terms of forcing them to 
separate their sanitary and storm.
    Ms. Browner. Senator, I think--this just occurred to me--
most of the development that we are talking about in the 
Everglades' ecosystem is relatively newer development, so some 
of the kinds of issues that you're familiar with don't present 
themselves down here.
    Senator Voinovich. So they don't have the problems?
    Ms. Browner. Not of the nature, I think, that you're 
familiar with as a former mayor, no.
    Senator Voinovich. That's good. That's good.
    Ms. Browner. It's different, yeah. It's just newer 
developments. Things didn't develop in the same ways.
    Senator Smith. I think we are all set, Administrator 
Browner. Do you have any comments or points that you want to 
make before we move to the next panel?
    Ms. Browner. No. I want to thank you for taking the time 
and for making this your first hearing and to pledge our 
willingness to work with the committee in a bipartisan manner. 
I think there is a tremendous opportunity. This is an issue I 
have worked on for the better part of my adult life now, and 
there have been various moments over the last 20 years where we 
have turned an important corner, and I think that that is the 
opportunity that is in front of all of us now with the plan, 
with your interest, with the committee's commitment; and we 
will work with you to achieve that.
    Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much for being here. We 
appreciate it.
    Let me say to the audience, because we do have a packed 
room here, there will be a 3- or 4-minute automatic break as we 
change panels. So if anybody needs to go out, that's the time 
to do it, if you can, because also, unless we have an emergency 
up here, we are going to try not to take any breaks other than 
that and keep moving. So if one of us leaves, you'll know that 
we will be back.
    So thank you very much, Administrator Browner.
    Ms. Browner. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. If we can have the second panel work its way 
up.
    [Recess.]
    Senator Smith. I would like to welcome the second panel. 
I'm going to do my best to introduce you and not mess it up 
here for the record, but what we have with panel No. 2 are a 
combination of key Federal and State partners for the 
Everglades restoration project.
    We have Dr. Joseph Westphal, who is the assistant secretary 
of the Army for Civil Works, chief of the agency responsible 
for implementing the restoration plan of the U.S. Army Corps. 
He also has several of his deputies responsible for the project 
here in Florida with him.
    From the Interior Department, we have Mary Doyle, who is 
another Floridian, I understand, who was recently appointed as 
counselor to Secretary Babbitt. Ms. Doyle has also been 
appointed as the chair for South Florida Ecosystem Restoration 
Task Force.
    Joining the Federal family, are their Florida sponsors, the 
Honorable David B. Struhs, the secretary of the Florida 
Department of Environmental Protection. He's here representing 
the State on behalf of Governor Bush, who could not attend 
today because of a special session of the State legislature.
    The last witness on the panel--do we have everybody--is 
Captain Mike Collins----
     Senator Voinovich. Where is Mike Collins?
    Senator Smith. Over there--who is the chairman of the South 
Florida Water Management District, the State's cost-sharing 
partner for this restoration effort.
    Now, I see Mr. Davis here, and I don't have, for some 
reason, any information.
    Mr. Westphal. Mr. Chairman, he is with me. He's going to 
help make the presentation.
    Senator Smith. OK. Great. We didn't mess it up then.
    Mr. Westphal. No.
    Senator Smith. I would ask each witness to do your best to 
keep your remarks confined to 5 minutes or less. Every word of 
your statement will be part of the formal record and you all 
know how the drill works and so that we can try to move along 
as quickly as possible. I'm not sure of the protocol here. I 
think probably it's either the Army Corps or Ms. Doyle. Which 
is it?
    Ms. Doyle. I think the Corps, Mr. Chairman, will lay out 
the plan.
    Senator Smith. All right. We will start with you, Dr. 
Westphal. Go ahead.

 STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH WESTPHAL, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE 
        ARMY (CIVIL WORKS), U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

    Mr. Westphal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Graham, 
Senator Voinovich. We have submitted a formal statement for the 
record and ask that you make it a part of the record.
    Senator Smith. It will be done.
    Mr. Westphal. Mr. Chairman, I am here with my deputy 
assistant secretary, Michael Davis, whose played a key role in 
this effort, and we are going to do a little tandem work here 
to present to you an overall look at what we are proposing and 
will be proposing.
    Senator Smith. Can the folks in the back hear?
    [Response in the negative.]
    Senator Smith. Maybe pull the microphone a little closer, 
see if that works.
    Mr. Westphal. There we go.
    Senator Smith. Better now? Is that better? All right.
    Mr. Westphal. So we will give you an overview of what we 
see as the problem and what we see as the possible solution in 
this effort.
    I also have with me, sitting behind me, General Rick Capka, 
who is our South Atlantic Division commander, who oversees the 
Jacksonville District's work in the Florida arena.
    Mr. Chairman, what we are going to do this afternoon is 
very quickly do a little PowerPoint presentation. I know this 
is unusual in a congressional hearing but----
    Senator Smith. Maybe it will liven it up.
    Mr. Westphal.--we thought we would give you a more visual 
look at what we're going to talk about.
    Now, I have to say you stole some of my thunder when all 
three of you have made mention of several of the things that we 
are going to say here. So we will go through them fairly 
quickly, but I think you'll see from this presentation where we 
are heading, what we are proposing, and why we think this is so 
important.
    So let me start by giving you this brief presentation. Mr. 
Chairman, you see there the Everglades. You made mention of the 
Grand Canyon and other great--Yellowstone Park, California's 
ancient redwoods, as places that are irreplaceable. The 
Everglades is such a place.
    You see that the Everglades designated, not just an 
international park, but an international biosphere reserve, a 
world heritage site and so on. The Everglades is unlike any 
ecosystem anywhere in the world. It is unique. It is splendid. 
It is majestic. It is critically significant, not just to 
Florida or to the United States, but to this planet's future 
and survival.
    This is roughly the area we're talking about. Mr. Chairman, 
I was born 52 years ago in 1948, when the first project was 
authorized by Congress; and at that time there was an intention 
to do a lot of good, to protect people from floods, provide 
water supply, to manage water, among other benefits; and it has 
accomplished much of what was intended to do in that area, but 
we have also seen a population grow from 500,000 people to six 
million people, and we project a significant growth in this 
millennium and this ecosystem that you see here is now being 
reduced in half. What you see here as the river of grass, this 
connected system, this flow of water, is no longer the case and 
what you see is an ecosystem in danger. You see the Everglades 
as a dying natural ecosystem.
    Indicators of the problems, I won't read them all to you, 
Mr. Chairman. They're in part of the record, but you can see 
there, to amend this endangerment and threatened species, 
wildlife, billions of gallons of water lost every day, over 1.5 
million acres infested with invasive species and exotic plants. 
You also have declining population level of important fish 
species and other major impacts to the environment.
    Everyone in this room that you see behind us has had a 
major part in this. The tribes have an important role to play 
and are an important part of this ecosystem. The organizations 
that are represented behind us, and this administration, 
starting with the President and the Vice President, Carol 
Browner, who just testified before the committee, Bruce 
Babbitt, your committee, Mr. Chairman, you, and, of course, 
Senator Chafee, Senator Graham, and many others who have been 
staunch supporters of this program, including the delegation 
from Florida, the people such as Clay Shaw, Connie Mack, whose 
here, Porter Goss, Peter Deutsch, Mark Foley, Carrie Meek, and 
others.
    The State of Florida and its people, its leadership, its 
Governor, are all committed to this comprehensive plan. 
Governor Chiles worked hard on it. Governor Bush has made 
strong commitments to it, and we stand ready to support him, 
and to work with him as equal partners in this process.
    Also, the restudy team has made a tremendous effort led by 
both the Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management 
District, and I want to congratulate them, Stu Applebaum and 
Tom Teets for their work.
    Specific implementation of the plan, what we hope to 
accomplish are listed here, improvements to the health of over 
2.4 million acres of South Florida ecosystem, virtually 
eliminate the damaging fresh water releases to the estuaries, 
and improve water deliveries to Florida and Biscayne Bays. 
Administrator Browner already addressed some of these water 
quality improvements. They are significant. They are very vital 
and very important.
    The comprehensive plan incorporates a number of major 
principles, the first of which is, of course, the restoration, 
preservation and protection of the system.
    The comprehensive plan is based on best available science. 
There is a significant amount of work that has gone into this, 
tremendous intra-agency work to develop the plan, the 
comprehensive plan, developed through an inclusive and open 
process, engaging all stakeholders and interest groups; and all 
applicable Federal, tribal, State and local agencies were 
partners in this and continue to be partners in this process.
    This is a key, it is a flexible plan based on adaptive 
assessments. Modifications will be made as we go along. There 
is a 20-year plan that will certainly require us to have the 
flexibility to adapt as we monitor to adapt and modify what 
we're proposing to do.
    Now, the ecosystem is in trouble. It's in trouble basically 
because of four major components: How much water is involved, 
the quantity; how good the water is, the quality side of it; 
where to distribute the water; and when on the timing part of 
it.
    Those components are written there. They are much too small 
for anybody to see, but there are 68 major components to this 
comprehensive plan, and in these four areas of quantity, 
quality, distribution and timing, we are proposing a number of 
major activities and major projects that will address and 
attempt to address these four major problems.
    On the quantity side of things, we have got 1.7 billion 
gallons per day of water wasted and discharged into the 
Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, and with this plan, we hope 
to capture and restore the water to a truly reliable and 
adequate water supply.
     On the quality side, we have too much phosphorus, as we'd 
mentioned earlier, too much mercury and other contaminants, 
causing significant degradation. We hope to improve the quality 
of the water discharged to the natural areas by the development 
of a comprehensive integrated water quality plan.
    From the timing side, we have altered the hydroperiods, the 
flooding and the drying of the area, vital to the functioning 
of the ecosystem. We hope to restore these variations in water 
flows and levels and to ensure that timing of these flows 
matches the natural patterns.
    On the distribution side, we have not only reduced the 
Everglades by half but what has remained, we have cut it off by 
canals and levees and we have disturbed the continuity of the 
conductivity of the sheetflow. The movement of water is vital 
to the ecosystem.
    So will remove, in that case, we are proposing to remove, 
about 240 miles of impediments, canals and levees, and to 
restore a more natural overland water flow.
    If we can turn back to the previous slide, you can see, Mr. 
Chairman, that's where the water is going currently. That's 
where we are losing water, significant amounts of water into 
the Atlantic and into the Gulf of Mexico.
    Here you see the various features, again difficult to read 
from a distance. You have got surface water storage reservoirs, 
1.5 million acre-feet capacity on the surface water reservoirs 
to capture the water.
    We are also proposing aquifer storage recovery, about 300 
wells, 1.6 billion gallons per day pumped down into those 
aquifers.
    We're proposing Stormwater Treatment Areas, 35,600 acres of 
man-made wetlands to be built, draining into Lake Okeechobee 
and into other parts of the ecosystem.
    We are proposing wastewater reuse, two advanced wastewater 
treatment plants producing about 220 million gallons per day of 
treated discharge going back into the system.
    We are also talking about seepage management using barriers 
and levees, pumps and managing water levels that will help 
control the loss of millions of gallons of ground water.
    Removing barriers to sheetflow. Removing, as I said 
earlier, 240 miles of project canals and internal levees.
    Then we are talking about operational changes, work with 
water delivery schedules to alleviate extreme fluctuations in 
the water.
    As you see here, Mr. Chairman, and members of the 
committee, what you have is a system that will eventually 
restore 80 percent of the water we hope to capture, restore it 
back to the ecosystem, back to the environment, back to the 
park, back to the natural system; and 20 percent of that water, 
new water, to enhance water supplies for our cities and our 
farmers.
    So the historic flows, the current flows and where the plan 
will take us, it won't recover the Everglades to its original 
and natural historic flows, but it will make a significant 
change in this ecosystem, and I would want to say that that's 
what this plan proposes to do. It's the result of a significant 
amount of cooperation and work between us and our State 
partners and all the groups represented in this room and many 
others, and we hope to be able to get to that plan.
    Now, I have asked Michael Davis to take another couple of 
minutes to get a little more specific on the rest of the plan.
    Mr. Davis. Thank you, Dr. Westphal, Mr. Chairman, Senator 
Graham, Senator Voinovich. Thank you for hosting this hearing. 
You are to be commended for doing that.
    Let me just take a minute, if I can, to explain what we are 
going to be asking the Congress to do in our Water Resources 
Development Act 2000 proposal. We see the plan as five basic 
parts. First, an authorization of the plan itself as the 
conceptual road map for restoring the Everglades, an agreement 
that this is a national priority, something that has to be 
done, something that has to be done quickly.
    That has four basic pieces, some pilot projects, a suite of 
projects that we would like to get authorized in a WRDA 2000 
bill, a programmatic authority, and then the bulk of the 
project would be authorized in some future WRDAs.
    We have six pilot projects proposed; however, two of those 
were recently authorized in the Water Resources Development Act 
of 1999, so we will be proposing four of those as part of our 
legislative proposal.
    As I mentioned earlier, we are also going to propose ten, 
what we will call, initial authorization projects, a package of 
projects that we believe are very important, that were 
carefully thought out and considered that will allow us to get 
on with the business of restoring the Everglades very quickly.
    It's important to move on with these projects because 
they're a link to existing, ongoing work in the Everglades. 
They take advantage of some of the lands that we already own, 
some of the lands that the State already owns, and we believe 
it is very important and we gave this part of the plan a lot of 
thought.
    It's important to, I think, understand kind of the process 
that the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan lays out 
for, not only this initial suite of projects, but for all of 
the future projects. Not one shovel full of dirt will be turned 
on any project until we do detailed project implementation 
reports, which is equivalent to a feasibility level analysis 
that you're used to getting in your committee.
    Not one project will be undertaken until we complete a full 
environmental impact statement, which includes full public 
involvement; and, again, that's not just the ten initial 
projects. That's for every feature that will be undertaken 
under this plan.
    We are also going to ask for a programmatic authority. We 
know that there are a lot of relatively small scale projects 
that provide immediate and very important benefits to the 
ecosystem and we'd like to move on with those very quickly.
    This is very similar to the existing critical project 
authority that we have that were received in the 1996 Water 
Resources Bill.
    Then you can see from this, the remaining components of the 
plan would be authorized in future WRDAs in the year 2002 and 
beyond. This is about 6.2 billion of the $7.8 billion worth of 
projects to be in some future WRDAs, and these would come 
through what is really the normal process that you deal with 
water resources projects in your committee. We would submit to 
you the reports of the feasibilities with the EIS and the other 
documentation that you are used to getting in all these future 
water components.
    Some have suggested that this plan doesn't work fast enough 
and how long will it take or how long does it have to take to 
restore the Everglades. Implementation of this plan completely 
will take about 36 years, but we know, based on modeling and 
technical evaluations, that after about 10 years, we will start 
to receive and see substantial changes in the ecosystem; and 
the vast majority of the benefits will actually be obtained 
about 20 years into the plan.
    It is important to remember that this ecosystem and other 
wetland ecosystems will not automatically immediately respond 
to hydrological changes. It will take some time. It took quite 
a while to impact the ecosystem. It will take some time to 
restore it as well.
    As Dr. Westphal mentioned, the plan itself was developed in 
a very scientific technical manner with substantial peer 
review, and we are going to continue that. We know that we 
don't have all the answers. We know the plan is not perfect and 
we are going to have to make some midcourse corrections. That's 
why we are proposing an extensive monitoring plan and we also 
have created the Science Advisory Panel. We have a group of 
independent scientists who will give us their opinion on some 
of the problems and some of the issues that we will inevitably 
face in this 25-year journey of restoring the Everglades.
    There is not much I can say here, Mr. Chairman. You, Dr. 
Westphal, Carol Browner, and others have made it very clear, I 
think, that restoring the Everglades is a national priority and 
it is very important to us. I think it is important to put it 
in the context of other investments. Certainly 7.8 billion 
sounds like a lot. It is a lot of money, but we do spend a lot 
of money around the country on other public works investments 
as well.
    The Woodrow Wilson Bridge, just in all of our backyards, is 
$1.8 billion. The Boston Artery and Tunnel in Boston is about 
10.8. So there's other public investments in this country that 
cost similar amounts.
    Finally, there is what I would call the report card, and we 
have a copy over here to the right on this poster as well. If, 
in our judgment, and this is not just a guess, this is based on 
our best modeling and scientific efforts, in our judgment, if 
we do nothing, we are going to have the condition on the left, 
and red is not good. Red is a failure, and we're going to lose 
the Everglades.
    We also believe, based on modeling and scientific 
expertise, that, if we implement the plan over the next 20 or 
25 years, we're going to have the report card on the right. 
We're going to have a lot of green. We'll have a healthy, 
viable and sustainable Everglades.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Davis. I would say, 
since the Army Corps is the presenter of the plan, I was more 
generous with the time, but I think we're going to have to try 
to hold to the 5 minutes.
    We have an administrative decision here. It might flow a 
little more smoothly if anybody has a question of these two 
witnesses right at this juncture, we should ask it, and then we 
can move to Ms. Doyle. I think it will just flow a little 
better.
    I want to make one comment to you, Dr. Westphal. You know 
that, in order for us to move forward, which you have outlined 
asking us to do in there, that we are going to need the fiscal 
2001 budget from the President, and we are going to need the 
legislative language.
    I know when the budget normally comes, which is mid-
February, but if we wait--if the language, let's say the 
language doesn't come for another month into March, it's really 
moving out now into an area where it's going to make it very 
difficult to move this thing along at a pace that I would like 
to do it.
    So I would urge you to do your best to get us that 
legislative language much earlier than March, No. 1; No. 2, if 
we can get a heads-up on the budget, at least that portion of 
the budget that deals with this, that would be very helpful. So 
let me make that request of you, realizing that, hopefully, you 
can make it happen, but realizing it may not be possible, but 
it's going to slow it down dramatically if we don't get that 
information before this. Maybe the good Senator from Florida 
here could work on that a little, too, within the 
administration.
    Mr. Westphal. Well, I think we can definitely do everything 
we can to meet both of those expectations, especially on the 
WRDA piece.
    I had a discussion with you earlier. I also had a 
discussion with the chairman of the Transportation and 
Construction Committee in the House, Chairman Shuster, about 
trying to get this bill to you as soon as possible so that you 
could work on it early in the session and get it done for a 
variety of reasons. I think he is in agreement with that, and 
we are working very hard to put that together.
    We will try to work with your staff to keep you apprised of 
how our progress is going.
    Senator Smith. You know how the process works, February and 
March, you know, is a good time to be able to work on this kind 
of legislation.
    Mr. Westphal. Right.
    Senator Smith. You start getting into the end of the spring 
and the summer, then you have got the appropriations bills 
beginning to hatch and floor time becomes a problem and so 
forth.
    Mr. Westphal. Mr. Chairman, it's not so much our inability 
to produce the language of a bill to turn over to you. A lot of 
it is getting OMB to approve that language, and OMB is 
simultaneously working on getting you a budget for fiscal year 
2001. So they are always juggling all these balls and getting 
both authorizing and a budget put together; and that's where we 
get into the road blocks; but I will work with OMB to expedite 
it and to get as much of it to you as early as we can. If we 
can give you any advanced language that we can work on 
mutually, I think we can do that.
    Senator Smith. A finer point for me, you identified that 
$1.1 billion or so of projects. You also identified them as the 
highest--maybe you didn't use that exact term, but the 
implication was that these were the highest priority items yet 
and were going to have the most immediate impact.
    I think it's important that you maintain that priority base 
so we don't get into a future year where suddenly something 
that we missed becomes an emergency that causes us to have to 
adjust the schedule upward and causes somebody to lose the 
desire to support the project.
    I mean, you've told us in that presentation $1.1 billion. 
You listed certain areas of the plan that were the highest 
priority, and I think, if that's the case, then we need to stay 
focused on that and make sure that we know ahead of time if 
that starts to slip or something else takes on a higher 
priority that might be more immediate in nature. Just a little 
caution on that.
    Senator Graham?
    Senator Voinovich. I have a couple questions about the 
scheduling. One of those is, I understand that some of these 
projects are going to have to be permitted by the State. Have 
the proposed initial flight of projects been reviewed by the 
State and, if so, what is the status in terms of their being 
permanent?
    Mr. Westphal. I don't know the answer to that question.
    Senator Voinovich. I wonder, could I ask----
    Senator Smith. Sure. You'll still have the opportunity to 
give your statement, Dave. Go ahead.
    Mr. Struhs. OK. As I understand it, our permanent shop has 
actually agreed to work with the designer, so that, as they're 
designing structures and facilities to be built in the future, 
assuming that this is authorized and ultimately appropriated, 
that we are confident that those structures and infrastructure 
investments will effect the water quality standards.
    The other, I think I would point out, is that last 
legislative session, the Florida Legislature inserted 
themselves so that would have the ability to early on in the 
process demonstrate the political support for the State of 
Florida that they are, in fact, on a component-by-component 
basis to support these projects, so that, by the time they get 
to you, you have more confidence that the entire State of 
Florida, including the legislature, is on board.
    Senator Smith. Senator Voinovich?
    Senator Voinovich. As I mentioned, the comprehensive plan 
does not have the detail associated with it with other 
feasibility studies.
    The issue is, if at all possible, to authorize and fund the 
pilot projects to see how they work before proceeding to an 
open-end authorization, if you can get it down to the stuff 
that you're really sure about and proceed in that fashion.
    Mr. Westphal. I think we are very confident about this 
proposal we are turning over. I think it has a considerable 
amount of study behind it, a considerable amount of science 
behind it. I think it's important at this time because it links 
so many of these projects together into a comprehensive plan, 
as opposed to a disparate set of different projects.
    It's not a blank check, as we have said before, in our 
presentation. We are going to have to do all the NEPA 
compliance work, public comments, and all kinds of future and 
legal requirements are going to have to be met as we proceed 
along. Of course, it does incorporate as well, this adaptive 
assessment and management aspect to it. So as we go along, we 
will assess; we will change course if we need to based on our 
monitoring work we're doing.
    So I think we're presenting you a plan that we are very 
comfortable with and we think stands the test of the science 
and the hard work that went into it, but I think we also 
understand that there may be some changes that come down in the 
future as we assess and monitor what we are doing.
    Senator Voinovich. I think another thing that's a concern 
to me is that the Corps recommends Federal participation in 50 
percent of the costs in operating and maintenance of the 
project, and this is a significant break with the long-standing 
Federal policy dating back to the Flood Control Act of 1936 and 
also deviates from the conditions that apply to this project 
found in the Water Resources Development Act in 1996.
    The point is that there are others--say, the Great Lakes, 
Chesapeake Bay, Puget Sound. Is the Corps going off into a new 
proposal in terms of paying for the operation and maintenance 
costs of these things? This is unusual. Why is the 
administration proposing that in this plan?
    Mr. Westphal. Well, it's a proposal. Actually, in my letter 
of transmittal to the committee, to the Congress, to the Senate 
and to the House, I indicated that we would looking at this, 
along with our other Federal partners and State partners, we 
would be looking at this and making a proposal to you on this 
matter. So it isn't a final decision, but we are looking at it 
very seriously.
    We think that this is a very unique project in many ways. 
The Federal Government is a beneficiary of much of what we are 
going to do here today because of the Everglades National Park, 
Biscayne Bay, Big Cypress and others.
    In addition, as you all pointed out, the Federal Government 
had a major hand and was a major factor in causing some of 
these problems. So for those reasons, we are taking this under 
serious consideration, and we want to be also fair to the State 
of Florida, who, I think, is an equal partner in this and is 
willing to share in significant amount of cost of restoring the 
Everglades.
    Senator Voinovich. It gets back again to the money and, if 
Congress authorizes Federal participation in the ONM, up to 80 
million will be required from the general account of the Corps, 
and a lot of us are concerned about the impact that the 
proposal will have in the overall program of the Corps of 
Engineers.
    When the administration commented on the Water Resources 
Development Act of 1999, it was noted that the Corps also had a 
$27 billion backlog on fund and design and construction.
    So one of the things that we have to--the Corps of 
Engineers has to have the wherewithal in order to operate, and 
I think that is something that the administration has to give 
some serious consideration to. I know certainly Congress will.
    Mr. Westphal. Right. Senator, I think you're absolutely 
right, and I think we would all be foolish to hide our heads in 
the sand and pretend that that this is not an issue, that the 
money is there, and this is enough of a high priority for 
everybody that we're going to get it done real easily. No, I 
agree with you. This backlog issue is something that I have 
already begun discussions with the House and the Senate 
committees on, both the appropriators and the authorizers.
    Much of this backlog that we talk about are projects that 
we may need to take a serious look at. They're old. They're 
sitting as authorized projects dating sometimes back to the 
1940's. So we need to look at seriously how much of this $27 
billion backlog we are going to build in the future. As you 
know, we have no year funding so there is a stream of funding 
that continues.
    A lot of our problem is, not so much what we are willing to 
do or what our capability is to do, as much as it is how we are 
limited by appropriations every year, by what you're able to 
appropriate, your allocations in the Appropriations Committee, 
and what we can do based on those appropriations as we space 
out these projects.
    So it is something we need to address, and we are going to 
be able to address that if we do that together, if we do that, 
the Congress and the administration working together trying to 
figure out a way out of that dilemma.
    We don't believe that this is going to exacerbate that 
problem, but we will work with you, and we will work with the 
appropriators to try to do that, and I think that's a high 
priority for me and it's a high priority for the administration 
to try to resolve.
    I do acknowledge what you're saying and I think it's 
something to consider, but I also think that, if we don't work 
together to resolve it, it's going to persist.
    Senator Voinovich. Mr. Chairman, I think it would probably 
be helpful if we really did spend the time to go through that 
backlog to see if the projects were real or not real, skinny it 
down to the real projects.
    Mr. Westphal. I think it's something that would really be 
helpful to both the committee--it is also helpful as you have 
to decide on future WRDA bills. You know, we passed a WRDA bill 
that amounts to almost $6 billion last year. You're going to 
pass another one this year. We don't know what that amount is 
going to be; but as you make decisions nationwide, I think it's 
imperative that you also have a sense of what you're leaving 
behind and what's being delayed and what has priority.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much. Let me remind each 
witness, as well as my colleagues up here, you have been fine. 
We have got to speak directly into these microphones or the 
people in the back can't hear. So put it a little closer than 
you would normally do.
    Ms. Doyle?

  STATEMENT OF MARY DOYLE, COUNSELOR TO THE SECRETARY, CHAIR, 
SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION TASK FORCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT 
                        OF THE INTERIOR

    Ms. Doyle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. My name is Mary Doyle. 
I'm counselor to Secretary Bruce Babbitt, whose has honored me 
today by appointing me to chair the South Florida Ecosystem 
Restoration Task Force. Today is my first day on the job.
    Senator Smith. Good timing, very good timing.
    Ms. Doyle. Today is my first hearing, Mr. Chairman, just 
like you, and I'm very happy to start out in this way. Thank 
you.
    Senator Smith. Well, congratulations.
    Ms. Doyle. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. And good luck.
    Ms. Doyle. Thank you.
    I'm a Floridian, as you mentioned. I have lived in Miami 
about 15 years now where I have served as dean of the 
University of Miami School of Law; and when these 
responsibilities are finished, I intend to go back to Miami. So 
I have a very personal stake in this like the one expressed by 
Administrator Browner.
    With me today are three colleagues who have wide and deep 
knowledge and experience on these issues. I wanted to 
acknowledge their presence and they're available to answer any 
questions you might have.
    Donald Berry, who is our Assistant Secretary of Interior 
for Fish, Wildlife and Parks; Richard Ring, your guide to the 
Everglades, great superintendent of Everglades National Park; 
and Colonel Rock Salt, who is the executive director of the 
task force I chair.
    Senator Smith. That's great.
    Ms. Doyle. Everybody wants to meet him when they find out 
what his name is.
    This committee has asked us to address three issues at this 
hearing, and I can go through them very quickly. First was the 
future role of the task force in the overall restoration 
effort.
    The second was the role of the newly created Science 
Advisory Panel, which advises the task force and which was 
referred to by my colleague, Michael Davis; and then issues 
raised in the comprehensive plan for which the National Park 
Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service have responsibility.
    Let me briefly tell you that the task force is made up of 
representatives of seven Federal agencies, the Miccosukee and 
Seminole Tribes, the State of Florida, the South Florida Water 
Management District, and two units of local government. It was 
established by Congress in 1996. Its responsibility is one of 
coordination of the efforts of all these various agencies, and 
the development of consistent plans for overall restoration of 
the ecosystem.
    One of our functions, Senator Voinovich, is to address the 
issue you raised beyond the Corps' plan, what are our plans for 
overall restoration, including the elimination of exotics, 
habitat restoration for endangered species, and so on.
    This coming year we are developing a strategic plan which 
will integrate existing plans and activities throughout the 
region and serve as the framework for future adaptive 
management for the next 50 years. We will provide that to you 
as it is developed.
    The task force also oversees the work of the Science 
Advisory Panel, which has just been created. The Secretary of 
the Interior and the task force requested the National Academy 
of Sciences to put together a team of peer review experts. As 
Michael Davis said, none of these 16 scientists on this panel 
are currently working in South Florida, except on this project.
    They will provide peer review to the Department and the 
Corps of Engineers as we move forward on issues of monitoring, 
determining whether intended benefits are actually being 
realized from pilot projects, and that sort of thing.
    The Science Advisory Panel is currently developing its 
first work plan, which it will present to the task force for 
its consideration at its next meeting.
    Finally, the third topic I was asked to address, issues 
affecting fish, wildlife and parks in the South Florida 
ecosystem. I wanted to note for you that the Fish and Wildlife 
Service last May issued the South Florida Multi-Species 
Recovery Plan, unprecedented in its scope and scale, which is 
the comprehensive blueprint for guiding the actions of all 
relevant parties, public and private, toward recovery of the 68 
species that are currently listed as threatened or endangered, 
species of plants and animals in South Florida.
    This Multi-species Recovery Plan is going to be a very 
valuable asset to the Corps and the rest of us as we implement 
restoration features in the coming years.
    An issue of vital concern to the department and its 
constituents, agencies, as it is to all the stakeholders is the 
one Senator Graham identified early in the hearing, and that is 
the so-called assurances issue.
    Chairman Regula and you, Senator Graham, have both been 
clear that we need up front in the authorizing process a 
formula to ensure that water is provided for the natural 
system, whether we are talking about the natural system held 
under State management or Federal management, in proper 
quantity, quality, timing and distribution, even in times of 
stress upon the system.
    We are developing proposed language now. We are going to be 
discussing this with our partners at this meeting. We are aware 
of Chairman Smith's admonition as to submitting language to 
this committee, and so the time of facing the assurances issue 
is now and we are grappling with it.
    Mr. Chairman, I will conclude with a statement on behalf of 
the Department of Interior and the task force of strong support 
for the Corps of Engineers' comprehensive plan, of admiration 
for the work of our partners in the Corps, in the State, and in 
the South Florida Water Management District. I want to assure 
you that this is a partnership that works and on which you can 
depend in the authorization and funding of the proposal.
    Thank you very much.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much. Ms. Doyle, you deserve 
a raise. You hit it within less than 5 minutes.
    I have one particular question and then, if either of my 
colleagues have one, we can ask and then move to the next 
panelist. David will be next.
    You heard me ask Secretary Browner about the mercury 
contamination. Could you, perhaps, comment on that, as well as 
the phosphorus problem as far as the impact on wildlife and 
fish?
    Ms. Doyle. Yes. Maybe I will call on one of my wildlife 
colleagues.
    Senator Smith. When you come up to the microphone, identify 
yourself. That's all.
    Mr. Ring. Mr. Chairman, I'm Superintendent Dick Ring from 
Everglades National Park. The issue on mercury and phosphorus 
are that they both have significant impacts on the wildlife in 
the natural system.
    The first is that phosphorus is a nutrient that is pouring 
into a nutrient-poor system. It's changing the habitat, 
eliminating periphyton, the algal communities that are the base 
of the Everglades food chain, and creating dense cattail stands 
that are changing the habitat for many of the wildlife and 
displacing them.
    The mercury is a lot more insidious. It is being taken up 
into the tissue of the plants and animals that we have, and 
truly we have had advisories out on not eating many of the fish 
in the Everglades that have mercury levels that have 
accumulated in their tissue and we have had examples where the 
higher the food chain, for instance, panthers, Florida panther, 
and other animals that prey on the lower orders have died 
because of mercury poisoning.
    So it is a very significant and widespread issue that needs 
to be grappled with in the Florida ecosystem.
    Senator Smith. I felt there was somewhat, perhaps, limited, 
maybe it's unfair to characterize, optimism, but it seemed to 
me that Administrator Browner was fairly optimistic of 
containing the phosphorus flow.
    Do you share that optimism?
    Mr. Ring. I think, with the phosphorus, since 1998 when we 
began to grapple with it----
    Senator Smith. Under the plan, I mean.
    Mr. Ring.--I think we have come up with an enormously 
effective plan working with the State. I think that plan is 
well into execution and the performance of that plan in 
removing phosphorus from the water that's coming into the 
Everglades is outperforming the design expectations, and we've 
got a lot of work to do. We've got about 6 years to go to 
finish it off, but I'm very optimistic that we are going to 
pull that off and largely, due to the efforts of the state, our 
State partners, who are really stepping out to try to tackle 
this and pull it through to completion.
    Senator Smith. Thank you.
    Senator Graham?
    Senator Graham. I'm looking at the projects that are on the 
initial authorization list. The question I have: These 
represent approximately $1.1 billion of a total project of 7.8, 
so more or less 12 to 15 percent of the total project is 
represented by those that are in the initial list. What would 
be the consequences if we, in fact, authorized, funded and 
built the projects that are on your initial list and then 
stopped? What kind of system would we have? Would it be better, 
worse, or the same as the system today?
     Mr. Westphal. Well, we believe that any work, of course, 
will advance and will help somewhat. We have projects that are 
part of an entire ecosystem restoration, which are not 
necessarily and always interconnected; but if you don't follow 
through--I mean, the whole basis of what we have put together 
is a comprehensive plan that's interdependent on all these 
things coming together and coming together in a timely fashion.
    So we believe that, if you don't continue to fund this, if 
we don't continue to support it within the executive branch, 
that we will get that report card that has the red on it. We 
may see a few green spots here and there, but we are not going 
to get to the solution of this ongoing problem.
    We believe this is a very strong national priority. Very 
significant funding is going into it, very significant amount 
of work on the part of the Federal agencies and the State, very 
significant work on the part of the Congress. We believe it's 
very high priority, not for Florida, but for our nation.
    Senator Graham. The Federal Government, not necessarily 
limited to the environmental area, is replete with examples of 
where the Congress puts its smallest toe in the water and then 
withdraws the rest of its anatomy.
    My concern about this approach is not that it doesn't make 
common sense and is probably not the appropriate way to proceed 
but there has got to be a strong both political and 
psychological commitment that this is a commitment, not just to 
these projects, but as a commitment to the totality of the 
plan.
    I believe that the strongest way to make that commitment 
would be, as Administrator Browner said, to have a funding 
scheme that doesn't involve the kinds of concerns that Senator 
Voinovich has raised, which is to put this program into direct 
competition with every other appropriation for a WRDA project 
of the Corps of Engineers, but rather has a sustainable, 
adequate, at least 20-year duration of financial plan to 
accompany this, even this initial step toward this total 
project.
    Mr. Westphal. That's right, Senator. I agree with you and 
I've talked very little bit about this subject with the 
chairman and I have talked with the chairman of the House 
Senate Committee and I have talked to you about it, and I agree 
that I think we need to try to locate and find a way to do 
that.
    There are projects like Everglades, perhaps to a lesser 
scale and perhaps in the future to a larger scale in other 
parts of the country. We face equal and monumental losses of 
land in Louisiana. We face issues in other parts of the country 
that are of similar magnitude. We are going to have to address 
those in the future, and we are going to face the same problem 
there.
    I think we can reach out and we can find some ways. I think 
you have got some ideas on that. I think the chairman has got 
some ideas on it. We are willing and very ready to work with 
you on doing that.
    Ms. Doyle. Senator Graham, the superintendent, changing the 
image from anatomy to construction, says it would be like 
building the foundation of the house, putting two of the walls 
up and then walking away.
    Senator Graham. That probably is a neater analogy than 
mine.
    Senator Smith. Senator Voinovich, a question of Ms. Doyle?
    Senator Voinovich. Yes. First of all, I think that it's 
comforting to know that you have the task force and the fact 
that you have got the agencies together and you're working 
together. I'm sure that helps with the preparation of the 
restudy.
    Ms. Doyle. I wanted to offer the services of the task force 
to your committee also as we proceed here.
    Senator Voinovich. I would be interested in any information 
that you have in terms of the scientific part of this in terms 
of the specific projects that are on the list that the Senators 
made reference to and what the scientists think about it in 
terms of the technology, is it sensible, has it been tested, so 
forth.
    Ms. Doyle. We are just getting rolling now so we'll keep 
you very well informed as to what projects they pick.
    Senator Voinovich. Let's get that input on these projects 
and the reports from these groups who are monitoring--I would 
like to see that plan work too.
    Senator Smith. All set?
    Secretary Struhs?

     STATEMENT OF HON. DAVID B. STRUHS, SECRETARY, FLORIDA 
             DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

    Mr. Struhs. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, Senator Graham, 
Senator Voinovich.
    If Governor Bush had been able to join us this afternoon, 
he would have asked or he would have himself delivered, rather 
than asking me to deliver, the message that Florida is willing, 
ready and waiting to forge a new and complete partnership with 
the Federal Government that weighs out rights and 
responsibilities as true 50/50 partners.
    It was 6 months ago when I was in Washington and joining 
Vice President Gore, Administrator Browner, and Senator Graham 
and others that Florida committed to continuing the leadership, 
continued providing the resources to complete the mission on 
which, in fact, we have already embarked, a mission that aims 
at restoring the historic balance between land and water, a 
critical mission for Florida, certainly, but also a critical 
mission for the Federal Government, the Federal Government's 
interests, whether it be the Loxahatchee Refuge, 10,000 
Islands, Big Cypress, endangered species, like the manatee, the 
Cable Sable sparrow, the panther, but perhaps the best known 
example of the Federal interest is America's Everglades 
National Park.
    That treasure has already been, this afternoon, compared to 
other treasures in this country, Grand Canyon, Great Lakes, 
Yellowstone. In fact, America's Everglades National Park 
actually represents Florida's very first commitment to the 
Everglades. Florida actually gifted that park to the nation. I 
think it's fair to say that it's one of those kinds of gifts 
that keeps on giving.
    Since that gift was made in 1947, since the State of 
Florida made that gift in 1947, we have gone on to spend $3.3 
billion on land, restoration and protection activities, and we 
have acquired almost 3.4 million acres of conservation lands in 
the Everglades ecosystem.
    Having said that, we also recognize that our Federal 
partners will view, indeed must view, the Everglades as but one 
project, competing with many others around the country. To that 
end, you are seeking some solid evidence from us that our 
historic resolve and commitment will continue.
    Frankly, and I say this with all due respect, as a State 
government, we have the same concerns about the Federal 
Government. For, while we know that the Everglades are, in 
fact, our highest environmental priority in the State of 
Florida, we understand that the Federal Government, at least 
for the time being, is unable to make that same kind of 
determination; but what I would like to do is share with you a 
few examples of how we are going to continue that leadership 
and that commitment.
    The State has acquired or contracted to acquire 80,000 
acres of additional conservation land. The State has allocated 
over $133 million for the acquisition of new lands in the 
future. The South Florida Management District has already 
finished construction and is now operating Stormwater Treatment 
Areas, filtering water, cleansing it before it's released into 
the Everglades system. Over 17,000 acres of these filter 
marshes are up and operating now.
    Just a couple of weeks ago, the State announced a major new 
initiative, landmark legislation, in fact, to begin the 
restoration of Lake Okeechobee, which, in fact, is arguably the 
head waters of the Everglades.
    Despite that commitment, we observe and recognize that 
there is still much to do, and that is why in this new year, 
and indeed this new century and millennium, Florida has already 
committed to a plan to spend another $155 million this year on 
Everglades protection projects.
    Despite this historical commitment, despite the current 
commitment, despite this future commitment, we also recognize 
that there are distinct advantages that can be gained from 
pursuing a more unified and coordinated plan, and that there 
are real advantages in sharing a binding obligation to provide 
the money needed to see the project through to completion.
    Recognizing this reality, Governor Bush yesterday offered a 
seven-point test, at least for the State of Florida, as we work 
over these next couple of months to determine precisely how 
Florida is going to meet that commitment.
    Those seven principles which will underlie our commitment 
is, No. 1, and most important that the State will commit to 
fully fund its half of the project costs. More than that, we 
will make sure that we recognize reality and plan ahead for the 
peak funding years, recognizing that there are some years that 
the peaks are going to be higher than some years and we need to 
plan ahead for that.
    We will also seek to and intend to get full credit for all 
the environmental restoration resources that the State has and 
will plan to spend on the Everglades in the future, but at the 
same time make a commitment that we are not going to siphon 
resources from other environmental restoration programs around 
the State to accomplish it.
    We're going to share the responsibilities evenly between 
statewide resources and South Florida resources. We are not 
going to add significantly to Florida's long-term debt burden.
    In closing, we are going to seek a new and really complete 
partnership with the Federal Government. Yes, the costs for 
implementing this plan are substantial, but they are certainly 
within the collective reach of State and Federal Governments 
working together.
    The State Legislature and the South Florida Water 
Management District, the executive branch of State government, 
we're all going to work together to make sure that we will 
completely, predictably and adequately fund the State's share 
of the costs.
    Governor Bush, in a message to this Everglades Coalition 
yesterday via videotape, said, ``There should be no question 
about Florida's commitment to finish what we have started.''
    Thank you very much for coming to Florida and allowing us 
the opportunity to testify.
    Senator Smith. Mr. Secretary, thank you very much. Thank 
you for finishing on time, too.
    Is there some proposal in place now to move this forward in 
the legislature, the funding? If, for example, if the Federal 
Government acted with its share, the 1.1 for this, if that 
should happen in the next fiscal year, your legislation meets 
until when here, October?
    Mr. Struhs. No. We have a 2-month session in March and 
April.
    Senator Smith. March and April. What would be the chance of 
some action being taken by the legislature?
    Mr. Struhs. If I had to rank it on the schedule, a scale, I 
should say, of one to ten, I would give it a nine and-a-half.
    High, yes. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Senator Graham, any questions?
    Senator Graham. We generally prefer those answers to be 
down to the third decimal point, but we will take that as a 
rough approximation of your level of optimism.
     Mr. Westphal. Senator Graham, if I could clarify a point. 
What we're seeking is an authorization that would entail 
approximately that amount of money in appropriations, and, of 
course, we are going to have to seek that appropriation through 
Congress down the road, and that appropriation, that 1.1 
billion, or 1.2 billion, will extend over an eleven-year 
period. So it's not 1.2 billion for 2001.
    Senator Graham. In other words, the appropriation is not 
going to be----
    Mr. Westphal. Right. So the State, obviously, also might 
have to come up with that kind of money.
    Senator Smith. Good thing you clarified that.
    Senator Graham. Dave, I would like to ask the same question 
that I asked of Carol Browner about assurances language because 
that's going to be an important part of this initial 
authorization. I wonder if you could comment as to what you 
think from the State's perspective should be the principles 
relative to assurance to the various stakeholders of their 
legitimate expectations relative to water quantity, quality, 
hydroperiod, point of distribution.
    Mr. Struhs. Thank you, Senator Graham. There are important 
questions and assurances, and I think it's appropriate that we 
address them and work them out up front before we move forward 
with authorization.
    Assurances, I think, fall into four basic categories, the 
quantity of the water, the quality of the water, and then the 
timing and distribution of the water.
    I think the one that has, perhaps, become the most 
important, at least at the moment, is the assurance of the 
quantity of the water, if I could address that one 
specifically.
     Florida State law, Florida water law, I should say, has a 
reputation and, in fact, I think it's true as probably one of 
the most progressive State water laws in the country, and early 
on it recognized that the first and highest best use of water 
is to maintain the health of an ecosystem, and we do that under 
State law through something called minimum flows and levels.
    So we would prefer, obviously, as a state to use that 
really extra level of protection of using State MFLs, minimum 
flowing levels, to assure the delivery of water.
    The other thing I would hasten to point out is that one of 
the reasons we were not successful in resolving this last year 
is because we want to make sure that the assurance is not just 
to one particular piece of real estate within the Everglades 
ecosystem, but, in fact, we're establishing that minimum 
flowing level for the entire ecosystem, and I think that is 
critically important.
    There are obviously some portions that are under Federal 
control and some under the State. Mother nature doesn't 
recognize those artificial divisions and we want to make sure 
that minimum flowing level is treating the whole ecosystem 
fairly.
    One other point I would add. The State of Florida has also 
designated the Florida Everglades as an outstanding Florida 
water. That is a special designation reserved for only the 
outstanding Florida waters, but the reason that has relevance 
is because, with that designation, we are required under law to 
make sure that, not only is it a minimum flowing level to 
preserve the ecosystem, but that it is, in fact, adequate to 
make sure that the water quality is also meeting the standards 
so that there is an extra level of protection.
    Senator Smith. Senator Voinovich?
    Senator Voinovich. Want to go one at a time?
    Senator Smith. I'm sorry.
    Mr. Westphal. Senator, just so you sleep a little better 
tonight, we are currently working with the Interior Department 
and we'll work with David, Secretary Struhs, and the State on 
language on assurances that we will submit to you, Mr. 
Chairman, and the committee in our WRDA proposals. We will have 
that, and we will make sure that we also work with your staff 
to make sure that we have got the appropriate wording and that 
we do what we need to do on the assurances. So we are working 
on that.
    Senator Voinovich. I think I had raised this question with 
you informally last night or today, but the comprehensive plan 
is really responding to adverse impacts on the Everglades from 
the environment, from development in the State, agricultural 
development, economics; and it seems to me that some of the 
adverse effects which you're projecting in the future are going 
to have to do with the development growth in the State.
    I think that there was some comment that in 20 years if 
somebody looked at it, I think maybe Carol Browner looked at it 
and said 20 years from now, the quality would be less than it 
is today, because of growth and so forth.
    So I wonder, is the State undertaking some thought in terms 
of a more sensible growth of the State; and, second of all, and 
maybe this is pretty provincial from my point of view, but I've 
said this to Senator Graham on occasion, I'm a former Governor 
and we competed with Florida in economic development. Every 
year we had the site selection magazine and new facilities and 
planned expansions and new investments and so forth.
    Senator Graham. We tried to get Ohio State to play one of 
our football teams.
    Senator Voinovich. On that field, forget it. I'd rather 
stay in the economic development anyhow.
    I think one of the concerns is: Are you asking the Federal 
Government to help pay for the growth costs that you're going 
to incur in the future in terms of waste treatment, in terms of 
water supply, and I think that's a consideration.
    We're willing to pitch in and help the Everglades, but I 
think a lot of people are going to be reluctant to get involved 
in building waste treatment facilities and providing water that 
should be the responsibility of the citizens of Florida, and I 
think I mentioned informally to you that you really never get 
into this whole issue of growth development until you have some 
tension, and tension occurs when people realize that, if 
they're going to have uncontrolled growth, that they're going 
to have to pay for it, either in terms of higher taxes, in 
terms of water rates, sewer rates, or whatever the case may be; 
and then all of a sudden they start to pay attention and say, 
``Hey, wait a second. We need to think about this.''
    If you can go free and unfettered and not have to pay the 
cost and things just keep going, then you really don't have 
that tension that I think is necessary; and as I mentioned in 
my statement, I think it applies to your State and it applies 
to my State. We've just got to do a better job on that.
    I'm interested in your comments on that, what the Governor 
thinks about that.
    Mr. Struhs. Thank you, Senator, and I think it is a 
legitimate and important concern that the Federal Government 
raises, and I think, if I might, take a little time to expand 
on it, the answer is no, I think, to the question of, Do we 
expect the Federal Government to come in and clean up Florida's 
pollution? The answer is no. That's something that we will be 
prepared to do on our own in the State as appropriate.
    There is another level to your question, which is do we 
expect the Federal Government to come in and build 
infrastructure to allow for expanding economic development? 
There again, the answer is no. That's something that is an 
appropriate role for a State government and we will take care 
of that ourselves.
    The fact is, if you look at all the project components of 
Everglades restoration in this comprehensive plan, together 
what they deliver is best exemplified by those two maps. If we 
don't do it, in approximately 50 years, we are going to see the 
area turn to red, which means that it is no longer Everglades.
    If we proceed with all those components, we get the 
preferred map on the right, which is green, which, in fact, 
means that remnant of the Everglades system remains intact.
    So that's the reason we think it is important and relevant 
to the Federal Government to be involved with all of those 
projects because they deliver that result.
    Having said that, clearly Everglades restoration is a 
remarkably good example of how investing in restoring and 
preserving an ecosystem will have secondary benefits, will have 
secondary desirable benefits for other things, like future 
water supply.
    I think it's very important to understand, though, that 
water supply is not a limiting factor for future growth in 
Florida. The growth is going to occur whether we want to or 
not. We are one of the fastest growing States in the nation, 
one of the highest growth rates. Eighty percent of that growth 
comes from migration, people from other States coming into 
Florida.
    That growth is going to continue; the development pressure 
is going to continue; and the water will come from somewhere, 
and we already have proposals in the Tampa area to build what 
would be the world's second largest desalinization plant. So we 
eventually as a State will find the water to meet that economic 
need, but isn't it far preferable instead to join in a 
partnership with the Federal and State governments working 
together where we can actually take a lower cost alternative 
and we'll have the benefit of providing those water supplies in 
the future, and at the same time, meet the principal objective, 
which is to restore the ecosystem?
    So, a lot of us have talked about examples where 
environmental and economic interests go hand in hand, and I 
think this is a premier example of that.
    Specifically as to what the State of Florida is doing, 
though, to get our own house in order in terms of growth 
management, let me mention three quick examples. A program that 
has been underway for some time in the Southeastern portion of 
Florida known as Eastward Ho, we talked about this earlier 
informally. The term we use in Florida is infill, but it is 
directly related to Brownfields, directing future growth into 
areas that are already served by infrastructure and have 
already been developed and in some cases are in desperate need 
of that additional economic investment.
    Another example, nowhere do you see the pressures of 
development more quickly and more obviously than you do on an 
island, and Florida has lots of islands, and best known amongst 
them are the Florida Keys. The Florida Keys have already and 
have in place a carrying capacity study, and I think the notion 
of thinking of it in terms of carrying capacities is an 
interesting way to address the problem. Captain Collins can 
expand on that later if you care.
    Finally, in closing, we do have a Department of Community 
Affairs that, in fact, is launching a statewide initiative this 
very week, aimed specifically at revisiting Florida's growth 
management laws and programs to see how they might be improved 
and how they might actually deliver better and more predictable 
results.
    So your question is a fair one, and I would ask you to 
believe it fully when I tell you that our goal is first and 
foremost to be a partner with the Federal Government in 
restoring the ecosystem. To the extent that there are secondary 
benefits, that's a good thing, not a bad thing.
    Senator Smith. Captain Collins?

   STATEMENT OF MIKE COLLINS, CHAIRMAN, SOUTH FLORIDA WATER 
                      MANAGEMENT DISTRICT

    Mr. Collins. Chairman Smith, members of the committee, I 
thank you for the opportunity to appear here today. I have got 
a written comment. You've heard a lot of it before. It mirrors 
a lot of what Secretary Struhs said. I'm not real good at 
reading written statements anyway, so I'm not going to use it.
    I am and have been for some 25 years now a fishing guide in 
the Florida Keys. The Guides Association sent me originally in 
1976 to ask some questions about changes they had seen in 
salinity in sea grasses in Florida Bay. They weren't real happy 
about the answers I came back with, nor was the park at that 
time.
    They elected me president in 1982 and in 1983 sent me to 
listen to Senator Graham deliver his Save Our Everglades 
address to this group.
    Senator I'd like to thank you now on behalf of myself and 
everybody else here in Florida for the continued leadership and 
support of this. You've got a lot of friends down in the guides 
in the Florida Keys.
    I spent a lot of time working for that organization as 
president, being a thorn in the side of most of the State and 
the Federal agencies involved, increasingly asking difficult 
questions and increasingly demanding management that was either 
not possible or not available.
    As an act of revenge, the State and the Federal Government 
have appointed me chairman of the Keys Critical Stake Concern 
Resource Planning and Management Committee, a member and 
chairman of the National Marine Sanctuary Citizen Advisory 
Council, which was a real war zone, a member of the Technical 
Advisory Committee and then the Committee for the Water Quality 
Protection Program for the Sanctuary, a member of the 
Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida from its 
first to its last meeting; and an ultimate act of revenge, I 
now serve as chairman of the Water Management District I've 
spent most of the last 20 years attacking.
    The most depressing part of that probably is, having 
finally gotten here and in a position to demand the changes 
that I wanted all along, I find that just changes in management 
of this system really don't work.
    I would submit to you that we, to the best of our ability, 
involving some of the best technicians, some of the best 
biologists, and some of the best scientists on the face of the 
earth, cannot make this system produce what we want it to 
produce. We balance our competing constitutional and legal 
requirements on a razor's edge.
    I am sued by close, personal friends on a fairly regular 
basis for things that I basically cannot do very much about. 
Having said that, we are your partner and we want to be your 
equal partner.
    We seek very zealously to support this plan. It is not a 
perfect plan. I worked on it from start to finish. I was 
involved in the conceptual plan very intimately. I was involved 
through the Governor's Commission in writing a lot of this. I 
don't believe there ever will be a perfect plan. What I support 
more than anything else is the process that produced it.
    I believe very strongly through the sanctuary process and 
through a lot of the education I have had beaten into my head 
over the last dozen years by the public at putting the 
shareholders at the table, educating them with the best science 
available, and demanding that they walk in each other's shoes 
for a while produces the best products. I believe that's what 
we have got in this plan.
    Senator Voinovich, you've asked more than once about the 
lack of specificity in this plan. It's not a mistake. We did it 
on purpose. If we have learned one thing from the history of 
this Southern Florida project, it's that there were very clear 
indications before we had finished the project that we had made 
some mistakes.
    I don't believe that's cost effective. I don't believe 
that's the way we should proceed in the future, and our review 
of performance measures, our production of an annual report 
card on how well we are doing with all this will be part of our 
commitment to making sure that we spend our money wisely as we 
go forward.
    We don't know everything we need to know to know of how 
this is going to impact, and I don't believe we have the 
ability to commit future generations to a funding plan for 
something that they're not going to be able to be involved in.
    I was a very strong advocate in this administration, almost 
the only one at the start in continuing some sort of Governor's 
Commission to provide that forum.
    I think the forum of involving the public on some sort of a 
regular basis, be it the task force, be it the Everglades 
Coalition, be it the Governor's Commission, is critical to 
survival. I believe a rolling process of performance reviews 
that are diligently and religiously scrutinized by both 
Congress and the legislature is also important to our continued 
success in this process; but I also believe very strongly, as 
someone who made a living in an ecosystem that was a recipient 
of our Everglades policies, that economically there is a whole 
bunch of South Florida that's not going to survive if we don't 
do this.
    We have no choice in a lot of ways here in this State. We 
have discussed this for many years as if this were some sort of 
an option. There is a whole bunch of what is wrapped up in this 
plan that we are going to have to do one way or another, 
whether we adopt it as a plan, in a partnership where we go 
forward together, hand in hand, or whether the State of 
Florida, to protect its interests, and the Federal Government, 
to protect its interests, spend their money some other way, 
this is a question of necessity, and I really believe we are 
going to have to do it anyway. I would suggest that we do it 
together, and I thank you for your time.
    Senator Smith. Thank you.
    Do either of my colleagues have a question?
    Senator Graham. Excellent statement.
    Senator Smith. I assume the captain is because you're a 
captain of a vessel; is that it?
    Mr. Collins. A fishing guide. A little boat, paddle it 
around Florida Bay, try to catch fish. We used to anyway. You 
should come down some time.
    Senator Smith. Well, thank you very much.
    Does anybody else have any final questions at this point?
    Senator Voinovich. I would like to congratulate Mike and 
all the people that have had a role in making this possible.
    I know, when I was the mayor of the City of Cleveland, 
people would comment about the change of the city, and I talk 
about the architecture, but I said, ``The really exciting thing 
is the civic architecture, how people came together, realized 
they had a symbiotic relationship with each other and put 
something together.'' I think all of you in this room have had 
something to do with it. You should be very proud of 
yourselves.
    Senator Smith. Excellent testimony. I thank all of you very 
much.
    Before you get up, I think sometimes we forget--we sit here 
for two and-a-half hours asking questions and listening to 
testimony--we have a stenographer here who has been taking all 
this down for two and-a-half hours without a break. So we are 
going to extend this break for a little bit to allow our 
stenographer to take a break.
    [Recess.]
    Senator Smith. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm going to have to 
call for order quickly because we have a tight time schedule. 
So either please be seated or depart, one or the other, but 
whatever, don't talk anymore.
    I ask those who are standing talking to, please, either be 
seated or step outside, please.
    The next panel consists of two representatives from Indian 
tribes with an interest in Everglades restoration. First is Mr. 
Jim Shore, a member of the Seminole Tribe of Florida and its 
general counsel.
    We also have a representative of a Miccosukee Tribe 
represented by its lawyer, Mr. Dexter Lehtinen. Mr. Lehtinen is 
appearing in lieu of the person listed on the witness list, 
which was Chairman Billy Cypress.
    So I'm delighted to see both of you gentlemen here; and, 
Mr. Shore, we will begin with you.

  STATEMENT OF JIM SHORE, ESQUIRE, GENERAL COUNSEL, SEMINOLE 
                        TRIBE OF FLORIDA

    Mr. Shore. Thank you, Chairman Smith, and Senators Graham 
and Voinovich. My name is Jim Shore. I'm representing Chairman 
James Billie and the Seminole Tribe of Florida today at this 
hearing, and I will set the record on brief statements here as 
we go along, but as----
    Senator Smith. Pull that microphone right up close, will 
you, Mr. Shore, please. Thanks.
    Mr. Shore. The Seminole Tribe of Florida occupies at least 
80,000-plus acres in South Florida, and we are in six different 
counties, and the Big Cypress reservation is our largest, 
around 48,000 plus and I guess that's in the environmental 
sensitive area, and we have at least 900 tribal members that 
live there, and just like any other group of people, the State, 
its agencies, the Federal, its agencies, we are as concerned 
about the pollution of that area and we have always said that 
we didn't cause the pollution, but we are here in support of 
this comprehensive plan, and this plan may not be perfect or 
may not solve the problem, but we think we should at least 
start somewhere; otherwise, there will be nothing left to 
preserve.
    So we are here in support of the plan and, along with that, 
we want to be an active player in any plan that is developed to 
preserve the South Florida area.
    In the past, various plans were implemented without our 
involvement or without our notice.
    The only time we would know about a plan of some sort is 
when we would be noticed of what we would have to do, but I 
think we are doing a better job of it now with the State and 
the Federal agencies, and maybe at this time I would like to 
thank the Secretary of Interior for providing the Seminole 
Tribe of Florida a seat on the South Florida Restoration Task 
Force and also Governor Bush keeping up what the late Governor 
Chiles started when he appointed the Seminole Tribe to be a 
member on their commissions, and I think the communication is 
better, especially with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineer.
    We have been having various regular meetings with the staff 
out of Jacksonville, and I think we have kind of worked out a 
plan or cooperated with each other to the point where we think 
the tribe's critical project--we have convinced them or at 
least we think we have convinced them enough to be able to fund 
that project for us. So I guess there will be an announcement 
later on coming regarding that matter.
    Even before any plan is in place, the Seminole Tribe is 
involved in our own internal restoration plan on the water 
quality and quantity, just like everyone else is concerned 
about, and even though we only have 40,000 acres or so in that 
area, what happens to us north will affect us and what we do is 
going to affect the people in South.
    So we are as concerned about the destruction of the 
Everglades as everyone else is at this meeting here today; and 
with that comprehensive plan, as I said before, it may not be 
the perfect plan or the best plan, but I think we should start 
somewhere and I think what we are doing on our reservation now 
is kind of like a mini-plan anyhow.
    So as long as we are the active players in the process and 
as long as any of these plans are not initiated or started at 
our expense, we are in support of the plan; and I have some 
technical folks with me today that will assist me in answering 
any question that you have, but with that, I will conclude my 
comments and I will thank the committee for allowing us to be 
at this hearing today. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Shore, for being 
here. We appreciate it.
    Mr. Lehtinen?

 STATEMENT OF DEXTER LEHTINEN, MEMBER, SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM 
     TASK FORCE AND GOVERNOR'S COMMISSION ON THE EVERGLADES

    Mr. Lehtinen. Thank you, Senators. My name is Dexter 
Lehtinen. I serve on the South Florida Ecosystem Task Force and 
the Governor's Commission on the Everglades. I previously 
served as a Florida State representative and Florida State 
Senator, and as the United States Attorney who filed the so-
called Everglades lawsuit that compelled a then-reluctant State 
Secretary protect to agree to the Stormwater Treatment Areas to 
deal with Everglades pollution.
    I'm proud to represent the Miccosukee Indians, who have 
filed the Federal challenge under the Clean Water Act that 
forced a then-reluctant Federal Administrator Carol Browner to 
apply the Clean Water Act standards to the Everglades Forever 
Act and do the proper review that the tribe had also just won 
its S-9 pollution lawsuit for failure to follow the Clean Water 
Act in Broward County when the Federal Government would not 
take action; and the group that has passed the federally 
approved water quality standards for the Everglades that are 
tougher than anyone else's, ten parts per billion phosphorus 
applied to its own lands, that it would like to see the State 
and Federal Government enforce as well.
    With that proven record, Chairman Cypress has asked me to 
make the point that the tribe believes that Everglades 
restoration is in serious trouble due to misplaced priorities, 
subordination of fundamental democratic values, such as 
property rights, including Indian tribe property rights, 
Federal intransigence and really bureaucratic arrogance and 
incompetence.
    The issue here is not the restoration goal. Senator Graham, 
among others, helped to establish that goal properly. It's just 
that that goal for some is just a politically correct goal. 
They're not really committed to it.
    The problems we see are system problems, lack of a system-
wide Everglades-wide commitment that's a parochial approach. 
Many Federal agencies, especially Interior, seek only to 
protect their piece of the Everglades ecosystem, whether its 
geographic, such as Everglades National Park, which is less 
than half of fresh water Everglades we need to protect, or 
whether it's subject matter such as a single species like the 
Cape Sable seaside sparrow action, which the Corps has taken in 
the last month by signing the death warrant of more than 
500,000 acres of State Everglades and tribal Everglades as we 
sit here and speak today.
    They're willing to sacrifice and discriminate against State 
Everglades, tribal Everglades, in favor of their smaller 
Federal Everglades. The water conservation areas, as I said, 
are dying due to Federal actions, not taken in the 1800's or 
the 1940's, taken last year and this year with the knowledge 
that it will cause destruction of tribal and State Everglades.
    There is also process problems, a lack of commitment to the 
decisionmaking process, a lack of a partnership. The code word 
Secretary Struhs used was for a new and true partnership. I 
know he has to word it that way. That means Governor Bush 
doesn't think he had a partnership before and he didn't think 
he had a true partnership. I can say that but I know Secretary 
Struhs is constrained, but you have to read those code words, 
kind of like the way General Westmoreland described the Vietnam 
War.
    Many agencies refused to follow the National Environmental 
Policy Act process. They give lip service to the partnership 
concept, but we have execution problems. Frankly, the track 
record in executing specifically directed and congressionally 
mandated projects since the mid-1980's is abysmal.
    Modified water delivery to C-111 projects are examples, 
passed in 1989, fully NEPA approved in 1992 and approved by 
Congress with a contract to build it signed in 1994. Not a 
spade has been turned to date. Modified water delivery money, 
more than ten million a year, has been appropriated. Where did 
it go? You need to ask where modified water delivery money is 
and find out if it's in the Denver Service Center where you 
guys cut it because of million-dollar toilets.
    Modified water delivery is also an example of the breaches 
of rule of law. The 1989 act said specifically that certain 
people would be provided flood protection.
    Dante Fascell, when he passed that act, were he still in 
Congress today, would not let that promise be broken. What we 
have today is that some who are willing to break that promise 
while saying to us, ``Trust the future need for process,'' 
Secretary Westphal and Secretary Davis said, ``Well, we have to 
go through these processes but with a direct congressional 
mandate.'' They have chosen to ignore that obligation.
    I quote what a famous Supreme Court justice said, that is, 
``That great nations, like great men, should keep their word.''
    The modified water delivery problem indicates what Senator 
Voinovich, I think, would say is a concern about lack of 
detail, a concern about unbridled agency discretion. The agency 
had no discretion and has still refused to do the project.
    So what's going to happen if you give agencies the 
discretion to pick a project? It's going to be controlled by 
whatever agency authority at that particular day sees it a 
particular way.
    Let me summarize, I think it's clear that our fourth point 
would be that Everglades restoration programs, especially the 
Federal side, are showing an alarming disregard for fundamental 
private property rights and for the fundamental rule of law.
    Flood protection and private rights, when they are 
demeaned, threaten the rights of every South Floridian and 
every American, Native American and non-native alike. We 
believe that that misalignment of values will not prevail, but 
what will happen if the values are misaligned like this 
continue to be, what will happen is the public will turn 
against the restoration that we all want to see take place.
    Couple of brief misconceptions. One is that the Everglades 
is Everglades National Park. The Corps of Engineers just did it 
today. They said the Everglades is a park. More than half the 
remaining river of grass is not a Federal park. The Everglades 
is not a Federal park.
    In 1988, just before I left the legislature, we struggled 
and successfully required that the entire Everglades be saved, 
and the Federal Government has been fighting us ever since. 
They want their Everglades saved, nobody else's Everglades.
    I will skip over certain other points, but let me make this 
caution, if I could, out of due respect. Much as George Romney 
went to Vietnam and got nice briefings for the Federal agencies 
there, I have received many briefings from Federal agencies and 
they have tremendous gaps and holes in them.
    In Saigon, 1968, Westmoreland said, ``No problem. Things 
are going fine.''
    That's where we are in the Everglades today. No problem. 
Things are going fine. You couldn't go to what we as soldiers 
in Vietnam called Indian country. You couldn't go out to the 
hamlets because you'd find out when you were at the hamlet that 
they didn't want you to stay overnight because it wasn't a 
secured, strategic hamlet. That was called Indian country in 
Vietnam.
    Well, here you can't go to Indian country today because 
Indian country today, more than 500,000 acres is being drowned. 
It is a heart-breaking circumstance.
    Two weeks ago, they closed gates. They're refusing to let 
natural water flow go south from the Central Everglades to the 
South and we're drowning the Central Everglades.
    In two or 3 years, this will no longer be an issue because 
it will be dead, and it won't be from the 1940's.
    Let me close with what the Governor's Commission was told 
several weeks ago by the Florida Fish and Natural Resources. It 
was renamed, Senator Graham, and I keep forgetting. Florida 
Game and Freshwater Fish Commission now renamed.
    That representative said that water conservation Area 3-A 
has degraded more in the last 5 years than in the entire 40 
years before that. That is 500 some square miles of Everglades. 
That is during the Federal restoration effort and as a direct 
product of the Federal restoration parochial attitudes.
    The heartbreaking circumstance in 3-A, which is tribal 
land, not only indicates discrimination against the tribe, but 
it indicates the chaos that Everglades restoration is in; and I 
know that any public official who cuts through the chaos, is 
willing to say, ``We are not winning the Vietnam War, we're not 
winning necessarily the Everglades war,'' who cuts through it 
and says, ``The emperor has no clothes,'' will suffer 
tremendous initial criticism, but it's not a politically 
correct thing.
    That public official will be the one who saves the 
Everglades and will be the public official for whom future 
generations, native Americans and non-native alike will be 
grateful.
    I appreciate your time, and I didn't put in the answer, 
Senator Graham, on the assurances question, but we are prepared 
to make a brief comment on that, if you like. I mean, you 
didn't ask everybody, so I won't be insulted if you don't ask 
us, but we are prepared to.
    Thank you very much.
    Senator Smith. Thank you. Let me start with one question 
for Mr. Shore. Mr. Shore, do you feel that all of the partners 
in this restoration project have been responsive to your 
concerns, yours being the Seminole tribe? Have they been 
responsive to your concerns as this process is played out?
    Mr. Shore. I think, like I said before, we were ignored in 
this type of process before, and now we are a player in this 
process. So I think that the players that are involved in it 
are listening to us and hearing our concerns, and I think what 
we can say is that there is an open communication now, which 
didn't exist before. So I believe maybe, in answer to your 
question, they are responsive, but I think all we ever wanted 
was some open communication, so we can have some kind of 
dialog. So I think we are at that point with the Seminoles.
    Senator Smith. Senator Graham, do you have a question?
    Senator Graham. I'd like to ask the question of both 
witnesses relative to the assurance language. What do you think 
should be included in an authorization bill at the State or 
Federal level as relates to the assurance to the different 
stakeholders in the Everglades on the quality, quantity, 
hydroperiod and location of water?
    Mr. Lehtinen. OK. Thank you. Dexter Lehtinen with the 
Miccosukee Tribe.
    Well, we think assurance language is appropriate. We think 
it has to include flood protection and water supply assurances 
language, No. 1. We think the restudy shows that there is 
enough water to do it all and that a failure to be willing to 
balance subordination off the top of property rights means that 
you don't put flood protection and water supply into the agenda 
sufficiently and then it's not protected.
    Second, you have got to treat all of the natural Everglades 
equally. The most offensive thing about the Chairman Regula 
language, with all due respect to the chairman, was that it 
sought assurances for federally owned land.
    Actually, it even eliminated tribal land from which the 
Federal Government has a trust doctrine and for which the 
secretary holds bare legal title, tribal trust land; but the 
assurances language he proposed was to protect national parks.
    If I ever saw the Everglades as a national park and we 
don't care what happens north of Tamiami Trail, that's it.
    In 1994, 1995, Federal deliberate water quality practices 
flooded the water conservation area. I don't use the chart 
anymore because it offends people in the pictures; but they 
killed 90 percent of the white-tailed deer herd in water 
conservation 3-A. In 500 square miles of the Everglades, the 
entire white-tailed deer herd was wiped out. You saw them 
floating in the water.
    You don't see them floating in the water today with this 
terrible flooding because it killed them all in 1995.
    So the Regula language that sought assurances for the park 
but allowed the rest of Everglades to be shortchanged was, we 
think, inappropriate.
    I also disagree with Administrator Browner when she said 
that, until you assure the natural environment, you can't 
assure the rest.
    I think you can assure all of them. I think there's enough 
water to assure all of them and that this implicit implication 
that some poor resident who is trying to own a home and have 
what the American dream, a house and a backyard, a dog, and a 
cat, is somehow anti-American because that person wants flood 
protection, that's just wrong.
    That's what some people in this process make of the 
residents of Dade County who want decent flood protection and 
what I believe, factually speaking, can easily be provided if 
you do the right seepage barriers and so forth.
    What's happened is the Chairman Regula approach, and he may 
in the end by his approach--and no approach is perfect to begin 
with. He may in the end accomplish the goal and we'll thank him 
for it, but by not requiring assurances for all users and for 
all parts of the environment, Chairman Regula pitted the 
Everglades versus the homeowners of Dade County and, if they 
are pitted together, the homeowners of Dade County will win.
    There is no doubt in my mind that two million people are 
not going to accept being flooded out the way they were in 
Hurricane Irene because they want to save the Everglades 
without providing flood protection, which is why we flooded 
badly in Hurricane Irene.
    I want to save the Everglades. We just fill the appropriate 
barriers. Give all the assurances that we think should be 
there, and then you don't pit the residents against the 
Everglades. It is a mistake for certain environmental groups to 
believe they can use Everglades restoration as a growth tool. 
Whether I support growth tool or not, the mistake is that it 
will pit the Everglades against existing residents.
    In Miami Lakes, Senator Graham, which is well below needs 
flood protection, appropriate flood protection.
    In the areas where Dan Marino, the quarterback for Miami 
Dolphins, lives need flood protection.
    Whether they should have built there or not is a different 
issue, but having built there, the flood protection that is 
their right should not be diminished, and we can protect that 
Everglades as we do in Weston, I think, come right to the 
boundary--you've got a home and then you've got the Everglades, 
where Dan Marino lives--and do it well.
    It takes a kind of sometimes politically incorrect 
statement up front that, ``Look, you've got to protect property 
rights. You've got to provide flood protection. You have got to 
protect water use, as well as save the Everglades.'' Then I 
think we will save them all.
    Mr. Shore. I think on the assurance question, when a new 
project of this kind, anytime it's been funded by a Federal 
project, the Seminole Tribe, knowing what we're getting into, 
will be willing to comply with the requirement of the Federal 
Government; but our concern would be that we don't want to have 
the government set unattainable standards and not fund it to 
the level that it can be achieved and will be, I think, will be 
defeating the whole purpose.
    So as far as it's funded adequately, the standards are 
according to whatever the technology is of today, and the 
Seminole Tribe would not have any problems in following the 
Federal guideline.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Shore.
    Senator Voinovich?
    We have no further questions of the panel, so I think with 
that we can say thank you for your testimony and look forward 
to working with you in the future as we move forward on this 
process.
    Mr. Lehtinen. Staff had properly advised me that I probably 
should say that I, like others, submitted a written record and 
submitted the report to the Ecosystem Restoration Task Force 
that I serve on and submitted another statement about the 
Central Everglades drowning in her own tears.
    Senator Smith. Yes, all statements presented to the 
committee from each witness will be put in the record.
    Mr. Lehtinen. Thank you.
    [Recess.]
    Senator Smith. If we can have order in the room, we will 
begin here.
    The final panel includes several important local 
perspectives on the plan. The Honorable Nora Williams is the 
county commissioner of Monroe County and Florida Keys, which 
includes Florida Bay, the southern edge of this ecosystem.
    Next is, I'll use the term, Malcolm ``Bubba'' Wade. That's 
a great name too. Mr. Wade is senior vice president of U.S. 
Sugar Corporation. The sugar industry has supported restoration 
but has raised some concerns about how the plan is being 
implemented.
    Finally, the Honorable Nathaniel Reed. Mr. Reed served 
Presidents Nixon and Ford as the Assistant Secretary of the 
Interior. In the years since then, he's served several Florida 
Governors on Everglades issues, as well as holding important 
positions with leading environmental and conservation groups.
    Lady and gentlemen, welcome. I'm not sure of the protocol, 
but I'll start with you, Mr. Reed, and go that way. How's that?
    Mr. Reed. Mr. Chairman, I'm going to make every effort to 
be at 5 minutes because you all have put in a long day. OK?
    Senator Smith. Deal.

STATEMENT OF HON. NATHANIEL REED, FLORIDA ENVIRONMENTALIST AND 
           FORMER ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR

    Mr. Reed. Your committee's responsibility for the 
management of the public lands of America and the 
intrafrastructure of our great land can only be described as 
awesome. I want to start my brief remarks to pay tribute to the 
vision and commitment to the dream of a restored Everglades 
system to Senator Bob Graham of Florida.
    Senator Graham initiated the process as Governor of Florida 
during his second term of office some 17 years ago. His efforts 
began with what could be the largest environmental restoration 
process ever undertaken in the world.
    We, the advocates of the Everglades restoration project, 
dream that we will witness congressional authorization of the 
Everglades Restoration Act in the final session of the 106th 
Congress.
    We hope and pray that the year 2000 will be the year of the 
Everglades.
    Senator Graham has enjoyed the constant support of Senator 
Connie Mack and the members of the Florida House of 
Representatives delegation. Especially important to the cause 
of Everglades restoration are the Members of Congress from 
South Florida and the distinguished chairman of the House 
Appropriations Committee, the Honorable Bill Young. His letter 
is included in today's testimony record.
    I am confident that the Florida congressional delegation 
will make a unified bipartisan commitment to Everglades 
restoration.
    We are also thankful that our energetic Governor, Governor 
Jeb Bush, has committed his administration to the cause of 
Everglades restoration.
    The Florida legislature will be debating the methods of 
assuring the Congress of a permanent method of funding the 
State's share of this expensive but vital project. I am 
confident the Florida legislature understands the priority of 
the restoration effort, the need for continuing bipartisan, and 
a commitment to become an active partner with the Congress as 
the project unfolds.
    Mr. Chairman, you may know I enjoyed a 20-year long 
friendship with the illustrious Senator John Chafee. We have 
worked together on many environmental issues. We were 
simultaneously members of the board of Deerfield Academy and 
served in the Nixon administration. Our summer homes in Maine 
were only minutes apart.
    I know each of you on the committee miss John Chafee as 
much as I do. The late chairman supported Everglades 
restoration's efforts and it's my sincere hope that the 
Senator's keen interest will be captured by each of you.
    I ask myself, what can I add to the vast amount of 
testimony that has been presented to you today and that is 
included in my written testimony? How can I influence your 
views on whether the U.S. Congress should initiate the most 
difficult, daunting, expensive restoration effort ever 
undertaken by any country at any time in our history? Why? 
Because the Everglades is not only the lifeblood of South 
Florida, it is a unique treasure for all Americans. Everglades 
National Park is the most threatened park in the great system 
that is one of America's enduring legacies.
    The water conservation areas, including the Loxahatchee, 
National Wildlife Refuge, not only support unique forms of life 
but are the recharge areas for Florida's water lifeline. The 
whole system was once a magical one. It is down in deep 
distress.
    The vast complicated ecological system has been seriously 
damaged by every known environmental insult. Every effort to 
manage this ecological system has only damaged it.
     I once thought that the damage was terminal, but the 
Everglades are resilient. I am now convinced that sound 
decisions can produce an Everglades system that at minimum 
resembles the original model.
    We must accept the fact that we cannot recreate the 
Everglades that was. We must instead accelerate the 
extraordinary effort to revitalize what we have left. Then we 
will be well underway to solving the water problems that have 
plagued South Florida for more than 100 years. We must face 
certain facts. Uncertainties are inherent in the largest and 
most complex restoration project undertaken on this earth.
    The Everglades in their extraordinary vastness and 
ecological complexity will never be wholly understood. The 
comprehensive plan under your consideration provides a 
framework for that understanding based on a solid framework of 
existing science; however, we'd be folly to imagine that we 
have all the answers. To proceed undaunted with the present 
prescription for restoration over the next several decades 
without learning from ecological responses and technological 
advancements along the way would doom us to failure. That's why 
adaptive assessment as laid out in the comprehensive plan is 
critical to its success. It will require a fundamentally 
different way of doing business for the Corps of Engineers. The 
Corps must become flexible in its approaches to problems. It 
must learn to trust biologists and ecologists. It must become a 
good listener, as well as a brilliant engineer.
    Stuart Applebaum headed the Corps' restudy team. He proved 
that the Corps could listen. Whether his successors will 
continue his suburb effort remains to be seen.
    I have spent so much of my life working on solving a full 
range of environmental problems. I spent a fair amount of that 
time on the continuing problems within the Everglades. I am 
admittedly an Everglades ``nut.''
    I admit that I am fascinated with the ecology, the 
politics, and the prospects for a revised system.
    The effort to restore a working productive Everglades 
ecosystem is the most challenging assignment that Congress and 
the involved Federal and State agencies have ever attempted.
    We face many years of expensive replumbing. We face 
potential conflict, conflict between the perceived needs of 
agriculture that demand unlimited irrigation water from Lake 
Okeechobee and unlimited drainage from the Everglades 
agricultural area. We face potential conflict from county, city 
and private water utilities that want to continue to tap the 
Everglades' water supply, rather than plan for meeting future 
water needs from other sources.
    We face opposition potentially from the residents of the 16 
South Florida counties that comprise the tax base of the South 
Florida Water Management District should they be forced to bear 
an unfair tax burden. The effort to restore the Everglades must 
be a joint effort of the taxpayers of South Florida, the 
citizens of Florida and the American people.
    The Governor and the legislature must provide the matching 
funds, not only for a long, continuous period, but for a 
dramatically increased cost of annual operations of the 
enhanced system.
    Despite the potential for conflicting views, even 
opposition, this is the moment, this is the time, this could 
and should be the year of the Everglades when we initiate this 
great restoration effort.
    What can I add to your long day, a long day when you've 
displayed great patience and an abiding interest in solving 
Florida's greatest environmental problem?
    I close simply by reciting Marjory Stoneman Douglas' 
opening paragraph in the River of Grass: ``There are no other 
Everglades in the world. They are, they always have been one of 
the unique regions of the earth, remote, never wholly known. 
Nothing anywhere else is like them. Their vast glittering 
openness, wider than the enormous visible round of the horizon, 
the racing free saltness and the sweetness of their massive 
winds, under the dazzling blue heights of space. They are 
unique in the simplicity, the diversity, the related harmony of 
the forms of life they enclose. The miracle of light pours over 
the green and brown expanse of saw grass and water, shining and 
slowly moving below, the grass and water that is the meaning 
and the central fact of the Everglades of Florida. It is a 
river of grass.''
    Senator Voinovich, let me conclude by saluting you for the 
hard-nosed questions you asked all of our witnesses today, 
especially the emphasis you gave to funding the investment in 
America. Your distinguished career as mayor and as Governor in 
many ways is a duplicate of our distinguished Senator Graham. 
You know what investment in cities, counties, States can be and 
must be if this country is to continue to prosper.
    The vast majority of the projects your committee authorizes 
and the Appropriation Committee funds are well spent improving 
the quality of life and environment. Within reason, the 
Congress should seriously consider a higher level of 
appropriations for carefully selected projects, the investment 
in America.
    Mr. Chairman, again, our sincere thanks for coming to South 
Florida and holding this field hearing. Your staff has done an 
admirable job and it is an honor to appear before you.
    Senator Smith. Well, thank you very much, Mr. Reed. It's an 
honor to have you here.
    Mr. Reed. Yes, sir. I, again, have a much longer written 
statement and I have letters from the President of the Florida 
Senate, the Honorable Tony Jennings, from the chairman of the 
Appropriations Committee, the Honorable William Young, and from 
a personal friend of yours who served with you on the space 
committee, the Honorable William Nelson, who called me while I 
was crossing Tamiami Trail at a reckless rate of speed and 
wanted to make sure that I send you warmest best wishes from 
him.
    Senator Smith. Brings back a lot of memories. Bill Nelson 
was very kind to me when he was the chairman of the Space 
Subcommittee when I was a new Member of Congress, and then he 
did something crazy and went up on that space shuttle; but he 
was very good to me as a chairman when I was a new member and I 
remember him very well and fondly.
    Mr. Wade?

   STATEMENT OF MALCOLM S. ``BUBBA'' WADE, JR., SENIOR VICE 
               PRESIDENT, U.S. SUGAR CORPORATION

    Mr. Wade. Mr. Chairman, Senators, I'm Malcolm ``Bubba'' 
Wade, a senior vice president of United States Sugar 
Corporation. I am appearing here today as a representative of 
the South Florida agricultural sector. In developing the views 
presented, I have attempted to represent a consensus of the 
Florida agricultural community.
    I recently contacted representatives from the Okeechobee 
dairy area, the Florida Citrus Mutual Group, the Caloosahatchee 
Basin farmers, the South Dade farming area, the Florida 
Department of Agricultural, the chairman of the South Florida 
Water Management District's Agricultural Advisory Committee, 
the Gulf Citrus Group and other sugar industry interests.
    While this is not all of South Florida agriculture, it is a 
significant representation of it. I believe that most of the 
South Florida agriculture would agree with the views I will 
present to you here today.
    I must assure you that everyone in the ag. groups that I 
have talked to throughout South Florida generally support the 
restudy effort and believe it is needed to assure a sustainable 
South Florida, both economically and ecologically; however, we 
in agriculture recognize the enormous task ahead of all of us 
to make sure the project is carried out correctly, efficiently 
and cost effectively.
    Although agriculture is generally supportive of the 
restudy, we have concerns. I would like to focus on those 
concerns at this time and I will put these in the form of 
recommendations.
    First, Congress should affirm the State comprehensive 
plan's multi-project purposes contained in WRDA 1996 and, 
quote, The comprehensive plan should provide for the protection 
of water quality and the reduction of loss of fresh water from 
the Everglades. The comprehensive plan shall include such 
features as are necessary to provide for the related needs of 
the region, including flood control, the enhancement of water 
supplies and other objectives of the project.
    The balancing of this restudy project purposes is very 
important to agricultural stakeholders in South Florida.
    Next, Congress should approve the comprehensive plan 
presented in the Jacksonville district feasibility study as a 
framework to guide future project planning and design and it 
should not be authorized in the traditional WRDA manner. This 
is not a final decisionmaking document in the traditional sense 
of WRDA.
    The plan does not need the traditional authorization 
requirements of other Army Corps of Engineer projects. The plan 
doesn't include feasibility level engineering, real estate 
evaluations, economic and environmental investigations and 
analysis.
    Individual restudy project components should be authorized 
only after the standard feasibility level requirements have 
been satisfied and reports have been submitted to Congress.
    Next, at present there is no plan or agreement for the cost 
sharing of the project operation and maintenance cost. This is 
important as landowners and stakeholders in South Florida were 
concerned that, once an $8 billion project is done, everybody 
rides off into the sunset but the taxpayers in South Florida 
are going to be left with a $160 million operation and 
maintenance cost. The total ad valorem cost of the South 
Florida Water Management District are approximately 190 
million, so you basically would be doubling landowners' cost in 
South Florida.
    Next, Congress should provide assurance to water users that 
their existing water supplies, and this is my answer to Senator 
Graham's questions. Congress provide assurance to water users 
that their existing water supplies will not be taken away from 
them and given to others in the system before project 
components are built and proven to be able to provide 
replacement supplies.
    For water users in South Florida, this is one of the most 
important recommendations I'm probably going to make to you 
here today.
    Next, many of the technologies incorporated in the restudy 
plan are unproven in South Florida. They consist primarily of 
aquifer for storage and recovery wells, above-ground storage 
reservoirs and seepage barriers.
    Some people question why reservoirs are unproven 
technologies. A large above-ground reservoir in South Florida 
is less than a thousand acres, typically farm retention areas; 
and they have not proven they can efficiently hold water. In 
some cases, to implement the restudy, a single reservoir is 
about 60 square miles of shallow reservoirs in relatively 
porous soils.
    Congress should authorize the pilot projects to study these 
technologies so we can develop the best solutions to these 
problems before we spend millions on engineering, design and 
construction.
    Next, as previously mentioned, project components should be 
authorized where traditional feasibility level studies required 
by WRDA have been completed and submitted to Congress. This 
review function should be retained by Congress and not 
delegated to the administration. We believe there is far too 
much uncertainty to allow shortcuts.
    In addition, the projects will receive much greater 
scrutiny from the other States if we ask for shortcuts that 
their projects are not allowed.
    Next, consistent with WRDA 1996 Section 528, incremental 
justification of projects authorized for consideration should 
be required. This is a standard requirement for all projects 
across the Nation for Congress to understand the incremental 
contribution of each investment to the ecological and 
economical purposes served by the plan before authorizing its 
implementation.
    Next, a strategic plan, and this was mentioned by the 
representative from the Department of Interior, does not 
currently exist and it should exist that identifies all 
measures and their associated life-cycle costs necessary to 
achieve restoration and other project purposes, including water 
quality and exotic species management.
    Next, land purchases should be from willing sellers and 
land already in public ownership where practical; otherwise, 
the State condemnation process should be followed. If land is 
condemned, all reasonable costs should be reimbursed to the 
landowner, which does not happen in the Federal process. This 
is very important, that the State condemnation process should 
be used with landowners in South Florida.
    Next, and Secretary Browner mentioned this one, water 
quality requirements involved in each project component should 
be agreed to by both the Federal and State agencies before a 
project element is authorized. Water quality is currently not 
being addressed and, if Congress does not require this, we 
could spend billions of additional dollars to retrofit the 
projects to incorporate water quality measures later.
    Finally, funding issues must be addressed. The funding for 
each project element should be reasonably assured from both the 
State and Federal Government before each project element is 
authorized. If authorization and funding are not closely tied, 
we run the risk of condemning land and starting construction 
only to have unfinished projects for years. A detailed budget 
should be submitted each year so that Congress and the Florida 
Legislature have assurances that such problems do not occur.
    Before I close, I would like to say that in general, there 
is a high degree of mistrust for the Federal agencies by the 
farmers and others in South Florida.
    A good example is the Chief's Report that was sent to 
Congress with the plan on July 1, 1999. After years of public 
review and input, the 4,000-page comprehensive plan finally was 
a consensus document.
    The Chief's Report was issued with commitments that were 
totally inconsistent with the comprehensive plan. The most 
egregious was giving priority to the natural systems for water 
supply over all other users. This was a highly contested issue 
during the 6 years of deliberations and the final comprehensive 
plan stressed balance amongst all users.
    A high degree of mistrust is created when years of hard 
work can be thrown out by the stroke of a pen in the Chief's 
Report, and there's numerous other examples that stakeholders 
could tell you about.
    I have stated many concerns we have that I hope you will 
take into account in your deliberations. We are not suggesting 
that the restudy plan is a bad plan. It is a sound framework to 
guide individual project element planning to address all of 
South Florida's water users.
    It is by no means a detailed plan that Congress can 
authorize and say that all justifications have been made and 
just go build it. The risks of failure and setback are too 
great to not subject these construction projects to the same 
detailed preauthorization planning as required of other civil 
works projects.
    Colonel Miller, his Jacksonville team and the South Florida 
Water Management District team should be commended for their 
hard work to get us where we are. They are quite capable of 
completing timely project feasibility studies for Congress' 
consideration before any construction is authorized, but there 
is a lot of work to be done.
    In closing, there are many, many concerns all stakeholders 
have, but the restudy project is critical to all of us, 
including agriculture, for a sustainable South Florida. 
Agriculture is entirely supportive of these efforts.
    The answer to our concerns is that we move forward as fast 
as possible but we do it in a methodical, balanced and well 
thought out approach. The approach must satisfy traditional 
Corps' authorization requirements that include the proper 
feasibility level engineering, real estate evaluations, 
economic and environmental investigations and analysis. This is 
crucial to obtaining and maintaining the buy-in cooperation and 
support from all stakeholders, including the other States.
    Thank you for the opportunity to make these comments and 
I'd be glad to answer questions.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Wade.
    I should have said in regard to you, Mr. Reed, that your 
comments will be entered as part of the record and the 
statements will also be part of it.
    Mr. Reed. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Ms. Williams?

  STATEMENT OF HON NORA WILLIAMS, COUNTY COMMISSIONER, MONROE 
                        COUNTY, FLORIDA

    Ms. Williams. ``Bubba,'' hand it over.
    Mr. Chairman, Senator Voinovich and Senator Graham, it is a 
pleasure, pleasure, pleasure to appear before you today and a 
true honor to testify on this critical issue to our future.
    As a member of the board of Monroe County Commissioners, I 
serve as the county's land use liaison to the State of Florida, 
represent the commissioners on the National Marine Sanctuary's 
Water Quality Steering Committee, and I also serve on the 
Governor's Commission for the Everglades.
    My county, Monroe, is better known as the fabulous Florida 
Keys, but it also includes vast tracts of both mainland and 
Florida Bay Everglades and is the southernmost component of the 
Everglades ecosystem.
    My testimony before you today will be confined to five 
critical points. One, the restoration of the Everglades is 
absolutely critical to the future of South Florida and the 
restudy is our last best chance to restore the Everglades.
    This is about more than our water supply. There simply is 
no South Florida as we know it without the Everglades. We talk 
a lot about the mainland Everglades today and the river of 
grass and I will remind you that fully one-third of Everglades 
National Park is Florida Bay. The shallow body of water between 
the mainland and the Florida Keys is the nursery ground of the 
marine creatures that make their homes on the reef, thus 
serving as the foundation of both our ecosystem and our 
economy.
    Second, we must start right away with authorization. 
Fragile ecosystems reach a point where no amount of action or 
money can ever restore what has been lost; and sometimes when 
I'm walking on the edge of those grassy wetlands, I'm deeply 
frightened of how close we are to irretrievable loss.
    Three, the restudy is an evolving process. I appreciated 
how many people not only brought that to your attention today 
but how quick you were to recognize what a valuable element 
that is. The ability of this process to adapt to what is 
learned and to change is crucial to making sure we don't commit 
the kinds of mistakes we have committed in the past.
    I would be the last to say this is a document without 
flaws, but I do believe it's about as close to consensus as we 
can hope to get.
    Four, and frankly this is as much a cautionary note to 
local governments like my own and the State as it is to you. I 
firmly believe there need to be assurances in the restudy to 
make sure that it will not be the basis for future degradation 
of the Everglades' ecosystem.
    Much of the expense of the Everglades restudy is directly 
traceable to undoing the earlier work of the Army Corps of 
Engineers, which we did to benefit a single species, largely 
us. That's a problem, and we need to make sure that the money 
we spend now is not used to allow us to degrade it some more 
and end up at the same spot.
    Let's not make it better so that we can make it worse again 
without additional consequences. Let's enter this restudy 
pledge not to commit the mistakes of the past and determine 
that we will not balance every step forward with a step back.
    Five, funding water quality improvements in the Florida 
Keys is crucial to the restudy's success. Increasingly, the 
Army Corps of Engineers has come to see that their job, if 
responsibly undertaken, isn't just about the movement of water. 
It's about the quality of the water that is moved, and, yes, I 
think the language should be in there very clearly that water 
quality is an essential part of the program.
    That's why I'm deeply distressed that--if I had to call it 
a special interest, I will, because I think it's special in 
every sense of the word--a national treasure in and of itself, 
the Florida Keys has been excluded in the funding proposals 
within the restudy. You'll find remarkably little mention of 
the Keys, the enormous wastewater and stormwater challenges we 
face and no money allocated to help us with those problems.
    Senator Voinovich, I am counting on you asking me the 
question you asked earlier: Is this simply an excuse to avoid 
dealing with growth management problems? I look forward to it.
    The Florida Keys are essentially the southernmost third of 
the Everglades. What happens in South Florida, to the north of 
us, ends up in our bay, in our backyards, flowing through to 
the precious reef tract that's not only the world's number one 
diving destination, but the boundary of the Everglades 
ecosystem.
    With documented water quality concerns that made headlines 
in national press across the Nation last year, and let me point 
out that the illustrious Nat Reed graciously referred to us as 
the polluted Florida Keys today at lunch, I would like to know 
how we have emerged completely unfunded from the restudy.
    Our wastewater system upgrade costs are higher than 
anywhere else because we are going through solid rock and we 
are treating to higher standards than anyone else; and yet with 
our cost of living among the highest in Florida, our citizens 
have one of the lower incomes.
    We brought these issues formally before the Army Corps 
during their public hearings to no avail.
    A quick side note. I know I'm running out of time. We have 
a restudy that actually recognizes in its language the water 
quality crisis in the Florida Keys, that acknowledges that 
solutions for this crisis are, and I am quoting from the 
restudy here, beyond the means of many, and yet offers no help 
for us in its $8 billion budget; and I have wondered, can it 
simply be about our lack of clout? We are 85,000 residents and 
75 on the mainland, over about 150 miles of island. Have we so 
little voice in the process?
    I just don't know. It is my belief and my hope today that 
it's simply an oversight that you're going to fix.
    I will tell you one thing I absolutely do know. Water 
quality surrounding the Florida Keys is deeply threatened and 
we cannot bear the burden alone. I am here before you today to 
ask, whether within the restudy or through a separate 
appropriation, that you do not forget us. The Florida Keys are 
a national treasure, a part of the Everglades ecosystem and we, 
too, are in danger of irretrievable loss and unbearable 
burdens.
    Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Wonderful. Thank you very much, Ms. 
Williams.
    Well, Senator Voinovich, since you have been told which 
question to ask.
    Senator Voinovich. I think Nora wants to tell me about her 
capacity problem. Why don't you answer the question, Ms. 
Williams.
    Ms. Williams. Thank you. There are two elements. The bad 
news is there is a long history of growth management we should 
be nothing but ashamed of in Monroe County, and frankly the 
State bears some responsibility for as well. Bad news is, so do 
you guys. The systems that are the heart and soul of a lot of 
the problems that we have in the Florida Keys, particularly on 
the wastewater issue, were systems approved and OKed by the 
Federal Government, as well as the State.
    There is a lot of shared responsibility here; and the folks 
in the Keys, we finally made that turn, the acceptance that the 
problem is real, that we have responsibility, and we are 
willing to bear, frankly, more than what is our share of the 
cost, if we define share by what it means to most other areas 
to deal with these issues.
    It is a national treasure. It is a federally involved 
treasure in almost every sense of the word. You were, if you 
will pardon me for speaking frankly, part of the creation of 
the problem. You have to help be part of our solution or it 
simply won't happen, and we will be looking at something like 
this at some point down the line.
    It's crucial to know that we have turned the corner also on 
growth management.
    Senator when we talk about assurances in the language, that 
we don't use this as an excuse to continue being stupid, to go 
backward with every step we take forward, we would welcome 
those assurances in the language.
    We are releasing now in unincorporated Monroe less than 200 
permits a year. We are critically aware of the problems we face 
and, frankly, deeply worried, the theory of critical State 
concern may be lifted and that might further endanger managed 
and wise growth.
    We recognize that we are finite, that we are islands. We 
will not use this as an excuse to end up in a worse place than 
we are now, I promise you.
    Senator Smith. Senator Graham.
    Senator Graham. I want to say I have been dealing with 
Monroe County officials for a long, long time and that was a 
remarkable statement. You, gentlemen, who I hope will have 
opportunities to have your experience in the Florida Keys, with 
that experience, will appreciate the significance of what you 
just heard.
    I'd like to ask both Mr. Reed and Mr. Wade, you seem to 
disagree on the issue of whether we should use a more 
traditional Corps approach, which means having a fairly high 
level of detail of what the project is going to be before it is 
authorized for actual implementation, as opposed to Mr. Reed's 
support for the critical projects adaptive management concept, 
which is included in the restudy.
    In order to try to get some better assessment of how well a 
new approach would operate, since 1996 Congress has sanctioned 
critical projects, which means that the Corps, under certain 
guidelines, can proceed with a project without having it 
subjected to the traditional authorization tract.
    In fact, I understand, if we don't conclude fairly soon, we 
are going to miss a ceremony where there will be a document 
signed authorizing another set of critical projects to be 
implemented.
    The question is: Could you give me each of your assessment 
of how well the critical project process which has been in 
place now for four-plus years has, in fact, operated and, based 
on that experience, what is your feeling as to confidence level 
to proceed with the critical projects in the future?
    Mr. Reed. Senator, in my written testimony, which is much 
longer than my public testimony today, I answer that question, 
I think, very affirmatively that I do not know of a single 
ecologist, environmentalist, biologist who would agree to do it 
the old-fashioned Corps way.
    First of all, we haven't got the time.
    Second of all, this adaptive management process. We are 
going to learn what the reactions are to each phase of this 
recovery program.
    Now, Mr. Wade and I remain friendly in a guarded sense 
because we are not going to agree, Mr. Chairman, on what he 
proposes, which is to slow this thing down and drag this thing 
out as long as possible. I'm going to be brutally frank. I'm at 
an age where I haven't got a whole bunch of time remaining and 
we might as well be frank with each other. At the end of the 
day, I want my drink and I want to see that document signed and 
I want my dinner and I want to hear the Senator.
    Senator Graham. In exactly that order.
    Mr. Reed. Maybe not in that order.
    Senator Smith. The more drinks you have, the Senator will 
sound even better.
    Mr. Reed. When Mr. Wade says we have got to study 
everything and restudy everything and we got to look out for 
those reservoirs, what he's talking about is the Talisman 
reservoir and he wants the product off Talisman as long as he 
possibly can. I understand that. Everybody in this room who 
knows anything about the sugar industry understands that 
perfectly; and we also understand that the American taxpayers 
bought Talisman and we want to see it go into a reservoir as 
rapidly as possible, even though the sugar industry does not.
    You know, it's much better to get this out on the table in 
front of you than to have it rumored to you and brought to you; 
and Mr. Wade is adept at defending himself and offending me, 
and I will give him that opportunity.
    Mr. Wade. I'd like for Nat to go have that drink.
    I think the answer--and when Nat says that, the sugar 
industry's whole motivation here today was to slow down 
reservoirs, I will remind you that I spoke on behalf of a lot 
of agricultural groups here today, and I think there is pretty 
much a consensus on this issue about how the authorization 
process should work. Just what I told you about the Chief's 
report, when we have been through a consensus process to have a 
4,000-page document that we basically supported and would have 
supported in Congress, when we find the Chief's Report that 
comes out that says, ``We have totally turned that upside down 
and we have made commitments that weren't in that report.''
    To the agricultural industry, that says, ``You better not 
authorize the thing and give the Corps and the Federal agencies 
the power to go out and make the decisions after you authorize 
it.''
    We don't want that. We don't trust it, and that Chief's 
report was one example of why we don't. What we want is to make 
sure that the I's are dotted and the T's are crossed before 
it's passed by Congress.
    Mr. Reed. I will just add to this, Mr. Chairman. That 
letter probably caused more confusion than it was worth, and, 
if there was a level of mistrust before, the level of mistrust 
was heightened.
    The fact of the matter is, I don't know of a single 
hydrologist who's examined this product who does not believe 
that there is adequate water in this system.
    Senator Graham, this is very important. To be able to give 
assurance to existing users that the water quantity that they 
are presently using will not be impaired in the slightest way, 
and I have absolutely no problem being very careful with 
Florida water law to give Mr. Wade and the industry that 
assurance.
    The problem, as you know as Governor, is that every time 
over the long period of time since 1960 when I returned from 
the military intelligence system that there has been a division 
in water, the ecosystem has been the loser, every single time 
for 40 years.
    So I was very justified in trying to find some language 
that will work, that will persuade ``Bubba,'' Mr. Wade, and his 
colleagues in the Florida agricultural empire, because it's a 
huge, huge part of South Florida, that their water is not going 
to be taken away from them for the birds.
    That's what he's scared about; and, yet, on the other hand, 
the American taxpayer is going to be putting up a heck of a lot 
of money and wants to make sure that that water goes to a 
national treasurer, both Everglades National Park and the 
National Wildlife Refuge, and that's what we're going to have 
to wrestle with when we come before you with the language on 
assurances.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Reed, and thank 
you, Mr. Wade, and, Ms. Williams.
    We have got the hotel in a bit of a bind here. The hotel 
has a reception in this room now. So in an orderly fashion, 
vacate as soon as possible.
    Hold on a second, please. Vacate as soon as possible 
through that door.
    Let me also state for the record, I think some of these 
letters have been referenced, but just in case they haven't 
been, Congresswoman Carrie Meek, Congressman Mark Foley, 
Congressman Bill Young, Florida Speaker of the House John 
Thrasher, and Treasurer of the State of Florida Bill Nelson, 
all have submitted statements and/or letters for the record.
    [The referenced letters submitted for the record follow:]
    Senator Smith. Does any other Senator have any other----
    Senator Graham. First, I would like to recognize the fact 
that Lee Constantine, Representative Lee Constantine, has 
joined us. He is the chairman of the State Legislative 
Oversight Committee to the Everglades, and I want to thank him 
for the outstanding work that he has done.
    Mr. Chairman, I want to thank you. I think you got off to a 
good start. It is your first hearing. Well done. We moved 
forward today and I look forward to continuing to do so in the 
months ahead.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much. One final 
housekeeping--thank you. One final housekeeping note, I am 
going to keep the record open for 1 week until close of 
business on Friday, January 14, for any Senator who has a 
question that he wishes to ask or make some comment for the 
record.
    I want to thank everyone, all the witnesses and all those 
who were here today for being here and thanks again for the 
fine hospitality here in Southern Florida. We look forward to 
working with you.
    The hearing is adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 7:45 p.m., the committee was adjourned, to 
reconvene at the call of the Chair.]
    [Additional statements submitted for the record follow:]
  Statement of Hon. Carol Browner, Administrator, U.S. Environmental 
                           Protection Agency
    Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee. I am 
Carol M. Browner, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection 
Agency (EPA). Thank you for your invitation to be here today--at the 
very beginning of the new millennium--to talk about something very 
close to my heart: the Administration's unprecedented efforts to 
restore the Everglades ecosystem and EPA's role in ensuring that water 
quality is fully addressed in the restoration efforts.
    As many of you know, I grew up in Miami. My childhood ``backyard'' 
was the Everglades. This vast expanse that we today call the ``River of 
Grass'' has inspired me since my earliest days. I am proud to be part 
of this Administration, which has worked so hard--and continues to work 
so hard--to ensure that the heart of the Everglades ecosystem will once 
again pulse with fresh, clean, abundant water. This Administration's 
efforts will ensure that the Everglades ecosystem that inspired me as a 
child will continue to thrive and offer inspiration to my son, to all 
our children, and to all the generations that follow. And I am happy to 
be here today to describe EPA's involvement in the Administration's 
efforts to protect and restore the Everglades ecosystem.
                   past progress and current efforts
    The Administration's Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, 
designed to restore and protect the Everglades ecosystem--from the 
Kissimmee to the coral reefs--is one of the nation's best examples of 
the inextricable link between the health of our environment and the 
health of our economy. The fresh, clean water that is critical to the 
survival of the Everglades ecosystem also is essential to the existing 
and future health and welfare of South Florida--its 6.5 million 
residents, its many thousands of businesses, its economically important 
agricultural industry, and its $14-billion-a-year tourism industry.
    As we enter this new millennium, I'd like to take a moment to 
reflect on the changes that have come to pass in the Everglades over 
the past 100 years--how we arrived at this critical juncture. In 1900, 
the Everglades ecosystem encompassed roughly 2.6 million acres--largely 
untouched by man. In that same year, the population of the area South 
of Lake Okeechobee stood at just over 26,000--most of which was in Key 
West.
    Today the population of South Florida alone stands at more than 6.5 
million, and is expected to double by the middle of this century 
(2050). This explosive growth over the past century has led to 
significant alteration of the Everglades ecosystem and its watershed. 
Overall, the State of Florida has lost 46 percent of its wetlands and 
50 percent of its historic Everglades ecosystem--lost to drainage and 
encroaching urban and agricultural development. And, along with the 
loss of this expanse of habitat, nesting populations of wading birds 
have declined by 90 percent; 68 plant and animal species have become 
threatened or endangered with extinction; estuarine productivity in 
Florida Bay has deteriorated at a catastrophic rate; 5 feet or more of 
organic soil has been lost in parts of the Everglades Agricultural 
Area; urban and agricultural runoff has produced extensive water 
quality degradation throughout the region; and future supplies of water 
for residents, businesses, and agricultural interests in South Florida 
are threatened.
    During the second half of the last century, the existing Central 
and Southern Florida Project was built to help meet the needs for flood 
control and water supply at that time. But the explosive growth since 
then has far exceeded the capacity of the existing system, and has 
contributed to the decline in the Everglades ecosystem. The current 
system, while very efficient at draining excess water, by its design 
and operation severely limits our capability to store excess water when 
it becomes available (wet season) so we will have it when it is needed 
(dry season). Moreover, it is important to remember that the system was 
designed for flood control and for water supply purposes. Water quality 
was not a consideration at the time.
    Today, with the vision set forth by Vice President Gore in February 
1996, this nation has embarked on an ambitious, long-term restoration 
plan that will bring new hope in this new millennium to the ailing 
River of Grass. The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan sets 
forth an extremely challenging agenda to restore the hydrology of the 
Everglades ecosystem in an effort to balance future development with 
the preservation of natural areas, and to meet the needs of farmers and 
urban residents as well as the needs of the natural ecosystem. When 
fully implemented, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 
components will significantly enhance the ability of the Everglades 
ecosystem to store excess water so that the projected water supply 
needs of the natural systems--both freshwater and marine--can be met, 
as well as the water supply needs of the urban and agricultural 
components of the Everglades ecosystem.
    The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, which was carefully 
developed with substantial public involvement over the last several 
years, was submitted to the Congress by the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers last July. It lays out an ambitious Federal/State joint 
venture to restore water flows to the Everglades ecosystem while 
providing flood protection and adequate freshwater supplies to the 
agricultural industry and to the growing population of South Florida. 
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan represents a fundamental 
change in philosophy.
    It is a humble action, recognizing that after the efforts of almost 
a hundred years to manage this ecosystem, we did not really get it 
right.
    When completed, we believe the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration 
Plan--in concert with other proposed and ongoing restoration efforts--
will result in the delivery of fresh water in the right quantity, of 
the right quality, and with our best estimate of the right timing and 
distribution to achieve the desired results to the Everglades 
ecosystem, including downstream coastal communities all the way to the 
living coral reefs of Florida. I believe that the demonstrated 
commitment to adaptive management that this program has shown will 
incorporate future adjustments, as needed.
    EPA strongly supports the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 
the Administration provided to Congress for authorization. We believe 
the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan--in concert with other 
proposed and ongoing restoration efforts--represents the best way to 
both restore the ecological integrity of the Everglades ecosystem and 
to enhance water quality for future generations in South Florida. EPA 
recommends authorization of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration 
Plan in the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) 2000, and also 
recommends that WRDA 2000 contain language that specifically identifies 
improvement of water quality for ecosystem restoration, protection, and 
preservation as a Central and Southern Florida Project purpose. The 
inclusion of this provision in WRDA will ensure that Federal cost 
sharing is available for the water quality related facilities called 
for in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.
    The Administration's plan recognizes that the problems facing the 
Everglades ecosystem come from many corners--and so, too, must our 
solutions. It is predicated on the understanding that, if we are to 
make progress at all, we must foster public involvement of all South 
Florida's diverse communities. We must build strong partnerships 
involving industry, agriculture, Tribes, environmentalists, and work 
collaboratively at every level of government to ensure the recovery of 
the Everglades ecosystem. To achieve our most elemental goals is a 
truly daunting task--one that requires us to pool our expertise, our 
dollars and our resources, coordinate our laws, and draw on the energy 
of the grassroots and the efforts from industry and agriculture.
    Our bold and urgent plan expands and accelerates restoration 
projects in the Everglades ecosystem, and identifies additional 
research that is needed to ensure that our management decisions and 
actions are based on sound science. And our efforts are already 
starting to produce some encouraging results. The completion of the 
Administration's important acquisition of the Talisman Sugar Plantation 
in the Everglades Agricultural Area involves more than 61,000 acres, 
critical new restoration lands in the heart of the system. In addition, 
changes in agricultural practices are reportedly responsible for 
achieving a 54 percent reduction in phosphorus discharged from the 
Everglades Agricultural Area to the Everglades Water Conservation Areas 
over the past 4 years. And 44,000 acres of Stormwater Treatment Areas 
are either completed, or underway and due to be completed by 2003, 
which will greatly enhance our abilities to remove additional 
phosphorus.
               remaining challenges and future directions
    Despite this progress, we still have a long way to go. The 
Everglades ecosystem may never be what it once was. But we can--and we 
must--continue to make bold strides forward to protect the remaining 
ecosystem and to restore the critical natural functions and structures 
of the region and its natural community, which are so vital to 
preserving the quality of life in South Florida.
    The Administration's Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 
offers a comprehensive approach designed to increase water supplies for 
the region, and to restore and improve the condition of water quality 
throughout the Everglades ecosystem--from the watersheds of Lake 
Okeechobee to Florida Bay and other coastal areas of South Florida. EPA 
will remain vigilant throughout the design, construction, and operation 
phases of the project to ensure that the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan features will fully comply with all Federal, State, 
and Tribal water quality standards, as well as all other applicable 
provisions of the Clean Water Act.
    I'd like to mention just a few of the more important activities 
that EPA is involved in, and how each will help promote water quality 
and contribute to restoration of the integrity of the Everglades 
ecosystem.
    Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs) and Water Storage Areas (WSAs)
    To improve both water quality and the integrity of the Everglades 
ecosystem, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan includes 
proposals to construct 36,000 acres of wetlands to treat polluted 
runoff from urban and agricultural areas. These Stormwater Treatment 
Areas (STAs) will be located throughout South Florida, and will enable 
us to use the natural filtering capability offered by wetlands 
ecosystems as a way to treat and improve water quality and, at the same 
time, contribute to the restoration of the health of the Everglades 
ecosystem.
    The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan also calls for 
construction of 172,000 acres of Water Storage Areas (WSAs), which will 
be created to capture excess fresh water flows that now are drained 
rapidly to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. This valuable 
water, which currently is being ``lost to tide,'' will be captured and 
used to provide much-needed water for restoration of the Everglades 
ecosystem and to enhance potable water supplies for the people of South 
Florida. As with the STAs, the WSAs will render major water quality 
benefits to both inland and coastal waters and benefits to the wetland 
habitat of the Everglades ecosystem. It also will be critical to ensure 
the acquisition of the East Coast Buffer Area because of the continued 
threat of development that can affect the Everglades. And together 
these measures will greatly enhance the State's ability to reduce its 
non-point source pollutant loadings consistent with the goals and 
requirements of the Clean Water Act and the Coastal Zone Management 
Act, and should contribute to improved implementation of total maximum 
daily load (TMDL) allocations for impaired watersheds throughout the 
Everglades ecosystem.
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) Facilities
    Construction of extensive regional Aquifer Storage and Recovery 
(ASR) facilities is an essential component of the Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan. When completed, the ASR facilities are 
intended to store water during the wet season--freshwater flows that 
are currently lost to tide. ASR facilities will store these waters in 
the upper Floridan Aquifer for recovery in dry seasons and for use both 
to restore the ecological integrity of the Everglades ecosystem, and, 
at the same time, to enhance future water supplies for urban and 
agricultural purposes in South Florida.
    EPA supports this approach in concept, but is continuing to work 
with the other State and Federal partners to demonstrate the efficacy 
of ASRs. WRDA 1999 authorized two large-scale pilot projects at Lake 
Okeechobee and Palm Beach County, and EPA is now involved with these 
pilot efforts in the startup phase. EPA recognizes that the ASR 
approach is bold and entails some uncertainties, and is fully committed 
to ensuring that these facilities will function in ways that are fully 
protective of South Florida's drinking water supplies and surface water 
quality. Regardless of the ultimate feasibility of ASR facilities, the 
Administration remains committed to finding the same amount of water 
storage through other means if necessary. Again, I believe that the 
demonstrated commitment to adaptive management that this program has 
displayed will incorporate future adjustments, as needed.
Comprehensive Integrated Water Quality Plan
    Under the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, EPA and 
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) will share the 
lead on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) in developing 
a Comprehensive Integrated Water Quality Plan. This plan will evaluate 
water quality standards and criteria from an ecosystem restoration 
perspective. It will also make recommendations for integrating existing 
and future water quality restoration targets for South Florida 
waterbodies into future planning, design, construction, and operation 
activities in ways that optimize water quality in inland areas, 
estuaries, and nearshore coastal waters. The plan also will lead to 
recommendations regarding water quality programs, including setting 
priorities for developing both water quality standards and pollution 
load reduction goals.
Florida Keys Water Quality Protection Program
    The Comprehensive Integrated Water Quality Plan will be modeled 
after another EPA initiative in South Florida. EPA has been actively 
working with the State of Florida in conjunction with the National 
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to develop a water 
quality protection program for the Florida Keys National Marine 
Sanctuary. Located downstream of coastal South Florida, the Sanctuary 
composes the southernmost portion of the South Florida Ecosystem. The 
Sanctuary was established to protect the living coral reefs, seagrass 
communities, mangrove fringed shorelines, and other significant 
resources of the area from such threats as degrading water quality.
    The purpose of the Water Quality Protection Program is to recommend 
priority corrective actions and compliance schedules addressing point 
and non-point sources of pollution to restore and maintain the 
chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the Sanctuary. This 
includes restoration and maintenance of a balanced, indigenous 
population of corals, shellfish, fish, and wildlife.
Improving the Wetlands Regulatory Process in Southwest Florida
    In recent years, Southwest Florida has experienced the same kind of 
rapid growth that took place earlier in Southeast Florida. As a result 
of this fast-paced development, the COE has issued permits to drain and 
fill 5000 acres of wetlands. And even more requests are expected in the 
next few years, raising concerns over whether the Corps' review of 
individual permit requests can adequately address the secondary and 
cumulative impacts from these many incremental decisions. These events 
have caused us to think about steps that need to be taken now in 
Southwest Florida in order to avoid repeating the mistakes made in the 
last century in Southeast Florida--mistakes we now are trying to remedy 
through the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan and other 
parallel efforts to restore the Everglades ecosystem.
    EPA has been actively involved in assisting the COE in preparing a 
Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (DPEIS), which is 
designed to improve the section 404 regulatory decisionmaking process 
in Southwest Florida (Lee and Collier Counties). The COE has the lead 
for this DPEIS, which was released for public comment on July 7, 1999. 
EPA prepared two components of this DPEIS: a description of historic 
water quality in the ten watersheds in the study area; and a 
comparative analysis of future water quality for two of the COE's 
alternatives. The model output indicated that, in 2020, the two 
alternatives show an overall degradation of water quality in the two 
county area, as well as in most of the individual watersheds.
    The comment period for the DPEIS has been extended to January 15, 
2000. Following the close of the comment period, EPA will work with the 
COE to improve the document as it relates to water quality and wetlands 
protection. We expect the Final PEIS to be released in Spring/Summer 
2000, and will focus our efforts on developing NEPA tools that will 
result in improved wetlands and water quality protection in Southwest 
Florida under the section 404 regulatory program and other applicable 
Clean Water Act programs.
                         issues of special note
    I'd like to focus the remainder of my comments today on just a few 
of the most difficult water quality issues we face today: reducing 
levels of mercury and phosphorus in the Everglades ecosystem and 
restoring Lake Okeechobee.
Mercury
    Mercury levels in fish in the Everglades ecosystem are very high--
so high that State health officials have issued fish consumption 
advisories warning people either to limit consumption of, or to not eat 
gamefish from Everglades National Park, Loxahatchee National Wildlife 
Refuge, Big Cypress National Preserve, and the Miccosukee Tribe of 
Indians Federal Reservation. In addition, there may be some adverse 
effects on wildlife. Wading birds, racoons, and alligators have been 
found to have very high concentrations of mercury--higher than other 
areas in the U.S. with known mercury contamination. A workshop held in 
1999 concluded that, while there is no clear information regarding 
effects on the wading bird populations, Everglades wading birds may be 
suffering sublethal effects in individual birds due to mercury 
contamination. Clearly, much of the energy and resources we are 
directing to restoration of the Everglades ecosystem will be 
compromised if, at the end of the day, the water is fixed but people 
still cannot eat the fish and the wading bird and other wildlife 
populations continue to show high concentrations of mercury.
    Through our research, and atmospheric modeling, we have learned 
that atmospheric deposition is the leading source of mercury in the 
Everglades (more than 98 percent), and that no single source can 
account for the levels of mercury we are finding. Moreover, uncertainty 
remains over how much of the mercury is the result of local air 
emissions sources, re-releases, and global circulation of mercury. 
Recently imposed controls on local atmospheric emissions are expected 
to result in a significant decrease in mercury deposition to the 
Everglades marsh. But, while we believe that reducing the input of 
mercury to the Everglades ecosystem is likely to reduce the levels of 
mercury in fish over time, it is not clear how long this will take or 
how much mercury emissions will need to be reduced in order to protect 
the uses of the Everglades ecosystem. There is also uncertainty 
regarding the linkages between atmospheric deposition of mercury and 
risk to the environment and public health.
    While much uncertainty remains, we clearly recognize that 
designated uses in the Everglades ecosystem are not being met, and 
there is a pressing need to learn more. To address these challenges, 
EPA is actively engaged in a comprehensive mercury research program, 
along with United States Geological Survey (USGS), the FDEP and the 
South Florida Water Management District, as well as NOAA's work in 
Florida Bay. Thus far, total research funding is approaching $30 
million from all public and private sources, with EPA contributing 
about one-third of the total ($10 million).
    EPA also is working with the State of Florida to develop a pilot 
mercury TMDL for a parcel of the Everglades ecosystem known as Water 
Conservation Area 3A. This effort is designed to determine the maximum 
amount of mercury that could enter the Area each day and still enable 
the waters to meet water quality standards. The pilot will examine how 
to ``link'' the results of air and water computer models in a TMDL 
application, and will attempt to relate local urban atmospheric 
emissions to mercury levels in Everglades sediments and fish. We expect 
to have technical reports on this work for internal EPA review soon, 
and plan to seek input from stakeholder groups and the public by Summer 
2000.
Phosphorus
    In 1994, Florida's Everglades Forever Act (EFA) created another 
ambitious ecosystem restoration plan, which EPA fully supports. The EFA 
set forth an iterative and adaptive approach to actions needed to 
reduce phosphorus contamination of the Everglades ecosystem. Much 
progress has been made since then, including the 54 percent reduction 
in phosphorus discharged from the Everglades Agricultural Area and the 
ongoing construction of 44,000 acres of Stormwater Treatment Areas that 
I mentioned earlier. Despite this progress, however, phosphorus is 
still one of the chief pollutants that threatens aquatic life and 
restoration of the Everglades ecosystem. There is much more to be done, 
and we need to move ahead aggressively.
    In May 1999, EPA approved stringent new water quality standards for 
a portion of the Everglades ecosystem, which, for the first time ever 
under the Clean Water Act, set a specific protective numerical standard 
for the Everglades for phosphorus. This protective standard--10 parts 
per billion (ppb), adopted by the Miccosukee Tribe of Florida for its 
Tribal waters--is supported by the best science available to EPA. 
Adoption and approval of this standard represents a significant step 
forward in protecting the health of the Everglades ecosystem on 
Miccosukee Tribal lands, and sets a benchmark for how much phosphorus 
the ecosystem can handle before adverse impacts to native aquatic life 
begin to occur.
    Under the EFA, Florida is now actively engaged in developing a 
water quality standard for phosphorus for other portions of the 
Everglades ecosystem. The EFA established a deadline of December 31, 
2003, for adopting this standard, but Governor Bush has committed to 
accelerating this process and to adopting a scientifically defensible 
standard by no later than December 31, 2002. EPA is providing technical 
assistance to the State to help meet this ambitious schedule. And, in a 
related effort to accelerate restoration of the Everglades ecosystem, 
Governor Bush has asked the South Florida Water Management District to 
begin incorporating Phase II technology into Phase I of the Everglades 
restoration. EPA encourages prompt action for both of these efforts, 
and looks forward to approving a phosphorus standard for the State that 
will be protective of the entire Everglades ecosystem.
Lake Okeechobee
    As the headwaters of the Everglades ecosystem and an important 
water supply for Southeast Florida, we have a vital interest in the 
activities that will lead to restoring the water quality of Lake 
Okeechobee. Water quality in Lake Okeechobee has been degraded by 
agricultural runoff and by backpumping, and the rate of eutrophication 
is of major concern because of the impact on both the ecology of the 
lake and its many other beneficial uses. Over the last 25 years, 
phosphorus concentrations in the lake have increased 2.5 times, and 
preliminary evidence indicates that sediments in the lake may be losing 
their ability to assimilate additional phosphorus loadings. Recent data 
suggest that the lake may be in a phase of transition from its present 
eutrophic condition to a higher tropic State.
    Since phosphorus is considered the key element that controls the 
growth of nuisance algae, I am very pleased to report to you that, 
earlier this week (January 3, 2000), EPA proposed a TMDL for phosphorus 
for Lake Okeechobee. When it became clear that, under its rulemaking 
procedures, the State would not be able to meet the court-ordered 
deadline for establishing this TMDL, EPA assumed responsibility and has 
proposed a total annual load of 198 metric tons of phosphorus for Lake 
Okeechobee, including phosphorus deposited from the air (71 metric 
tons). This is an important step forward because, a TMDL is the maximum 
amount of a pollutant that a waterbody can receive and maintain water 
quality standards, and this TMDL sets the restoration goals for Lake 
Okeechobee. We estimate the proposed phosphorus loading represents a 68 
percent reduction from the 1997 load, and will take public comment on 
the proposed TMDL until March 17, 2000.
    But the true test will come with the actual implementation of this 
TMDL. One thing is very clear: successful implementation will require a 
collaborative process--one similar to the highly successful 
collaborative process that has characterized the larger Everglades 
ecosystem restoration effort. I am pleased to report that, earlier this 
week, EPA took steps to start a collaborative process that will focus 
on the implementation of the TMDL for Lake Okeechobee. In the overview 
of the proposed TMDL, EPA suggested that the Lake Okeechobee Issue Team 
continue its fine work and form the nucleus of a larger collaborative 
team that will include representatives of all interested stakeholder 
groups. This team will be charged with exploring options and developing 
alternatives for implementing the TMDL to ensure restoration of Lake 
Okeechobee. We are fully committed to this collaborative process, and 
intend to be active participants in it. We also recognize that long-
term restoration of Lake Okeechobee depends upon a strong Federal 
commitment to the successful completion of the public works projects 
called for the in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, which 
are essential to improving and restoring the water quality of the lake.
    I would also like to commend the State and the agricultural 
community for the actions they have taken to begin restoring Lake 
Okeechobee. Many of the farmers in the watershed have implemented best 
management practices and have taken other steps to reduce the 
phosphorus loads entering the lake. And many of the farms on the South 
side of the levee have ceased backpumping nutrient-enriched water over 
the levee and into the lake. These actions are to be applauded and 
encouraged.
    Finally, I want to acknowledge Governor Bush's recent announcement 
that he is supporting new State legislation aimed at restoring Lake 
Okeechobee. I encourage the State Legislature to act expeditiously on 
this new legislation, and to follow the blueprint set forth in the 
Everglades Forever Act by including regulatory programs for phosphorus 
load reductions, interim and final milestones for action, and whatever 
tools the State needs to help restore the heart of the Everglades 
ecosystem: Lake Okeechobee.
                                closing
    As the Administrator of the EPA, my responsibility for the 
environment and public health spans this country's majestic landscape--
from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Great Lakes to the Gulf 
of Mexico. But I--like all of us--have that very special place that 
serves to remind me what is at stake if we don't prevail in our efforts 
to protect our natural environment. And for me, that special place is 
the Everglades on a glorious winter afternoon--the white mountains of 
clouds suspended above the gently drifting river of grass and a wood 
stork making lazy circles against the brilliant blue sky. The legacy of 
this fragile ecosystem--and this image--depends on the actions we take 
today.
    As we enter this new century, we are on our way. We have the will, 
we have the commitment, we have the technology to reverse the harmful 
water management practices of the 20th century. We must not rest until 
the job is finished--until all our children and their children and the 
generations to come have the opportunity to grow up with water that is 
safe to drink, air that is clean, and--here in Florida--with the 
Everglades once again pulsing with life.
    Thank you again for the opportunity to participate in this hearing. 
We appreciate the leadership and commitment of Chairman Smith and 
Senator Graham, and look forward to working with the Committee on this 
important endeavor.
                                 ______
                                 
 Responses by Carol Browner to Additional Questions from Senator Graham
    Question 1: Can you describe water quality issues in the Florida 
Everglades and explain how the Restudy will maintain appropriate levels 
of contaminants throughout the system?
    Response. Major water quality concerns in the Everglades, as noted 
in the testimony already provided, include phosphorus enrichment and 
mercury contamination. As already discussed, a tremendous amount of 
effort is underway to address the issue of phosphorus enrichment of the 
Everglades. Other parameters of concern include specific conductance 
(salts) in water discharged to Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, 
and occasional detections of pesticides at various locations. The 
Restudy does not directly address the mercury contamination issue.
    Several components of the CERP will result in improved water 
quality conditions. Over 36,000 acres of treatment wetlands (Stormwater 
Treatment Areas (STAs)), in addition to those currently being 
constructed as required by the Everglades Forever Act, will be 
constructed to treat urban and agricultural water before discharge into 
public waters. Additionally, 172,000 acres of stormwater storage areas 
(SSAs) are proposed. Although these areas will be primarily managed to 
store water, they will simultaneously provide some water cleansing as 
discussed in the answer to another question. These STAs and SSAs will 
help water quality in several water bodies, including the Everglades, 
Lake Okeechobee, and estuarine areas. Another essential feature of the 
CERP is a Comprehensive Integrated Water Quality Strategy. This 
Strategy will identify pollution-impaired water bodies, quantify 
pollution levels, establish pollution load reduction targets, recommend 
potential source reduction programs, outline monitoring programs and 
evaluate design and construction of treatment facilities.
    Water quality protection and restoration is an essential component 
of the CERP. It is not possible to get the water right without 
simultaneously assuring that water quality is adequate for meeting 
environmental, urban, and agricultural needs. The CERP assumes that 
Florida's effort to control phosphorus loading to the Everglades is 
successful by 2006, and other appropriate remediation projects are put 
in place by state or local governments. However, water quality 
protection is not an authorized purpose of the Central and Southern 
Florida Project. EPA recommends that the Water Resources Development 
Act (2000) contain language that specifically identifies improvement of 
water quality for ecosystem restoration, protection and preservation as 
a Central and Southern Florida project purpose.
    EPA supports the Army Corps of Engineers' request that project 
features needed to provide water of adequate quality be included to 
help in restoring, protecting, and preserving the South Florida 
ecosystem. EPA recommends that in doing this, applicable Federal water 
quality standards, and applicable federally approved water quality 
standards developed by the state or Indian tribes and the plans to 
implement the standards should be taken into account.

    Question 2: This year in the Interior Appropriations bill, 
Congressman Regula called for the development of ``assurances'' 
language that would ensure that the park and natural systems in the 
Everglades region receive adequate quantities of water. I know that the 
Administration and the state are working very hard to develop this 
language for inclusion into the Administration's WRDA proposal. Can you 
describe for me the basic principles that you feel are critical 
elements of this language and why?
    Response. ``Getting the Water Right'' (quality, quantity, timing 
and distribution) is absolutely essential to accomplishing the goal of 
South Florida ecosystem restoration and the CERP is focused on doing 
just that. Therefore, EPA strongly supports the development of language 
that ensures the natural systems in the Everglades region receive 
adequate and appropriate quantities of freshwater. However, we would 
defer to the Department of the Army, Department of Interior, and the 
Corps of Engineers to provide the specific WRDA language addressing 
this need.
    EPA believes it is equally critical that ``assurances'' language 
addressing the need to restore and protect the water quality of the 
natural systems also be incorporated into WRDA. In WRDA 1996, the 
Project authorization was modified to include Environmental Protection 
and Restoration. The following language was added:
    (b)(4) General Provisions
    (A) Water Quality--In carrying out activities described in this 
subsection and sections 315 and 316, the Secretary
    (i) shall take into account the protection of water quality by 
considering
    applicable State water quality standards; and
    (ii) may include in projects such features as are necessary to 
provide water to restore, preserve and protect the South Florida 
ecosystem.
    Although WRDA 1996 added this water quality provision, it is 
discretionary. It also does not appear to apply to the existing project 
features. As a result, EPA believes that consideration should be given 
to amending the basic project purpose to include water quality as a 
purpose equal to flood control and water supply.

    Question 3: In your testimony, you mentioned that the wastewater 
reuse plants in the Restudy would be eligible for SRF funding. However, 
these plants are designed to provide water directly to Biscayne Bay 
National Park, not for municipal wastewater treatment. In that case 
please clarify if these projects would be eligible for SRF funding.
    Response. Generally, the costs of capital upgrades for wastewater 
treatment are eligible for loans under the Clean Water State Revolving 
Fund (SRF). It is important to note, however, that local communities 
typically are responsible for both repaying SRF loans and for covering 
the costs of annual operation/maintenance for treatment plants. 
Although projects like this are eligible, other sources of funding are 
necessary because Miami-Dade County is under no obligation to apply for 
loans or to improve treatment to a level suitable for Biscayne National 
Park or the Bird Drive-Everglades Basin wetlands. The purpose of the 
facilities is to provide clean freshwater to the environment during the 
dry season when the other restudy components will not have enough extra 
water available for the Biscayne Bay/Everglades restoration effort.
                                 ______
                                 
 Responses by Carol Browner to Additional Questions from Senator Smith
    Question 1: I understand that polluted runoff is now being 
discharged, untreated, through the canal system into Florida Bay and 
the Biscayne Bay. What does the Administration propose to do to address 
this problem and ensure that water quality standards are met all the 
way down to the Florida Keys?
    Response. The CERP contains two components that will help prevent 
the discharge of untreated runoff through the canal system. The 
Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands (feature FFF) include 13,600 acres of 
wetlands near the Biscayne Bay coast that will be rehydrated in order 
to reduce pollutant transport into the Bay. Surface water now entering 
the Bay through canals will be redistributed as surface water 
sheetflow, restoring or enhancing freshwater wetlands, tidal wetlands, 
and near-shore bay habitat such as nursery areas for fish and 
shellfish. The sheetflow through wetlands will also cleanse water 
before it reaches the Bay while simultaneously reducing abrupt 
freshwater discharges that stress nearshore bay habitats and aquatic 
life.
    Similarly, the C-111N Spreader Canal (feature WW) will improve 
water deliveries to Florida Bay by restoring sheetflow and minimizing 
canal pulse discharges. This feature also includes a stormwater 
treatment area in case it is needed to assure that clean water is 
delivered to the Bay. All other water that flows into Florida Bay (the 
majority of flow to the Bay) is sheetflow that travels up to 30 miles 
through the pristine marshes within Everglades National Park before 
reaching Florida Bay. This water is very clean before it reaches the 
Bay.
    The Administration has another major effort underway independent of 
the CERP to address water quality concerns in the Florida Keys. The 
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality Protection Program 
was initiated by EPA in coordination with the Department of Commerce 
and the State of Florida, as required by the U. S. Congress in the 1990 
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Protection Act. The 
Sanctuary includes 2800 square nautical miles of nearshore waters 
encompassing the Florida Keys. This Program recommends priority 
corrective actions and compliance schedules to address point and non-
point sources of pollution to restore and maintain the chemical, 
physical and biological integrity of the Sanctuary. It includes 
restoring and maintaining populations of corals, shellfish, fish and 
wildlife, while providing recreational activities. Two major components 
of this program that have been developed are a Wastewater Master Plan 
that addresses sewage collection, treatment and disposal throughout the 
Keys, and the Stormwater Master Plan that addresses stormwater runoff 
to coastal waters throughout the Keys.

    Question 2: In your testimony, you stated that the CERP 
(Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan) does not limit the 
Stormwater Treatment Areas (STA) to the 36,000 acres being proposed. Is 
more such area needed for additional STAs? Is 36,000 acres not 
adequate? How many STAs have been completed and how many need to be 
completed? Please comment on the effectiveness of this method of 
reducing the levels of pollutants such as phosphorus and mercury.
    Response. The STAs proposed in the CERP are included to ensure that 
the quality of waters to be rerouted/discharged as a result of the 
numerous drainage and storage modifications anticipated are adequate to 
protect the quality of the downstream receiving waters. As discussed 
below, the use of STAs to restore the water quality is based on 
experience from other Everglades restoration projects in South Florida. 
The size and general location of the CERP STAs were based on modeling 
efforts by the COE. But this is intended to be a dynamic process, as 
additional information is developed, the underlying assumptions may 
change. As part of the CERP a Comprehensive Water Quality Protection 
Plan for South Florida is to be developed. Through that effort it is 
very possible that the need for additional STAs could be identified.
    Currently, the only STAs in existence or being designed or 
constructed are those required to be constructed within the Everglades 
Agricultural Area under a Federal/State consent decree and the State of 
Florida's Everglades Forever Act (EFA). Under the EFA, to date, STA 1-
West (6,670 acres) and STA 6 (2,280 acres) are operational and 
construction of STA 2 (6,430 acres) and STA 5 (4,118 acres) is nearing 
completion. STA 1-East (5,350 acres) and STA 3/4 (16,480 acres) are 
currently being designed. Once completed the total effective treatment 
area for all six STAs will be approximately 41,300 acres. The CERP 
tiers off of these ongoing projects and assumes the EFA projects will 
be fully implemented.
    In accordance with the EFA, which required agricultural Best 
Management Practices, the STAs are being designed and constructed to 
achieve an interim target of 50 ppb (parts per billion). To date, the 
Everglades Nutrient Removal (ENR) Project , the prototype stormwater 
treatment area, has been effective at removing phosphorus. Results from 
the ENR Project have validated the premise that treatment wetlands 
(i.e. STAs) constructed on former agricultural lands can effectively 
remove total phosphorus from Everglades Agricultural Area runoff and 
achieve the interim outflow concentration limit of 50 ppb specified in 
the EFA. In fact, the ENR Project, now part of STA 1-West, is exceeding 
its performance objective in terms of phosphorus concentration and load 
reduction. During the first 5 years of operation, the project outflow 
concentrations have averaged 22 ppb and load reductions have exceeded 
82 percent. It should be noted that these reductions in phosphorus 
loading have occurred during the early stages of STA operation, and 
they may not be representative of future long-term performance. The 
evidence to date, however, supports the basic assumptions and design 
parameters used in planning the STAs, and they are expected to achieve 
the goals of the EFA.
    Methylmercury, a very toxic, organic form of mercury, is produced 
naturally through biotic processes in Everglades peat soil from some of 
the inorganic mercury present in stormwater runoff and rainfall. Once 
converted, methylmercury is accumulated by aquatic organisms. On an 
annual average basis, during its operational lifetime, the ENR project 
has removed between 50 percent and 75 percent of the mercury from 
inflow water. According to findings reported in the 2000 Everglades 
Consolidated Report by the South Florida Water Management District, 
``operating the Stormwater Treatment Areas with higher flows and deeper 
water during high rainfall years is likely to maximize the removal 
efficiency of both total mercury and methylmercury.'' However, since 
more than 95 percent of the recent total mercury load to the Everglades 
each year is from atmospheric deposition and most of it is downstream 
from the ENR, the ENR can make only a very limited contribution to 
reducing mercury levels in fish in the Everglades.

    Question 3: In your written statement, you mention that the water 
storage areas, ``will render major water quality benefits to both 
inland and coastal waters and benefits to the wetland habitat of the 
Everglades ecosystem.'' Can you explain what specific benefits you 
envision? How will storing water in limestone quarries improve coastal 
water quality? Do you expect that the stored water will effectively be 
treated in some way through storage?
    Response. A pervasive ecological/water quality problem in South 
Florida is the pulse flows of huge quantities of fresh water to 
estuaries during wet periods which result in extreme salinity 
fluctuations and place tremendous stress on the biological community 
residing in those estuaries. The above ground storage facilities 
proposed in the CERP would first function to capture large volumes of 
wet season freshwater flows that would otherwise be directly discharged 
to the estuaries. The waters could then be released at a later time in 
a more gradual manner such that the salinity fluctuation experienced by 
the estuaries would be significantly reduced. For example, with the 
above ground and ASR storage facilities proposed in the Lake Okeechobee 
area, the problematic pulse flows currently experienced by the 
Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries are projected to be virtually 
eliminated.
    The operating depth for the vast majority of the above ground 
storage facilities proposed in the CREP is 6 feet. At this depth it is 
anticipated that these storage facilities will become populated with a 
wide variety of submersed and emergent aquatic plants. Along with the 
physical settling of solids and contaminants associated with those 
solids we expect the aquatic plant community in the storage facilities 
to also provide additional water quality treatment to the stored 
waters. In addition to the water quality improvements associated with 
the relatively shallow storage facilities, we anticipate that these 
facilities will offer desirable habitat and attract a wide variety of 
birds, mammals, fish and reptiles, thus contributing to the biological 
health and abundance of the region.
    An additional water quality benefit that may well be realized by 
the above ground water storage facilities proposed on the former 
Talisman properties in the Everglades Agricultural Area is that of peak 
flow attenuation (flow equalization) for waters entering STA 3/4 (one 
of the STAs required under the EFA). By providing a more uniform inflow 
volume to the STAs, it is likely that the treatment capability of the 
STAs could be enhanced, thus producing a better quality of water to be 
discharged to the Everglades.
    The waters to be stored in the limestone quarries in northwest 
Miami-Dade County (Lake Belt Area) are expected to provide the same 
benefits to the coastal estuaries as the above ground storage 
facilities already discussed. Freshwater that would otherwise be 
discharged through the canals to Biscayne Bay in a pulsed flow manner, 
would be stored.
    The waters to be stored in the central Lake Belt quarries will come 
primarily from the nearby Everglades water conservation areas during 
wet periods and will be returned to the water conservation areas during 
drier times. The stored water should be of good quality since it 
originated in the water conservation areas and not need much, if any, 
treatment prior to its discharge back to the water conservation areas. 
The ecological benefit derived from this water storage scenario is the 
water level relief provided to the water conservation areas. High water 
levels can cause significant damage to the critical tree island 
habitats and to the animal populations in the water conservation areas. 
Storing water in the nearby limestone quarries should provide some 
relief from those high water levels.
    The waters to be stored in the limestone quarries in the northern 
Lake Belt region will come primarily from the nearby urban canals. 
Obviously, these waters will contain some levels of contaminants. Due 
to the deep and quiescent nature of the quarries it is anticipated that 
some of the contaminants will be removed through physical settling. The 
stored water then will be returned to the canal system where it should 
help to recharge the Biscayne Aquifer. To ensure that the waters to be 
discharged are of acceptable quality, contiguous stormwater treatment 
areas are proposed in the CREP, if needed.
    In order to store the water in the quarries, the sides of the 
quarries will be either lined or have slurry walls installed to prevent 
the lateral migration of the waters out of the quarries. These liners 
would also act to prevent the lateral migration of pollutants 
discharged to the quarries from the urban canals. Lining the bottom of 
the quarries is not currently proposed, and the extent of vertical 
migration of the pollutants needs to be further investigated.
    The quarries in the northern Lake Belt region which will receive 
the waters from the urban canals are far enough away from the Miami-
Dade County well fields that contamination problems are not 
anticipated. However, as this storage concept is further refined, more 
investigative work on that issue will be needed.

    Question 4: At the hearing, you seemed unclear about the presence 
of combined sewer overflows (CSOs) in the State of Florida. Can you 
clarify for the record whether CSOs pose a problem, particularly in the 
southern half of the state. Would an increase in population such as 
that being expected over the next 50 years impact the current system in 
any manner?
    Response. We are not aware of any CSOs in the State of Florida. 
Unlike most northern cities, the sanitary sewer systems in Florida are 
relatively new and most were constructed as separate systems. Some time 
ago the City of Sanford had a combined sewer system which was, in fact, 
problematic with respect to downstream water quality. Through the use 
of Construction Grants and local funds those systems were separated a 
number of years ago.
    Approximately 10 years ago a problem with Sanitary Sewer Overflows 
(SSOs), compounded by a minor contribution from a small area with a 
Combined Sewer System, was identified in the Metropolitan Miami area. 
These problems are currently being corrected as a result of a Federal 
Consent Decree and a State of Florida Settlement Agreement with the 
Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Authority.
    Due to the density of development expected with the projected 
population increases over the next 50 years, we anticipate that most of 
this development will be served by new or expanded separate sanitary 
sewers. However, in some of the more isolated or less densely developed 
areas wastewater treatment and disposal using septic tanks serving 
single family homes also will occur undoubtedly. Construction of 
combined sewers is not allowed under state law. Construction and 
operation of the wastewater collection, treatment and disposal systems 
to serve this expanded population will continue, as usual, to be 
expensive and challenging especially with regard to how to reuse or 
dispose of the treated wastewater.

    Question 5: Is EPA concerned that injecting billions of gallons of 
water into approximately 300 underground storage facilities in the 
upper Floridan aquifer will result in the concentration of that stored 
water with the salt water that currently exists in the aquifer? If the 
storage facilities were to leak and salt water were to intrude, what 
would be the potential costs to treat the water?
    Response. The reason the ASR wells are proposed in the CERP is a 
recognition of the very critical need to have a system to store water 
during the wet season for use during the dry season. Because of 
increased urban and agricultural water needs, and the fact that South 
Florida has been so extensively ditched and drained, Florida needs more 
water at different times of the year, and at the same time it has lost 
a significant amount of its capacity to store water. In general there 
is either too much water during the wet season or too little water 
during the dry season. With the construction of the C&SF project the 
groundwater table over thousands of square miles of South Florida was 
significantly lowered to alleviate flooding problems in urban and 
agricultural areas. During the wet season, the C&SF system is operated 
to rapidly drain off excess water. Because this water is rapidly 
drained to tide during the wet season, during the dry season there 
sometimes isn't enough water to satisfy all of the urban, agricultural, 
and natural system needs of the region. As the area grows these 
extremes will be exacerbated without the above ground and ASR wet 
season water storage components proposed in the CERP.
    There seems to be a misunderstanding regarding how the proposed 
aquifer storage and recovery (ASR) facilities would actually work. The 
proposed facilities would involve injecting a maximum of 5 million 
gallons/day/well of fresh water from various surface water sources such 
as Lake Okeechobee and the Caloosahatchee River during the wet season 
through an injection well into the relatively shallow (1000 to 1500 
feet deep) Floridan aquifer. The total capacity of all of the proposed 
wells would be approximately 1.65 billion gallons/day. Since the 
Floridan aquifer in the area is brackish, the ``storage'' concept is 
that the injected freshwater would form a ``bubble'' that actually 
``floats'' on top of the denser brackish aquifer water. Therefore, at 
the interface between the freshwater bubble and the brackish aquifer, 
the waters would be in direct contact. There are no actual physical 
facilities (storage tanks) that will be constructed underground to 
store the injected water. The water is actually stored in the voids 
(spaces) that exist within the formation materials (limerock). 
Therefore, there are no physical facilities to ``leak.'' Depending on a 
number of factors, such as the transmissivity of the aquifer, the 
amount of interaction/mixing between the brackish and freshwaters will 
vary. If done properly, however, the mixing should be minimal. This 
physical solution, which must be engineered in Florida, actually 
simulates the natural equilibrium that occurs between salt and fresh 
waters in most coastal areas.
    For the 200 wells envisioned to be located around Lake Okeechobee, 
the proposal is for the waters to be withdrawn from the wells and 
discharged back into the lake or into nearby surface waters. Since Lake 
Okeechobee is a freshwater lake EPA would be very concerned if there 
was significant mixing of the injected waters with the brackish aquifer 
waters such that the waters to be discharged back to the lake had a 
high salinity concentration, a low dissolved oxygen level or a 
significantly different pH. In the CERP, the Corps did provide some 
cost estimates for minimal water quality treatment facilities, 
primarily to re-aerate the recovered water, if needed. The cost 
estimate for re-aerating the recovered water from the Lake Okeechobee 
ASR wells was $ 3.0 million. The cost estimates are very preliminary. 
The proposed ASR Pilot Projects should help address the need to treat 
the recovered water and provide more accurate estimates of the costs of 
that treatment.
    For some of the other proposed ASR wells the water would be 
withdrawn and pumped directly to drinking water treatment facilities. 
The Floridan aquifer waters are brackish. If the upper Floridan aquifer 
was currently used as a source of drinking water, membrane treatment 
technology would have to be used to treat those waters to produce a 
finished drinking water. With the injected water, if the ``freshwater 
bubble'' is maintained, the pumped water will not be brackish and would 
not require significant additional treatment, provided other 
contaminants are not present. If the ``bubble'' did not remain intact, 
the salinity of the withdrawn water would be lower than the Floridan 
aquifer, but would most likely require additional treatment.
    There are 333 ASR wells proposed in the CERP; 200 wells around Lake 
Okeechobee, 44 wells along the Caloosahatchee River, 30 wells near the 
proposed Site 1 impoundment, 34 wells along the C-51 Canal, 15 wells 
near the Ag. Reserve reservoir, and 10 wells along the L-8 Canal. 
According to the Corps of Engineers, all of the waters to be withdrawn 
from the ASR wells would first be returned to either the surface water 
body from which the injected water was originally obtained, or 
discharged directly to the proposed impoundments/reservoirs. The wells 
are to be used primarily to store waters that are currently discharged 
to tide.
    In order for the withdrawn waters to be discharged directly back to 
the surface water bodies, or to existing or proposed reservoirs/
impoundments, the salinity concentrations would have to be low enough 
so that water quality problems/violations would not result. In a few 
cases, the waters would be discharged to an existing or proposed 
reservoir that is, or would be, used as a surface water supply for 
local drinking water treatment facilities. In these instances, through 
permit conditions, the salinity concentrations would not be allowed to 
reach problematic levels. Therefore, if the injected waters and the 
brackish Floridan aquifer waters do mix significantly at specific 
wells, resulting in high salinity concentrations, those ASR wells could 
not be used as proposed. In order for the ASR wells to be successful, 
and useful, the freshwater ``bubble'' must not mix significantly with 
the brackish Floridan aquifer waters.
    During the development of the ASR storage concept as part of the 
CERP, several local water utilities did propose the concept of taking 
the waters withdrawn from the ASR wells directly to existing or new 
drinking water facilities. In all of these instances, the existing or 
proposed facilities would use a membrane treatment technology, 
primarily to satisfy current drinking water criteria and to also remove 
the chlorides from their brackish, upper Floridan, source waters. It 
costs approximately $1.30 to $1.40 per thousand gallons for a membrane 
treatment facility versus $1.00 per thousand gallons for a lime 
treatment facility.

    Question 6: What potential alternatives does the Administration 
have at this time should the Aquifer Storage and Recovery system not 
work on the scale proposed by the Comprehensive Plan?
    Response. If the ASR components are not as successful as expected, 
then it is likely that the CERP would be adjusted to include more above 
ground surface water storage. It is expected that the acreage and 
volume capacity of currently proposed above ground reservoirs, 
especially in the vicinity of Lake Okeechobee, could be increased. It 
is also likely that the depths of the proposed reservoirs could be 
increased. However, even with this increase in storage capacity the 
ability to capture and store wet season freshwater flows across South 
Florida for use in environmental restoration purposes would be reduced 
if planned ASR facilities are unsuccessful.
    Although ASR facilities were first used in Florida in 1982, ASR 
wells have never been used on such a large scale and in such a variety 
of geologic conditions as proposed in the CERP. An Aquifer Storage and 
Recovery Team has been formed to work through the various surface 
water, hydrogeological, and water quality uncertainties. Since 
implementation of ASR facilities is expected to occur incrementally 
over a 20 year period, there will be ample time for re-evaluations. 
Pilot projects will evaluate the effectiveness of the technology. If 
ASR use is reduced or eliminated, other features will be substituted.
                               __________
 Statement of Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, Assistant Secretary of the Army 
                            for Civil Works
Rescuing an Endangered Ecosystem: The Plan to Restore America's 
        Everglades
    Mr. Chairman, members of the Committee, I am Joseph Westphal, 
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. Sitting with me today 
is Mr. Michael Davis, my Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy and 
Legislation. Also, with me is Colonel Joe Miller and members of his 
staff from the Jacksonville District. We are pleased to be here today 
to present the Administration's and the Army's views on an important 
national issue the restoration of America's Everglades.
    An American treasure is in trouble. Once the Florida Everglades was 
a vibrant, free-flowing river of grass that provided clean water from 
Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. It was a haven for storks, alligators, 
panthers and other wildlife and was critical to the health of estuaries 
and coral reefs. Today this extraordinary ecosystem--unlike any other 
in the world--is dying.
    Over the past half-century, as the population of south Florida has 
grown, the health and size of the Everglades have steadily declined. 
Fully half the Everglades have been lost to agriculture and 
development. And the surviving remnants suffer from a severe shortage 
of clean, reliable water. In our efforts to guard communities against 
flooding and to ensure adequate water supplies for drinking and 
irrigation, we have diverted the natural water flows that are the 
essence and very lifeblood of the Everglades.
    As Marjory Stoneman Douglas said in The Everglades: River of Grass, 
``There are no other Everglades in the world.'' Like the tropical 
rainforest of South America and the giant redwood forest of the west, 
the Everglades is a unique ecosystem. We must act now, and act 
aggressively, if we are to save this special place.
    On July 1, 1999, the Vice President, on behalf of the 
Administration, and in partnership with the State of Florida, submitted 
to Congress a comprehensive plan to restore the South Florida 
ecosystem, which includes the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay, 
and Biscayne Bay. This Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 
(CERP), which will be implemented over the next 25 years, will:

      Improve the health of over 2.4 million acres of the south 
Florida ecosystem, including Everglades National Park;
      Improve the health of Lake Okeechobee;
      Virtually eliminate damaging freshwater releases to the 
estuaries;
      Improve water deliveries to Florida and Biscayne bays;
      Improve water quality; and
      Enhance water supply and maintain flood protection.

    The CERP, which was formally known as the ``Restudy,'' is the most 
ambitious ecosystem restoration project ever undertaken in the United 
States--if not the world. Its fundamental goal is to capture most of 
the fresh water that now flows unused to the sea and deliver it when 
and where it is needed most. Eighty percent of this ``new'' water will 
be devoted to environmental restoration, reviving the ecosystem from 
the Kissimmee River, through Lake Okeechobee, through Everglades 
National Park, to the coral reefs of Florida Bay. The remaining 20 
percent will benefit cities and farmers, enhancing water supplies and 
supporting a strong, sustainable economy for south Florida. In short, 
the CERP provides the necessary road map for improving the quantity, 
quality, timing, and distribution of the water so vital to the health 
of America's Everglades and the people of south Florida.
    The CERP was developed under the leadership of the U. S. Army Corps 
of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management District. Scores of 
scientists from many agencies, including the Everglades National Park, 
two Indian tribes, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, 
and many local governments, have helped develop this plan. Extensive 
input has been gathered from interest groups and the general public. 
Twelve formal public meetings were held as well as scores of focused 
interest group meetings.
    While the CERP reflects the best available science, we are prepared 
to refine our thinking as we learn more. Thus the CERP is designed to 
be flexible, to incorporate and respond to new information as it 
becomes available. Continuous monitoring and independent scientific 
review are key components of the CERP. Still, we cannot wait for all 
the answers to begin. There is too much at stake and little time to 
act.
The Problem
    The Everglades of today are not the same place that Mrs. Douglas 
wrote about in 1947. Millions of people have encroached upon the 
ecosystem that once was the domain of panthers, alligators and flocks 
of birds so vast that they would darken the sky. With the arrival of 
people came the desire to manage the water, to tame the free flowing 
river of grass from Lake Okeechobee to the Florida Keys.
    The Central and Southern Florida Project was authorized by Congress 
50 years ago to provide flood protection and fresh water to south 
Florida. This project accomplished its intended purpose and allowed 
people to more easily live on the land. It did so, however, at 
tremendous ecological cost to the Everglades. While the population of 
people has risen from 500,000 in the 1950's to more than 6 million 
today, the numbers of native birds and other wildlife have dwindled and 
some have vanished. The size of the Everglades has been reduced by 
half.
    Over the past 100 years, excessive drainage of wetlands and changes 
in the natural variability of water flows have altered the Everglades 
wetland ecosystem on a regional scale. Today, discharges to the 
Everglades are often too much, or too little, and frequently at the 
wrong times of the year. An over-abundance or scarcity of water affects 
plants and wildlife accustomed to the Everglades' historic range of 
water flows, levels and seasons. In addition, canals and highways that 
criss-cross the Everglades have interrupted its historic overland sheet 
flow.
    Water quality throughout south Florida has deteriorated over the 
past 50 years. More than one-half of the wetlands that act as natural 
filters and retention areas are gone. Some untreated urban and 
agricultural storm water is sent directly to natural areas and 
estuaries. Too much, or too little, water is often sent to estuaries. 
Too many nutrients are entering the Everglades, with an over-abundance 
of cattails a visible indicator of the consequences.
    Historically, most rainwater soaked into the ground in the region's 
vast wetlands. As south Florida developed, the canal system built over 
the past 100 years worked effectively and drained water off the land 
very quickly. As a result, approximately 1.7 billion gallons of water 
per day on average is discharged to the ocean. One very significance 
consequence is that not enough water is available for the environment. 
Under current conditions, these natural systems cannot recover their 
defining characteristics and they will not survive. The growing demand 
for a reliable and inexpensive supply of water for agriculture, 
industry and a burgeoning population will likely exceed the limits of 
readily accessible sources. As the needs of the region's natural 
systems are factored in, as they must be, conflicts for water among 
users will become even more severe. Water shortages will become more 
frequent and more severe unless changes to the water management system 
are made. The health of the ecosystem will continue to decline unless 
we act.
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
    First and foremost, the goal of the CERP is to restore, protect and 
preserve the south Florida ecosystem. The focus of the CERP has been to 
restore the defining ecological features of the original Everglades and 
other parts of south Florida ecosystem.
    Both the problems with declining ecosystem health and the solutions 
to Everglades restoration can be framed by four interrelated factors: 
quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water. The principal 
goal of restoration is to deliver the right amount of water, of the 
right quality, to the right places and at the right time. The natural 
environment will respond to these hydrologic improvements, and we will 
once again see a healthy Everglades ecosystem. The CERP consists of 
over 60 components that work together to accomplish this.
    Quantity Significantly less water flows through the ecosystem today 
compared to historical times. As noted above, on average, 1.7 billion 
gallons of water that once flowed through the ecosystem is wasted each 
day through discharges to the ocean or gulf in excess of the needs of 
the estuaries. The CERP will capture most of this water in surface and 
underground storage areas where it will be stored until it is needed. 
Specifically, this water will be stored in more than 217,000 acres of 
new reservoirs and wetlands-based treatment areas, and 300 underground 
aquifer storage and recovery wells. These features vastly increase the 
amount of water available in south Florida.
    Quality The quality of water in the south Florida ecosystem has 
been diminished significantly. Excess phosphorus, mercury, and other 
contaminants harm the region's surface water and groundwater. The water 
quality of the Everglades Water Conservation Areas, the coastal 
estuaries, Florida Bay and the Keys show similar signs of significant 
degradation. The CERP will improve the quality of water discharged to 
natural areas by first directing it to surface storage reservoirs and 
wetlands based stormwater treatment areas. In addition, the CERP 
recommended the development of a comprehensive integrated water quality 
plan for the region that will further improve water quality.
    Timing Alternating periods of natural flooding and drying, called 
hydroperiods, were vital to the Everglades ecosystem. These natural 
hydroperiods have been severely altered by human activities. Restoring 
these variations in water flows and levels is an integral part of the 
CERP. Specifically, the timing of water held and released into the 
ecosystem will be modified by the CERP so that it more closely matches 
natural patterns. The CERP will reduce the harmful water levels that 
damage Lake Okeechobee and its shoreline. Improved water deliveries to 
the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers will reduce damage to the 
estuaries caused by too much or too little fresh water. Florida and 
Biscayne bays will receive improved fresh water flows. In other areas, 
an operational plan that mimics natural rainfall patterns will enhance 
the timing of water sent to the Water Conservation Areas, Everglades 
National Park, and other wildlife management areas.
    Distribution The areal extent and movement of water through the 
system is the final factor in the water equation. Over 50 percent of 
the original Everglades have been lost to urban and agricultural 
development. Further, the remaining ecosystem has been separated, or 
compartmentalized, by canals and levees. To improve the connectivity of 
natural areas, and to enhance sheetflow, more than 240 miles of levees 
and canals will be removed within the Everglades. Most of the Miami 
Canal in Water Conservation Area 3 will be filled and 20 miles of the 
Tamiami Trail will be rebuilt with bridges and culverts, allowing water 
to flow more naturally into Everglades National Park. In the Big 
Cypress National Preserve, the levee that separates the preserve from 
the Everglades will be removed to restore more natural overland water 
flow.
    In summary, the CERP will store much of the excess water that is 
now sent to the sea so there will be enough water to meet the needs of 
both ecosystem and urban and agricultural users. The CERP includes a 
number of features to improve the quality of water flowing to the 
natural environment. It will continue to provide the same level of 
flood protection for south Florida. The CERP is not perfect no plan 
could be given the complexity of the ecosystem and the effects of past 
modifications. We know that we do not have all the answers and that we 
will have to make adjustments as we learn more. In this regard, the 
concept of adaptive assessment is an integral part of the CERP. In 
short, we will monitor, use independent peer review, public input, and 
make necessary adjustments as we go, utilizing the effective 
interagency and multi-stakeholder partnerships that allowed us to 
develop the CERP.
    Why Restore the Everglades?
    Perhaps first and foremost, the Everglades are an American treasure 
that is in serious trouble. There is no other wetland system like the 
``River of Grass'' in the world. As with other great natural and 
cultural resources, we have a responsibility to protect and restore 
this treasure for generations to come.
    Implementing the CERP over the next 25 or so years will cost 
approximately $7.8 billion. While the cost of the project is 
substantial, it will be spread over many years and shared equally 
between the Federal Government and the State of Florida. More 
importantly, the environmental and economic costs of inaction are 
enormous. The Everglades will continue to die and water shortages will 
have real effects on Florida's economy.
    The benefits to the Nation of implementing the CERP are tremendous. 
The entire south Florida ecosystem, including the Everglades, will 
become healthy, with many of its natural characteristics restored. 
Urban and agricultural water users will also benefit from enhanced 
water supplies. Flood protection, so important to hurricane-prone south 
Florida, will be maintained and, in some cases, improved.
    The economic benefits from implementation of the CERP are wide-
ranging and are linked with the availability of clean, abundant water 
in the ecosystem. Not only is water the key to ecosystem restoration, 
it is also necessary for sustainable agricultural and urban 
environments. It is important for recreation, tourism and navigation. 
It plays a significant and obvious role in commercial and recreational 
fishing.
    With the CERP, the distribution of plants and animals will return 
to more natural patterns as more pre-drainage water flows are restored. 
The CERP will support the return of the large nesting ``rookeries'' of 
wading birds to Everglades National Park, and the recovery of several 
endangered species, including the wood stork, snail kite, Cape Sable 
seaside sparrow, and American crocodile. We are confident that 
implementation of the CERP will allow us to once again witness an 
abundance of wildlife in the Everglades.
    Lake Okeechobee, which is regionally important to fish and 
wildlife, will once again become a healthy lake. Both the shallow and 
open water areas within the lake, essential to its commercial and 
recreational fishery, will be greatly enhanced by improved water 
levels. This will mean more abundant and healthier fish populations. 
Water quality in the lake will also be improved significantly by 
reducing the pollutant loading of water flowing into the lake.
    The CERP will also improve fresh water deliveries to Florida and 
Biscayne bays and the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. 
Appropriate fresh water regimes will result in substantial improvements 
in aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats, including, mangroves, coastal 
marshes, and seagrass beds Interacting together to produce food, 
shelter, and breeding and nursery grounds; these coastal habitat areas 
will support more balanced, productive fish, shellfish, and wildlife 
communities.
    In short, the CERP will begin to reverse, in a relatively short 
time, the pattern of ecological degradation that has been occurring in 
the natural system for many decades. If we start now, the natural 
wetlands system of south Florida will be healthier by the year 2010.
    Like many other public works projects, implementing the CERP is an 
investment in the nation's future. With this investment, we can restore 
this unique ecosystem and leave a proud legacy for future generations. 
If we do not make the investment now, we will suffer the irretrievable 
loss of the Everglades.
    The estimated cost to implement the CERP is $7.8 billion. It will 
also cost approximately $182 million each year to operate, maintain, 
and monitor the CERP. Taken together over the more than 20 years needed 
to implement the CERP, the annual costs amount to just over $400 
million. In general, the Federal Government will pay half the cost and 
the State of Florida and the South Florida Water Management District 
will pay the other half.
    The Restoration Effort Begins with Authorization in the Water 
Resources Development Act of 2000
    In early 2000, the Administration will ask the Congress to 
authorize an initial package of projects that will begin implementation 
of the CERP. This request for authorization will be made through a 
proposed Water Resources Development Act of 2000. The initial 
authorization request will include 1) four pilot projects; 2) ten 
specific project features; and 3) a programmatic authority through 
which smaller projects can be quickly implemented. Authorization for 
the remaining 26 proposed projects will be requested in subsequent 
Water Resources Development Act proposals beginning in 2002.
    Pilot projects will address technical uncertainties. Prior to full-
scale implementation, six pilot projects, costing about $97 million, 
will be built to address uncertainties with some of the features in the 
CERP (two of these pilot project were authorized in the Water Resources 
Development Act of 1999). These six projects include aquifer storage 
and recovery in each geographic region that the technology is proposed; 
in-ground reservoir technology in the lake belt region of Miami-Dade 
County; levee seepage management technology adjacent to Everglades 
National Park; and advanced wastewater treatment technology to 
determine the feasibility of using reuse water for ecological 
restoration.
    Initial set of construction features will provide immediate system-
wide water quality and flow distribution benefits and use already 
purchased land. Ten projects, totaling $1.1 billion, are recommended 
for initial authorization. These projects were selected because they 
can provide system-wide water quality and flow distribution benefits to 
the ecosystem as well as opportunities to integrate these features with 
other ongoing Federal and State restoration programs. For example, if 
authorized, we could update the ongoing Modified Water Deliveries 
Project to make it more consistent with the CERP by taking immediate 
steps to improve flow distribution through the Tamiami Trail. In 
addition, the South Florida Water Management District and the U.S. 
Department of the Interior have already purchased lands, such as the 
Talisman lands, for a number of CERP components. Authorization of 
projects that use lands already purchased will ensure that these lands 
are utilized for restoration as soon as possible.
    Programmatic authority will expedite implementation. An 
authorization will be sought similar to the authorization received in 
1996 for Everglades Ecosystem Restoration Projects (Critical Projects). 
These projects would ``produce independent, immediate, and substantial 
restoration, preservation and protection benefits,'' and expedite some 
components of the CERP. The programmatic authority would be limited to 
those individual components of the CERP that have a total project cost 
of $70 million or less, with a maximum Federal share of $35 million per 
project. A total of 27 components of the CERP, with a total combined 
Federal and non-Federal cost of $490 million, could be implemented in 
an efficient and expedited manner. Components such as the Arthur R. 
Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge internal canal 
structures, the Lake Okeechobee watershed water quality treatment 
facility and the Florida Keys tidal restoration project could be 
accomplished under this programmatic authority.
    The remainder of the CERP's features to be included in future Water 
Resources Development Acts. Congress will be asked to authorize the 
remaining components of the CERP as more detailed planning is 
completed. At a cost of approximately $6.2 billion, the 26 remaining 
features will undergo additional studies and analysis before 
authorization is sought from Congress. Many of these project components 
are dependent on the results of the proposed pilot projects such as 
aquifer storage and recovery features and the in-ground reservoirs in 
Miami-Dade County. Based on the implementation schedule, project 
reports will be submitted to Congress periodically through the year 
2014.
    Implementation of the CERP provides flexibility to adapt to new 
information. No plan can anticipate how a complex ecosystem will 
respond during restoration efforts. For example, the remaining 
Everglades are only one-half as large as their original size and 
current boundaries often do not follow natural ground elevations or 
habitat patterns. For these and many other reasons, the ways in which 
this ecosystem will respond to the recovery of more natural water 
patterns could include some unforeseen outcomes. The CERP anticipates 
such outcomes. The CERP is designed to allow project modifications that 
take advantage of what is learned from system responses, both expected 
and unexpected. Called adaptive assessment, and using a well-focused 
regional monitoring program, this approach will allow us to maximize 
environmental benefits while ensuring that restoration dollars are used 
wisely. The monitoring program measures how well each component of the 
plan accomplishes its objectives, and, this, in turn, sets up 
opportunities for refinement of succeeding components. Independent 
scientific review through a National Research Council ``Science 
Advisory Review Panel'' is an integral part of this process.
    Project Implementation Reports bridge the gap between the CERP and 
detailed design. To continue project implementation, more technical 
information is needed. Additional plan formulation and engineering and 
design will be developed. Additional analysis of the impacts of the 
various projects on the environment, flood protection, water quality, 
economics and real estate will be developed as will supplemental 
National Environmental Policy Act documents. Evaluation of component 
contributions to CERP performance will also provide more information 
toward the overall process and provide opportunities for the overall 
refinement or modification to the CERP as needed. The results of these 
efforts will be documented in a series of Project Implementation 
Reports. These Project Implementation Reports are designed to bridge 
the gap between the conceptual level of the Comprehensive Plan and the 
detailed design necessary to proceed with construction.
    Public involvement key to CERP implementation. Continued outreach 
and public involvement are vital to the successful implementation of 
the CERP. In this regard, we will engage the public and stakeholder 
groups fully as each feature of the plan is sited, designed, and 
evaluated in detail. This will play a key role in shaping the details 
of numerous features of the CERP.
Conclusion
    July 1, 1999, was a historic day for ecosystem restoration. An 
unprecedented ecosystem restoration plan was presented to Congress for 
authorization. The CERP represents the best available science and a 
solid roadmap for restoring an American treasure, the Everglades. The 
CERP also represents a partnership between many Federal agencies, two 
Indian tribes, the State of Florida, and many local governments--all 
who recognize the import of this effort and the consequences of 
inaction. This partnership is vital to our long-term success and we 
must all work to ensure that it is sustained.
    The CERP is also a reflection of the contemporary Army Corps of 
Engineers. An agency that has made environmental restoration a priority 
mission.
    Restoration of the Everglades is a high priority for the Clinton/
Gore Administration, including the Army Corps of Engineers. It is a 
high priority for many in Florida, including the Florida Congressional 
delegation. We must make it a priority for the Nation. The Everglades 
are America's Everglades and each of us should try to understand better 
the importance of saving this treasure.
    The ecological and cultural significance of the Everglades is equal 
to the Grand Canyon, the Rocky Mountains or the Mississippi River. As 
responsible stewards of our natural and cultural resources, we cannot 
sit idly by and watch any of these disappear. The Everglades deserves 
the same recognition and support.
    We are now at an important crossroad in our efforts to restore this 
internationally important ecosystem. The future of the CERP now rests 
with the Congress who must authorize and fund its implementation. If we 
act now with courage and vision to implement the CERP we will be 
successful and we will leave a proud Everglades legacy. If we fail to 
act, our legacy will be one of lost opportunities for all future 
generations. The world is indeed watching as we make this choice.
    Mr. Chairman, that concludes our statement. For the record, we have 
included a copy of Rescuing an Endangered Ecosystem: The Plan to 
Restore America's Everglades. This document provides a more detailed 
summary of the CERP and includes important graphics that help 
illustrate many of the points made in this statement.
    Again, it has been a pleasure to participate in this hearing and we 
look forward to working with you, Senator Graham, and the rest of the 
Committee on this important issue. Mr. Davis and I would be pleased to 
answer any questions you may have.
                                 ______
                                 
Responses by Joseph Westphal to Additional Questions from Senator Smith
    Question 1. What potential alternatives does the Administration 
have at this time should the Aquifer Storage and Recovery system not 
work on the scale proposed by the Comprehensive Plan? What evidence is 
there to give the Administration confidence that the system will work 
on the scale being proposed?
    Response 1. Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) is generally defined 
as ``the storage of water in a suitable aquifer through a well during 
times when water is available, and recovery of the water from the same 
well during times when it is needed.'' (Pyne, 1995) ASR facilities have 
been in operation in the United States for about 30 years. According to 
a report entitled ``Aquifer Storage and Recovery Issue Team Assessment 
Report and Comprehensive Strategy'' prepared for the South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Task Force Working Group in July 1999, the first 
ASR facility in Florida was permitted in 1982 and the State had six 
operational ASR facilities, with an additional 12 under construction in 
February 1998. In Florida, ASR is used to store surplus freshwater 
during the rainy summer season, for later use during the usually dry 
winter season. These facilities range in capacity from 1 to 15 million 
gallons of water per day. Also, a number of raw (untreated) ground 
water ASR facilities are currently under construction or in process of 
testing in Florida. Although a number of possible sources of water are 
available for use with ASR (treated surface and ground water, raw 
surface and ground water, reclaimed water), the technology itself is 
the essentially the same for each source.
    The use of ASR is increasing nationally since, with appropriate 
quality of the injected water, it creates few environmental impacts, is 
less expensive than many other water storage options, and can 
efficiently store water for later retrieval. Implementation of the 
planned ASR facilities in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 
(CERP) is expected to take up to 20 or more years. The first stage will 
be a pilot program to test the ASR feasibility in specific locations 
such as around Lake Okeechobee. The Corps received authorization for 
the construction of two ASR pilot projects in the Water Resources 
Development Act of 1999. These projects included a pilot facility along 
Hillsboro Canal in southern Palm Beach County and a pilot project at 
the northern half of Lake Okeechobee. The Administration's legislative 
proposal will request authorization of a third pilot project along the 
Caloosahatchee River to complete the ASR testing. As a result of the 
pilot program and future modeling, the decision to either develop more 
ASR wells or end the development will be made. If the decision is to 
continue the development of more ASR wells, periodic evaluations will 
be made as the program progresses. If the decision is to discontinue 
ASR development, other options will immediately be evaluated as 
substitutions for ASR to make-up for performance reductions. Potential 
alternatives to the proposed ASR components may include: increasing 
storage quantity by raising water levels in Lake Okeechobee; deepening 
proposed surface water storage reservoirs or providing additional 
storage reservoirs in the system; and developing alternative water 
sources, including water reuse facilities, desalination features, and 
use of Florida Aquifer water with treatment. After considering the 
efficiencies, ecological impacts, land requirements, and costs, the ASR 
was considered the best alternative to achieve the objectives of the 
CERP.

    Question 2. Dr. Westphal, it is my understanding that under the 
present system, 70 percent of water deliveries are devoted to urban/
agricultural use and 30 percent to the environment. The CERP calls for 
80 percent of the so-called ``new water'' that is captured under the 
plan to be devoted to the environment and 20 percent to urban/
agricultural use.

    Question 2a. Was the 80-20 split a scientific determination based 
on what would be most beneficial to the environment?
    Response 2a. Yes. Hydrologic performance measures and ecological 
outputs were developed for each area of the ecosystem based on 
scientific analysis of ecosystem needs. These performance measures, 
which involved four interrelated factors: quantity, quality, timing, 
and distribution of water, were used to evaluate the performance of the 
CERP. Following that analysis, a water budget analysis of the Plan was 
conducted. The CERP will capture most of the water that is wasted each 
day through discharges to the ocean or gulf in surface and underground 
storage areas where it will be stored until it is needed. Eighty 
percent of this captured water will be devoted to environmental 
restoration. The remaining 20 percent will benefit cities and farmers, 
enhancing water supplies and supporting a strong, sustainable economy 
for south Florida well into the 21st Century.

    Question 2b. Are there safeguards in place to ensure that, indeed, 
80 percent of the ``new water'' will be delivered to the Everglades 
ecosystem?
    Response 2b. The primary and overarching purpose of the 
Comprehensive Plan is to restore the south Florida ecosystem. 
Accordingly, to ensure the successful implementation of the 
Comprehensive Plan, the Corps will continue to work with the Department 
of the Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other Federal 
agencies and the State of Florida to develop the necessary assurances 
to ensure that the natural system benefits are achieved and maintained. 
The assurances will address the proper quantity, quality, timing, and 
distribution of water for the natural system.
    A major strength of the CERP is that its flexibility allows for 
opportunities to make further improvements as we refine individual 
projects and obtain new information. It contains an aggressive adaptive 
assessment strategy that includes independent scientific peer review 
and a process for identifying and resolving uncertainties. Operational 
rules are critical to maintaining the benefits of ecosystem restoration 
envisioned in the Comprehensive Plan. We will monitor and periodically 
revise our rules regarding the operation of the Central and Southern 
Florida Project to ensure that the hydrologic and ecological benefits 
anticipated in the Plan are maintained. This recurring evaluation of 
operational rules is appropriate considering that the restoration 
project is justified on the basis of environmental benefits. Further, 
the Administration's proposed legislation to authorize the Plan will 
include assurance language on the future evaluation of project features 
and to ensure that the benefits to the natural system will be achieved, 
maintained and preserved.

    Question 2c. In the case of a dry year, if an optimal amount of 
water is not captured, does the split remain 80-20 or does the 
environment have ``first dibs,'' so to speak?
    Response 2c. The distribution of water at any moment in time will 
be based on the needs of the natural system as identified by a rainfall 
model. The Everglades naturally experienced dry periods and we would 
expect to mimic these conditions. Operational rules and procedures 
established as part of the implementation process for the CERP will 
ensure that the ecosystem receives water based on the natural system 
need during dry years. The Administration's proposed legislation will 
include appropriate assurance language to ensure that the benefit to 
the natural system will be maintained and preserved.

    Question 2d. Would the expected increase in Florida's population or 
development of urban areas of South Florida impact the proposed 
delivery of new water?
    Response 2d. No. The Comprehensive Plan was formulated and 
evaluated with full recognition of the anticipated increase in 
population in south Florida over the next 50 years. Therefore, the Plan 
will be able to deliver the appropriate amount of water to the 
ecosystem with an increased population.

    Question 2e. How do you respond to criticism that this restoration 
effort is nothing more than a water supply plan?
    Response 2e. The existing Central and Southern Florida Project, 
which was first authorized in 1948, is a multi-purpose project that 
provides flood protection, water control, regional water supply for 
agricultural and urban uses, prevention of salt water intrusion into 
coastal wellfields, preservation of fish and wildlife resources, and 
recreation. Regional water supply is provided by the project through 
the maintenance of ground water levels, recharge of ground waters, and 
prevention of saltwater intrusion rather than through direct withdrawal 
of water.
    The CERP consists of 68 components. Of the 68 components that 
comprise the Plan, only 11 components provide direct or indirect water 
supply for urban or agricultural uses. If the Plan had been developed 
as a single-purpose ecosystem restoration plan, 10 of those 11 
components would not have been significantly different since they would 
still need to capture and store water needed for restoration. Together 
these features provide the quality, quantity, timing, and distribution 
of flows to the ecosystem. [Example, one of the cells in the proposed 
Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir catches EAA runoff that 
would otherwise flood the water conservation areas. This same cell also 
releases that water to the EAA for agricultural water supply. That in 
turn reduces the EAA's reliance on Lake Okeechobee for water supply in 
the dry season. This reduced reliance of the EAA on Lake Okeechobee 
ensures that more water is available to the natural system. Thus, this 
single reservoir area within the EAA provides water supply and water 
quality to both the Everglades ecosystem as well as to urban and 
agricultural users.]
    Finally, the overarching purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to 
restore, preserve, and protect the south Florida ecosystem, while 
providing for the other water-related needs of the region. The 
overwhelming majority (80 percent) of ``new water'' captured by the 
Comprehensive Plan will be provided to the natural system. This will 
ensure that the ecosystem will receive the water it needs for 
restoration.

    Question 3a. WRDA 1996 stipulates that Operation and Maintenance 
(O&M) shall be a non-Federal responsibility. Yet the CERP proposes that 
the Federal Government assume 50 percent of this cost, estimated to be 
$182 million a year once all components of the project are implemented. 
How does the Corps justify this extra Federal expenditure?
    Response 3a. Mr. Chairman, I would like to provide clarification on 
the recommended O&M cost sharing for the Plan. The Jacksonville 
District's Comprehensive Review Study (Restudy) completed in April 1999 
recommended 50-50 cost sharing for annual O&M of the Plan. This 
recommendation was based on their determination that the Plan will 
provide substantial benefits to Federal lands. The Chief of Engineers 
report recommended O&M cost sharing in accordance with the Water 
Resources Development Act of 1996 that established O&M is a non-Federal 
responsibility. When I transmitted the CERP to Congress on July 1, 
1999, my letter indicated that this is a very important issue that will 
require further review before I could make a final recommendation. In 
this regard, the Army's legislative proposal will include my 
recommendation on O&M cost sharing on behalf of the Administration.

    Question 3b. I understand that Everglades National Park, Biscayne 
National Park, Big Cypress National Preserve, and Loxahatchee National 
Wildlife Refuge will all benefit from the proposed plan. If that is the 
case, then shouldn't the Department of Interior be sharing the cost of 
O&M since these are DOI administered lands?
    Response 3b. The CERP will provide benefits to DOI administered 
lands including Everglades National Park, Big Cypress National 
Preserve, Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, and Biscayne Bay. The 
Chief of Engineers recommended that O&M is a non-Federal responsibility 
in accordance with the Water Resources Development Act of 1996, and 
therefore, no consideration was given to potential funding for O&M from 
DOI or other Federal agencies. We are currently engaged in discussions 
within the Administration on this issue and the Army's legislative 
proposal will include my recommendation on O&M cost sharing on behalf 
of the Administration.

    Question 4. What would be the effects on the ecosystem if 
implementation of the Plan were delayed and only pilot projects 
authorized in WRDA 2000? Alternatively, what if authorization of some 
of the pilot projects were delayed?
    Response 4. The features of the CERP which are recommended for 
authorization in WRDA 2000 include projects that are necessary to 
expedite ecological restoration of the Everglades and other south 
Florida ecosystems. Authorization of these features in WRDA 2000 will 
ensure maximum integration with ongoing Federal, State, and local 
ecological restoration and water quality improvement programs. The 
immediacy for authorization of these select features involves two 
factors: (1) efficiency with ongoing projects; and (2) realizing the 
benefits of Federal investments already undertaken. Authorization of 
these features in WRDA 2000 will maximize the opportunity to integrate 
them with other ongoing Federal and State programs. It is anticipated 
that this would ultimately result in substantial cost savings to the 
Federal Government while expediting the restoration of an ecosystem in 
serious trouble. Furthermore, the South Florida Water Management 
District and the U.S. Department of the Interior have purchased lands 
associated with a number of components of the Comprehensive Plan, 
including nearly 51,000 acres of land as a result of the purchase and 
exchange of the Talisman property in the Everglades Agricultural Area 
(EAA) for water storage. Immediate authorization of the components that 
use these lands will improve timing of environmental water deliveries 
to the Water Conservation Areas including reducing damaging flood 
releases from the EAA to the Water Conservation Areas, reduce Lake 
Okeechobee regulatory releases to estuaries, meet supplemental 
agricultural irrigation demands, and increase flood protection within 
the EAA.
    Pilot projects are needed to address technical uncertainties 
associated with some of the physical features that are proposed in the 
Comprehensive Plan. To ensure that the Comprehensive Plan is 
implemented in a timely manner, it is necessary to expedite the pilot 
projects. These pilot projects are designed to determine the 
feasibility, as well as optimum design, of the features prior to 
embarking on the full-scale development of these features. Therefore, 
any delay in authorizing and implementing the pilot projects will 
result in an even greater delay in implementing features that are 
dependent on the result of the pilot project.

    Question 5. I believe there is some confusion as to what the 
process is going to be for authorization of the Comprehensive Plan. For 
the record, could you break down the different components of the Plan 
and when the Administration expects to request authorization (i.e. in 
what WRDA bill?).
    Response 5. The process and schedule for authorizing the CERP and 
its components was developed based on an analysis of the scheduling of 
plan features and ongoing Federal and State programs, such as the C-111 
Project and the Everglades Construction Project. The process for 
obtaining authorization of the Comprehensive Plan includes:
    a. Congressional approval of the CERP as the appropriate framework 
or roadmap for Everglades restoration;
    b. Initial authorization of a specific set of key components in the 
Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 2000;

           Projects Recommended for Authorization in WRDA 2000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Project                      Cost        Construction Dates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
C-44 Basin Storage Reservoir.....       $112,562,000  6/04-6/07
Everglades Agricultural Area            $233,408,000  9/05-9/09
 Storage Reservoirs Phase I.
Site 1 Impoundment...............        $38,535,000  9/04-9/07
WCA 3A/3B Levee Seepage                 $100,335,000  9/04-9/08
 Management.
C-11 Impoundment & Stormwater           $124,837,000  9/04-9/08
 Treatment Area.
C-9 Impoundment/Stormwater               $89,146,000  9/04-9/07
 Treatment Area.
Taylor Creek/Nubbin Slough              $104,027,000  1/05-1/09
 Storage and Treatment Area.
Raise and Bridge East Portion of         $26,946,000  1/05-1/10
 Tamiami Trail and Fill Miami
 Canal within WCA 3.
North New River Improvements.....        $77,087,000  1/05-1/09
C-111 N Spreader Canal...........        $94,035,000  7/05-7/08
Adaptive Assessment and                 $100,000,000
 Monitoring Program (10 years).
    TOTAL........................     $1,100,918,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    c. Authorization of four pilot projects;

           Projects Recommended for Authorization in WRDA 2000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
             Project                      Cost        Construction Dates
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Calooshatchee River (C-43) Basin          $6,000,000  10/01-10/02
 ASR.
Lake Belt In-Ground Reservoir             23,000,000  06/01-12/05
 Technology.
L-31N Seepage Management.........         10,000,000  10/01-10/02
Wastewater Reuse Technology......         30,000,000  09/03-09/05
    TOTAL........................         69,000,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    d. Future Congressional authorization of components in subsequent 
WRDAs;

                                Projects Requiring Authorization Beyond WRDA 2000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                    Potential
                    Project                             Cost           WRDA            Construction Dates
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
L-31N Improvements for Seepage Management and S-      $184,218,000      2002   10/05-10/10
 356 Structures.
Bird Drive Recharge Area.......................       $124,083,000      2002   12/08-12/13
C-23/C-24 Storage Reservoirs...................       $369,316,000      2002   6/05-5/09
C-25/Northfork and Southfork Storage Reservoirs       $340,907,000      2004   7/06-5/10
Seminole Big Cypress Water Conservation Plan           $75,288,000      2004   6/05-6/08
 East & West.
C-43 Basin Storage Reservoir & Aquifer Storage        $440,195,000      2004   4/05-3/12
 and Recovery.
C-51 Regional Groundwater Aquifer Storage and         $132,336,000      2004   9/08-9/13
 Recovery.
Palm Beach County Agricultural Reserve                $124,099,000      2004   8/09-8/13
 Reservoir and Aquifer Storage and Recovery.
Water Preserve Area / L-8 Basin................       $415,182,000      2006   9/07-9/14
Site 1 Aquifer Storage and Recovery............        $92,844,000      2006   10/10-10/14
Biscayne Bay Coastal Wetlands..................       $299,583,000      2006   5/12-5/18
Caloosahatchee Backpumping with Stormwater             $82,895,000      2008   9/11-9/15
 Treatment.
Lake Okeechobee Aquifer Storage and Recovery...     $1,097,312,000      2008   7/10-6/20
Everglades Agricultural Storage Phase 2........       $203,240,000      2010   7/12-12/15
North of Lake Okeechobee Storage Reservoir.....       $284,854,000      2010   9/11-9/15
Water Conservation Area 3                              $59,204,000      2012   1/15-1/19
 Decompartmentalization and Sheetflow
 Enhancement.
Central Lake Belt Storage Area.................       $489,861,000      2012   2/15-12/36
North Lakebelt Storage Area....................       $516,061,000      2012   2/16-6/36
Diverting Water Conservation Area 2 and 3 Flows        $79,657,000      2012   2/14-2/18
 to Central Lake Belt Storage.
West Miami Dade County Reuse...................       $437,237,000      2014   6/16-6/20
South Miami-Dade County Reuse..................       $363,024,000      2014   6/16-6/20
    TOTAL......................................     $6,211,396,000
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    e. A programmatic authority similar to the existing Critical 
Projects authority contained in WRDA 1996. This authority, if provided 
by Congress in WRDA 2000 will allow the Corps to expedite 
implementation of the Comprehensive Plan through modifications to the 
Central and Southern Florida Project that are consistent with the CERP 
and that will produce independent and substantial benefits. The total 
Federal cost for any project implemented under this authority would not 
exceed $35,000,000. If Congress provides this programmatic authority, 
these projects would not require additional authorization but would 
require appropriate technical analyses and documentation of 
environmental effects in accordance with the National Environmental 
Policy Act before work begins.
    f. Implementation of some components will not require further 
congressional action. These include:

               Projects Not Requiring Congressional Action
------------------------------------------------------------------------
              Project                            Explanation
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Lake Okeechobee Regulation Schedule  Operational change only; implement
                                      when appropriate as other
                                      facilities come on line
Environmental Water Supply           Operational change only; implement
 Deliveries to the Caloosahatchee     when appropriate as other
 Estuary.                             facilities come on line
Environmental Water Supply           Operational change only; implement
 Deliveries to the St. Lucie          when appropriate as other
 Estuary.                             facilities come on line
Everglades Rain Driven Operations..  Operational change only; implement
                                      when appropriate as other
                                      facilities come on line
Change Coastal Wellfield Operations  Operational change only
Modified Holey Land Wildlife         Implement under existing state
 Management Area Operation Plan.      process
Modified Rotenberger Wildlife        Implement under existing state
 Management Area Operation Plan.      process
Lower East Coast Utility Water       Implement under existing state
 Conservation.                        process
Operational Modifications to         Operational change only; implement
 Southern Portion of L-31N and C-     as part of C-111 Project
 111.
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Question 6. How does a Project Implementation Report compare to a 
Feasibility Study?
    Response 6. A Project Implementation Report (PIR) is a new type of 
reporting document unique to the Everglades and South Florida ecosystem 
restoration initiative. These documents will bridge the gap between the 
conceptual nature of the CERP and the detailed design necessary to 
proceed to construction. A PIR will be similar to a traditional Corps 
feasibility report in that it will contain detailed information on the 
planning and design of a component or series of components proposed for 
implementation. Specifically, PIRs will develop the detailed technical 
information to implement the project, including additional plan 
formulation, engineering and design, detailed cost estimates, 
environmental analyses, flood protection analyses, water quality 
analyses, economic analyses, siting and real estate analyses, and 
preparation of supplemental National Environmental Policy Act 
documents. PIRs will also document a Plan component, or group of Plan 
components, contribution to the CERP performance and describe any 
needed refinements and modifications to the CERP resulting from the 
detailed planning and design efforts.
    The purpose of the PIR is to affirm, reformulate or modify a 
component, or group of components, in the CERP. All planning analyses, 
including economic, environmental, water quality, flood protection, 
real estate, and plan formulation, conducted during preconstruction 
design studies will be documented and included in PIRs. The PIR will be 
the vehicle to identify, quantify and attempt to resolve any 
uncertainties surrounding the cost and performance of each major 
component. These uncertainties are not limited to hydrologic 
performance of the specific structure component, but also include the 
uncertainties surrounding the expected ecosystem response to the 
component. A clear description of the expected environmental outcome of 
each component will be included in the PIR. PIRs will typically be 
completed in 18 to 36 months.
    The PIRs for those projects recommended for initial authorization, 
and projects implemented under the programmatic authority, would be 
reviewed and approved by the Secretary of the Army prior to 
construction. All other PIRs for future projects would be submitted to 
the Congress for authorization similar to traditional Corps feasibility 
reports.

    Question 7. What is the Administration's position on authorizing 
this measure as stand-alone legislation, separate from a WRDA package?
    Response 7. Both the Administration and the Congress have committed 
to the biennial WRDA process as the proper vehicle for authorizing all 
Army Corps of Engineers water resources projects. We believe that this 
is the best approach for authorizing the CERP.

    Question 8a. Is it reasonable to expect that there is going to be 
``equity'' between states on how much money is expended on Corps Civil 
Works projects?
    Response 8a. Yes, and we believe we are equitable in our 
distribution of funding. We use no criteria that is designed to favor 
Civil Works projects in any one state. Ceilings are allocated 
proportionally to the individual divisions based on workload. The 
states that expend the most money are the states that have the most 
pressing needs and/or largest Civil Works projects.

    Question 8b. Can you list the ten states that have received the 
most funding to date?
    Response 8b. The ten states that have received the most 
Construction, General funds over the last 10 years are shown in the 
table below.


------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    Number                      State       Total $
------------------------------------------------------------------------
1............................................      CA      1,520,303,640
2............................................      LA      1,472,034,653
3............................................      TX        893,325,572
4............................................      WV        805,291,279
5............................................      IL        776,743,127
6............................................      KY        741,220,454
7............................................      WA        644,700,231
8............................................      OR        561,682,650
9............................................      NJ        448,774,638
10...........................................      PA        442,688,415
------------------------------------------------------------------------


    Question 9a. Regarding the $27 billion backlog, are all the 
projects in the backlog current? That is, is there a portion of these 
projects that are poised to be automatically deauthorized under the 
conditions of the 1986 act?
    Response 9a. Yes, there are. Two ongoing projects have two 
separable elements each that are included in the list of projects that 
are eligible for deauthorization that the Assistant Secretary of the 
Army (Civil Works) submitted to the President of the Senate and the 
Speaker of the House of Representatives on 15 October 1999. $78 million 
is included on the backlog list for two elements of the Central and 
Southern Florida project, Martin County Backflow and Martin County 
Flood Control. Also included on the backlog list is $28 million for two 
elements of the Ascalmore-Tippo-Opossum and Backwater-Rocky Bayou 
elements of the Yazoo Basin, Mississippi project.

    Question 9b. Does this $27 billion include studies or is it purely 
from the construction account?
    Response 9b. The construction backlog of $27 billion consists of 
Construction, General and Mississippi River and Tributaries 
construction projects and does not include studies.
                                 ______
                                 
   Responses by Joseph Westphal to Additional Questions from Senator 
                               Voinovich
    Question 1. Twenty percent of the new water provided by the 
Comprehensive Plan is for municipal and agricultural water supply. This 
water supply will accommodate a growth in South Florida population from 
its present level of 6 million to a projected level of 11 million by 
2050. The Water Supply Act of 1958 and Section 103 of the Water 
Resources Development Act of 1986 make it clear that municipal water 
supply is to be a 100 percent non-Federal responsibility. What is the 
rationale for Federal participation on a 50-50 basis in the portion of 
the Comprehensive Plan attributable to proving water supply for 
municipal uses and to accommodate future population growth in South 
Florida?
    Response 1. The existing Central and Southern Florida Project, 
which was first authorized in 1948, is a multi-purpose project that 
provides flood protection, water control, regional water supply for 
agricultural and urban uses, prevention of salt water intrusion into 
coastal wellfields, preservation of fish and wildlife resources, and 
recreation. Regional water supply is provided by the project through 
the maintenance of ground water levels, recharge of ground waters, and 
prevention of saltwater intrusion rather than through direct withdrawal 
of water.
    The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) consists of 68 
components. Of the 68 components that comprise the Comprehensive Plan, 
only 11 components provide direct or indirect water supply for urban or 
agricultural uses. If the Comprehensive Plan had been developed as a 
single-purpose ecosystem restoration plan, 10 of those 11 components 
would not have been significantly different since they would still need 
to capture and store water needed for restoration. Only one component, 
the Broward County Secondary Canal Improvement component ($12.9 
million), might not have been included in a restoration only plan. Most 
of the components of the CERP are multi-purpose and cannot be 
categorizes simply in terms of a single intended purpose such as 
environmental restoration or urban or agricultural water supply. 
Additional water conservation in the urban areas, which will decrease 
water supply demand by approximately 6 percent more than the 
conservation incorporated in the future without project condition, is 
one of the components of the Comprehensive Plan. [For example, one of 
the cells in the proposed Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) reservoir 
catches EAA runoff that would otherwise flood the water conservation 
areas. This same cell also releases that water to the EAA for 
Agricultural water supply. That in turn reduces the EAA's reliance on 
Lake Okeechobee for water supply in the dry season. This reduced 
reliance of the EAA on Lake Okeechobee ensures that more water is 
available to the natural system. Thus, this single reservoir area 
within the EAA provides water supply and water quality to both the 
Everglades ecosystem as well as to urban and agricultural users.]
    Urban water supply in south Florida is currently met from two 
sources: local groundwater pumping and deliveries from the regional 
system (Lake Okeechobee and the Water Conservation Areas). During 
normal years, the lower east coast draws most of its water supply 
directly from the Biscayne aquifer. As water levels in the aquifer are 
drawn down during dry years, water is then released from the Water 
Conservation Areas to recharge the aquifer. Under more severe drought 
conditions, water must be brought from Lake Okeechobee to meet the 
needs of the lower east coast. With the CERP in place, the lower east 
coast receives less water from the Water Conservation Areas and Lake 
Okeechobee than under either the existing or future without project 
conditions. It is important to note that much of the increased demand 
for future water supply will be met by increased pumping from the 
Biscayne aquifer.
    Here, the vast majority of the water supply comes as an indirect 
result of increasing water supply to the natural system. Thus, water 
supply is inextricably linked to restoration, adds little if any 
additional cost, and, therefore, it was recommended that it be cost 
shared in the same manner as restoration.

    Question 2a. The $1.1 billion of projects proposed for initial 
authorization are developed only to a conceptual level of detail. 
Information typically developed before a project is authorized has not 
yet been developed including the exact location of project feature 
(reservoir sites for example); the exact size and dimensions of project 
features (levee heights, dam heights, pump sizes, etc.); the tracts of 
land that will need to be acquired to construct the project, 
engineering information such as subsurface exploration, detailed 
topographic information, and hydrologic modeling; and other design 
details. Please provide details on how the information developed for 
the projects proposed for initial authorization studies compares to the 
information normally developed in feasibility studies.
    Response 2a. While the Comprehensive Plan report was written at a 
level of detail that is less specific in nature than recent projects 
recommended for congressional authorization, the feasibility report has 
been completed in accordance with legislation and Army policy and 
guidance. Further, the Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement 
(EIS) addresses the potential environmental effects of the actions 
proposed in the Comprehensive Plan. The Programmatic EIS addresses, at 
a general level, the alternatives and environmental effects of the 
overall project.
    The Comprehensive Plan presented in the feasibility report is 
similar in scope to the 1948 Comprehensive Report for the Central and 
Southern Florida Project. The original plan provided a framework from 
which all subsequent planning and design could follow. The plan was 
general in nature and did not identify precise locations of project 
features. Further, minimal alternative analysis was accomplished. At 
that time, it was understood that more detailed alternative analysis 
would be accomplished during subsequent planning and design. Hence, a 
phased implementation of a comprehensive plan for south Florida was 
recommended and implemented.
    Further, due to the reduced level of detail, prior to initiation of 
detailed design and construction, Project Implementation Reports will 
be completed for each project proposed for authorization in WRDA 2000 
and any project which will be implemented under the programmatic 
authority. These reports will be approved by the Secretary of the Army 
and will document advanced planning, engineering and design, real 
estate analysis, and supplemental requirements under the National 
Environmental Policy Act.

    Question 2b. What are the risks if any in authorizing these 
projects based on only conceptual information?
    Response 2b. The Administration believes that there are minimal, if 
any, risk associated with authorizing the initial ten projects 
recommended in the CERP. A Chief of Engineer's Report has been 
completed and these projects have been developed to sufficient detail 
to support authorization. The CERP is a scientifically and economically 
sound plan that provides the framework and guide for needed 
modifications to the Central and Southern Florida Project and related 
actions that are integrally linked.
    The effort to develop the CERP has been an open, collaborative 
process involving Federal and state agencies, local government and 
tribal participation. This inter-agency, inter-disciplinary process 
ensured that the Plan evolved from a healthy diversity of backgrounds, 
interests, and agency missions. The project components recommended for 
authorization have been developed by scores of scientists and engineers 
from many agencies and extensive input has been gathered from interest 
groups and the general public. We recognize that there are technical 
and cost uncertainties associated with some of the components included 
in the CERP. As each component proceeds toward actual implementation, 
technical uncertainties will be addressed through pilot projects and 
more detailed analysis. We will develop contingency plans as necessary 
during the implementation phase for appropriate components and 
technologies to ensure that the benefits of the Plan are obtained.
    To minimize potential risks associated with the conceptual nature 
of the CERP, the Administration will propose assurance language in its 
legislative proposal to address the evaluation and implementation of 
project features. This language will state that prior to the initiation 
of construction of project components and features in the CERP, the 
Secretary of the Army will complete Project Implementation Reports 
(PIRs), which will be similar to feasibility reports, to address the 
project(s) economic justification, engineering feasibility, and 
environmental acceptability, including National Environmental Policy 
Act compliance. Prior to finalization, these PIRs will be coordinated 
with appropriate Federal, state and local agencies, tribal governments, 
public interest groups, and stakeholders. These reports would also be 
subjected to the normal budgetary review process. The Administration 
will propose that PIRs for the CERP components and features recommended 
for authorization in WRDA 2000 be reviewed and approved by the 
Secretary of the Army. All other PIRs for plan components and features 
to be implemented in the future will be submitted to the Congress for 
authorization.
    The Plan is designed to be flexible, to incorporate and respond to 
new information as it becomes available. Continuous monitoring and 
independent scientific review are key components of the Plan. By acting 
now, we can reverse the damage of the past and rescue this unique and 
remarkable landscape.
    The risks of not implementing this Plan and authorizing the initial 
projects are severe. Reductions in the spatial extent of healthy 
wetlands will continue. Species that require large expanses of natural 
habitat, such as the Florida panther, snail kite, and wading birds, 
will increasingly become stressed by the loss of habitats. Losses of 
organic soils will continue to reduce water storage capacity and 
ecological productivity throughout the ecosystem. Canals and levees 
will continue to encourage the introduction and spread of exotic plants 
and animals. Unnatural fire patterns will increasingly damage the 
natural landscapes of south Florida. South Florida recreational and 
commercial fishing will decline, both in freshwater Everglades and Lake 
Okeechobee, and in the Caloosahatchee and Florida Bay estuaries. 
Finally, the Everglades will cease to exist as a functional, 
recognizable ``River of Grass.''

    Question 2c. What precedent will be set in authorizing these 
projects based on conceptual information?
    Response 2c. The Everglades restoration effort is of national and 
international significance. We consider the CERP as a unique initiative 
that can be separated from traditional Corps projects. The projects 
recommended for initial authorization are an integral part of an 
overall Plan that will begin to reverse, in a relatively short time, 
the pattern of ecological degradation that has been occurring in the 
natural system for many decades. We recognize that this is an ecosystem 
in peril, and time is of the essence. Implementation of the restoration 
features as scheduled will provide substantial hydrologic, water 
quality, and ecological benefits to the ecosystem by the year 2010.

    Question 2d. Is the Administration prepared to seek authorization 
of other water resources projects based on a conceptual level of 
detail?
    Response 2d. We are not proposing authorization of a project based 
on only conceptual level of detail. The CERP, however, is a relatively 
detailed plan. It is based on extensive analysis of problems and issues 
and comprehensive modeling of conditions and options to be considered 
for addressing the environmental restoration, water supply and flood 
control needs of the region. These efforts have been ongoing for 7 
years and included independent scientific review and input from all 
affected and interested parties. We recognize there are unknowns as to 
the full effectiveness of some of the proposed actions. To address 
this, the plan allows early implementation of those actions that will 
provide clear and significant benefits while other actions are more 
fully evaluated as to need and scope based on effectiveness of initial 
actions and pilot projects.

    Question 3. The Chief of Engineers Report on the Comprehensive Plan 
contains a commitment to complete the additional analysis that is 
necessary to refine the Comprehensive Plan to deliver additional water 
(approximately 245,000 acre-feet) to Everglades National Park and 
Biscayne Bay, either by capturing additional runoff from urban areas or 
by some other means. This additional water was not part of the report 
of the District Engineer and was added at the Washington level. This 
commitment was made without coordination with the State of Florida, the 
Miccosukee tribe, agricultural interests and other members of the South 
Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. While there is support for 
examining the potential use of this additional, there is a widespread 
concern about the economic and environmental feasibility of its use. 
Can you describe the process that will be used to develop, review and 
approve the plans for this additional water?
    Response 3. In response to the October 1998 draft report on the 
Comprehensive Plan, the Department of the Interior and other scientists 
suggested that additional water was needed to ensure restoration of 
Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay. The interagency team that 
developed the Comprehensive Plan evaluated several options and 
concluded that additional water would provide important benefits to 
Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay. The principal remaining 
questions are how to deliver this water without impacting other parts 
of the ecosystem (e.g. the Water Conservation Areas), impacts on 
secondary canals in Palm Beach County, and how much the water would 
have to be cleaned before it could be delivered to the ecosystem. A 
discussion of this proposal in general terms was included in the Corps' 
final report that was released in April 1999. A letter clarifying this 
issue was distributed with the report last April, and the commitment to 
further study the delivery of additional water was discussed with and 
endorsed by the Task Force. The Chief of Engineer's Report commits that 
the Corps will prepare a Project Implementation Report by 2004 to 
determine how much of the 245,000 acre-feet is necessary to restore 
Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay. The evaluation will include 
more detailed studies, an Environmental Impact Statement, and full 
public review. Once this has been completed, a final executive branch 
decision will be made and a proposal will be forwarded to Congress for 
consideration in a Water Resources Development Act of 2004. Congress 
would then have the opportunity to discuss and debate the proposal. In 
short, construction would not start on this proposal until it has been 
studied fully and congressional authorization is obtained.
                                 ______
                                 
   Responses by Joseph Westphal to Additional Questions from Senator 
                                 Graham
    Question 1. In your brief testimony, I know you did not have an 
opportunity to discuss the restoration work that the Army Corps has 
already conducted on the Everglades project. Can you describe these 
projects and their status?
    Response 1. There are a number of significant and important 
restoration projects currently underway in South Florida. I will 
briefly summarize these projects below:
    a. The Kissimmee River Restoration Project involves the ecosystem 
restoration of the historic floodplain to reestablish wetland 
conditions resulting in the restoration of 27,000 acres of wetlands and 
riverine habitat in the Kissimmee watershed. The project will be 
accomplished through the backfilling of 22 miles of canal C-38, 
modifications to the operation of the lakes, modification or removal of 
several structures and canals, and excavation of about 9 miles of new 
river channel. Construction was initiated in the fall of 1997 and is 
scheduled to be completed in September 2009.
    b. The West Palm Beach Canal Project (C-51) provides water quality 
treatment, reduction of damaging freshwater discharges to Lake Worth, 
and increased water supply for the Loxahatchee National Wildlife 
Refuge, the Everglades and other users. Construction was initiated last 
year. The eastern basin works are complete and work continues in the 
western basin, which is scheduled for completion in March 2003.
    c. Another project underway is the South Dade County Project (C-
111). Canal C-111 normally discharges into Florida Bay via overland 
flow across the eastern panhandle of ENP and discharges into Taylor 
Slough which ultimately also flows to Florida Bay. The project will not 
only maintain existing flood protection to the southeast coast urban 
areas, but will also minimize the need for damaging freshwater 
discharges to Barnes Sound, restore more natural hydrologic conditions 
to the Taylor Slough Basin in Everglades National Park and restore 
historic freshwater flows to Florida Bay. Project construction was 
initiated in Aug 1996 and is scheduled for completion in May 2003.
    d. The Corps/DOI/South Florida Water Management District 
partnership for Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park 
will make structural modifications and additions to the Central & 
Southern Florida Project (C&SF) enabling water deliveries for the 
restoration of more natural hydrologic conditions in Everglades 
National Park's Northeast Shark River Slough basin. Project 
construction is scheduled for completion in Nov 2003.
    e. Section 528 of WRDA 96 provided authority for Critical 
Restoration Projects that would provide immediate, independent and 
substantial restoration benefits. Last year we executed the first 
Project Cooperation Agreement with the State of Florida for a carrying 
capacity study of the Florida Keys and on 7 January 2000 the Corps 
executed 7 more Project Cooperation Agreements with the South Florida 
Water Management District and one with the Seminole Tribe of Florida to 
implement the following projects:


------------------------------------------------------------------------
                       Project                            Total Costs
------------------------------------------------------------------------
East Coast Canal (C-4)...............................         $1,300,000
Tamiami trail Culverts...............................         $8,336,000
Western C-11 Water Treatment.........................         $9,630,000
Seminole Big Cypress Water Conservation..............        $49,332,000
Southern CREW/Imperial River Floodway................        $12,021,000
Lake Okeechobee Water Retention/Phosphorus Removal...        $16,360,000
Ten Mile Creek Water Preserve Area...................        $29,066,000
Lake Trafford........................................        $17,540,000
Florida Keys Carrying Capacity Study\1\..............         $6,000,000
                                                      ------------------
    TOTAL............................................       $149,585,000
------------------------------------------------------------------------
\1\PCA executed in Fiscal Year 1999

    Design activities are currently underway, with the first 
construction contracts scheduled for award later this year. All 
projects are scheduled to be complete by September 2004.
    f. Further studies underway will examine alternatives available for 
protecting wetlands outside the remaining Everglades, as well as 
coastal estuaries such as those in the St. Lucie estuary, Indian River 
Lagoon and Biscayne Bay.
    These ongoing projects were all considered in the development of 
the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Each will 
contribute to the overall goals to restore the quantity, quality, 
distribution and timing of water to more natural conditions. As the 
CERP is implemented, the current ongoing projects will be monitored to 
ensure that they are optimally integrated into the overall effort.

    Question 2. How are these initial projects similar or different 
than what is being proposed in the Restudy?
    Response 2. For the purposes of developing the CERP, the Restudy 
team assumed that authorized/ongoing projects were in place and 
operating. This assumption provided a basis for developing the future 
``Without Project Condition'' which all alternative plans were compared 
against. Since these projects had already been authorized, no attempt 
was made to reevaluate the merits of these on going projects. Instead, 
the team utilized data and reports developed for these projects to 
determine if modifications were necessary.
    Generally, the team determined that these projects provide an 
important first step toward ecosystem restoration of the Everglades. 
However, there are some projects, such as the Modified water Deliveries 
Project, that will need to be modified based on the Comprehensive Plan. 
To implement these modifications, the Restudy Team is working closely 
with the Modified Water Deliveries team and other project teams to 
ensure integration of these modifications. Further, to facilitate and 
expedite these modifications, the Corps is recommending immediate 
authorization of features that will have an impact to ongoing projects. 
This initial authorization will ensure the development of comprehensive 
solutions that otherwise could not be pursued under existing 
authorities.
    With regard to the Everglades and South Florida Ecosystem 
Restoration, the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) of 1996 
authorizes the Secretary of the Army to expeditiously implement 
restoration projects that are deemed critical to the restoration of the 
south Florida ecosystem. These projects are referred to as ``Critical 
Projects.'' This authority resulted in an expedited study to identify 
projects that would meet the criteria set forth in the authorizing 
legislation. A total of 35 projects were nominated as Critical Projects 
under this authority by the Working Group of the South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Task Force. This nomination process involved 
considerable input from the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable 
South Florida and the public. Based on the priorities developed during 
the nomination process, the Corps of Engineers conducts an abbreviated 
study and produces a letter report that is transmitted to the Secretary 
of the Army to obtain approval for construction of the project. All 
Critical Projects were considered as described above and included as 
features for future implementation under the CERP due to funding 
limitations under the Critical Projects authority.

    Question 3. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystems if we move forward with this project?
    Response 3. The entire south Florida ecosystem, including the 
Everglades, will become healthy, with many of its natural 
characteristics restored. Urban and agricultural water users will also 
benefit from enhanced water supplies. Flood protection, so important to 
hurricane-prone south Florida, will be maintained and, in some cases, 
improved.
    Economic benefits from the implementation of the Comprehensive Plan 
are wide-ranging and are linked with the availability of clean, 
abundant water in the ecosystem. Not only is water the key to ecosystem 
restoration, it is necessary for a sustainable agricultural and urban 
environment. It is important for recreation, tourism and navigation. It 
plays a significant and obvious role in commercial and recreational 
fishing.
    The Comprehensive Plan will provide for ecosystem restoration. 
First and foremost, the goal of the Comprehensive Plan is to restore, 
protect and preserve a natural treasure the south Florida ecosystem. 
The focus of the Plan has been to restore the defining ecological 
features of the original Everglades and other parts of south Florida. 
In response to this substantial improvement, the characteristic animals 
will show dramatic and positive responses. The numbers of animals--
crayfish, minnows, sunfish, frogs, alligators, herons, ibis, and 
otters--at virtually all levels in aquatic food chains will markedly 
increase. Equally important, the natural distribution of plants and 
animals will return to more natural patterns as more pre-drainage water 
flows are restored.
    The Plan will support the return of the large nesting ``rookeries'' 
of wading birds to Everglades National Park, and the recovery of 
several endangered species to more certain and optimistic futures. 
Wading birds, such as herons, egrets, ibis and storks, are symbolic of 
the overall health of the Everglades. As recently as the 1950's and 
1960's, large ``super colonies'' of nesting waders remained in the 
Park. Today there are none. Wading birds, perhaps more than any other 
animal, ``assess'' the quality of the entire basin of south Florida 
wetlands, before making ``decisions'' about where and when, or even 
whether, to nest. The recovery of the super colonies will be a sure 
sign that the entire ecosystem has made substantial progress toward 
recovery. Of the endangered species, the wood stork, snail kite, Cape 
Sable seaside sparrow, and American crocodile, among others, will 
benefit and increase. We are confident that implementation of the 
Comprehensive Plan will once again allow us to witness what is now only 
a fading memory of the former abundance of wildlife in the Everglades.
    Lake Okeechobee will once again become a healthy lake. Both the 
shallow and open water areas within the lake, essential to the its 
commercial and recreational fishery and other aquatic species, will be 
greatly enhanced by the improved water levels as a result of the 
Comprehensive Plan. This will mean more abundant and healthier fish 
populations. Water quality in the lake will also be improved 
significantly by reducing the pollutant loading of water flowing into 
the lake. Lake Okeechobee provides huge regional benefits to wildlife, 
including waterfowl, other birds, and mammals.
    Major benefits will be provided to the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie 
estuaries, and Lake Worth Lagoon. The Comprehensive Plan eliminates 
almost all the damaging fresh water releases to the Caloosahatchee and 
most detrimental releases to the St. Lucie and makes substantial 
improvements to Lake Worth Lagoon. As a result, abundant favorable 
habitats will be provided for the many aquatic species that depend on 
these areas for food, shelter, and breeding grounds, thereby enhancing 
the productivity and economic viability of estuarine fisheries.
    The Plan will also improve fresh water deliveries to Florida and 
Biscayne bays. Appropriate fresh water regimes will result in 
substantial improvements in aquatic and semi-aquatic habitats, 
including, mangroves, coastal marshes, and seagrass beds Interacting 
together to produce food, shelter, and breeding and nursery grounds, 
these coastal habitat areas will support more balanced, productive 
fish, shellfish, and wildlife communities.

    Question 4. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystems if we do not move forward with this project?
    Response 4. Although some level of ecological improvement will 
occur in the south Florida ecosystem as a result of implementation of 
projects currently planned outside of the CERP, the cumulative, 
regional benefits from these projects would not result in a sustainable 
south Florida ecosystem. Specifically, based on an evaluation of 
conditions in the year 2050 without the Comprehensive Plan, the overall 
health of the ecosystem will have substantially deteriorated. Analyses 
conducted during the feasibility study show that making modifications 
to only some portions of the C&SF Project in order to achieve 
sustainable natural systems will not succeed. Conditions without the 
Comprehensive Plan in 2050 fail to meet the basic needs of the south 
Florida ecosystem.
    Demands placed on Lake Okeechobee result in damaging water levels 
and extreme harm to the littoral zone. Damaging fresh water discharges 
into the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries result in major harm to 
fisheries. Damaging high flows alter salinity balances in Lake Worth 
Lagoon. Hydropatterns predicted for the Water Conservation Areas are 
harmful to tree islands. Everglades National Park does not receive 
enough freshwater flow to maintain important aquatic habitat in Shark 
River Slough. Low flows to Florida and Biscayne bays also result in 
harm to the resources in these areas. These ecological problems would 
not be corrected solely by implementation of currently planned or 
ongoing projects.

    Question 5. Based on your view of how the Restudy authorization 
process will move forward, will Congress' action in WRDA 2000 be the 
first phase in a multi-stage authorization process or will this year be 
the only time this project comes before Congress?
    Response 5. No, this will not be the last time Congress is asked to 
authorize CERP projects. The process and schedule for authorizing the 
Comprehensive Plan and its components was developed using a phased 
approach based on an analysis of the scheduling of plan features and 
ongoing Federal and State programs, such as the C-111 Project and the 
Everglades Construction Project. The process for implementing the 
Comprehensive Plan through Congressional action assumes:

    a. Congressional approval of the CERP in WRDA 2000 as the 
appropriate framework for restoration;
    b. Initial authorization of a specific set of key components and 
pilot projects in the WRDA 2000;
    c. A programmatic authority in WRDA 2000 similar to the existing 
Critical Projects authority contained in WRDA 1996;
    d. Future Congressional authorization of components in subsequent 
WRDAs through 2014; and
    e. Implementation of some components without further Congressional 
action.

    Question 6. Can you describe the consequences of beginning this 
project without completing it?
    Response 6. The Comprehensive Plan was designed using a set of 
discrete project components that together work synergistically to 
restore the Everglades ecosystem. Using your analogy, Everglades 
restoration is like heart surgery--once you start you got to complete 
it. While implementation of each component allows us to incrementally 
improve conditions, restoration will not be achieved without the entire 
project being completed.

    Question 7. This year in the Interior Appropriations bill, 
Congressman Regula called for the development of ``assurances'' 
language that would ensure that the park and natural systems in the 
Everglades region receive adequate quantities of water. I know that the 
Administration and the state are working very hard to develop this 
language for inclusion into the Administration's WRDA proposal. Can you 
describe for me the basic principles that you feel are critical 
elements of this language and why?
    Response 7. The Department of the Army's legislative proposal will 
include assurance language addressing two issues: (1) the evaluation 
and implementation of CERP project features; and (2) assuring project 
benefits to provide clarity and certainty not only to natural system 
managers but to the South Florida Water Management District in the 
discharge of its water-use permitting function.
    Regarding the evaluation and implementation of project features, 
the Army is proposing legislation stating that prior to initiation of 
construction of project components and features in the Comprehensive 
Plan, the Corps will complete Project Implementation Reports (PIRs) to 
address the project(s) cost effectiveness, engineering feasibility, and 
environmental acceptability, including National Environmental Policy 
Act compliance. During development, such reports shall be coordinated 
with appropriate Federal, state and local agencies, tribal governments, 
and the public. PIRs for features of the CERP authorized under this 
legislation will be reviewed and approved by the Secretary.
    Assurance language will also be included in the legislative 
proposal to ensure that benefits to the natural system are achieved and 
maintained. The primary and overarching purpose of the CERP is to 
restore the south Florida ecosystem while meeting the other water 
related needs of the region such as water supply and flood protection. 
The Plan must be implemented in a manner that ensures that the natural 
system benefits are achieved and maintained. These assurances must 
address the proper quantity, quality, timing and distribution of water 
for the natural system, while taking into account water supply and 
flood protection.

    Question 8. As you described in your testimony, some of the 
projects submitted to Congress for authorization in WRDA 2000 will not 
have the traditional, detailed feasibility study completed. Can you 
provide justification for authorization given that situation?
    Response 8. The features of the Comprehensive Plan which are 
recommended for authorization in WRDA 2000 include projects that are 
necessary to expedite ecological restoration of the Everglades and 
other south Florida ecosystems. Authorization of these features in WRDA 
2000 will ensure maximum integration with ongoing Federal, State, and 
local ecological restoration and water quality improvement programs. 
These features consist of pilot projects, initial construction features 
and an adaptive assessment and monitoring program.
    The immediacy for authorization of these select features involves 
two factors: (1) efficiency with ongoing projects; and (2) realizing 
the benefits of Federal investments already undertaken. This 
authorization will allow for detailed development of future projects 
under the Comprehensive Plan while maximizing the opportunity to 
integrate those features with other ongoing Federal and State programs, 
including the Modified Water Deliveries Project and the Everglades 
Construction Project. This integration will allow development of 
comprehensive solutions to ongoing Federal projects, such as the 
Modified Water Deliveries Project, that could otherwise not be pursued 
under existing authorities. It is anticipated that this would 
ultimately result in substantial cost savings to the Federal 
Government.
    Furthermore, the South Florida Water Management District and the 
U.S. Department of the Interior have purchased lands associated with a 
number of components of the Comprehensive Plan, including nearly 51,000 
acres of land as a result of the purchase and exchange of the Talisman 
property in the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA) for water storage. 
Immediate authorization of the components that use these lands will 
ensure that these lands will be utilized and the benefits accrued as 
soon as possible.

    Question 9. Can you compare other projects authorized by Congress 
that do not have a traditional detailed feasibility study with the 
Restudy?
    Response 9. Each feature of the Comprehensive Plan proposed for 
authorization requires completion of a Project Implementation Report 
reviewed and approved by the Chief of Engineers and the Secretary 
before implementation. The detail of evaluations in the PIR is 
comparable to a Chief of Engineers report. The Congress has included 
many project authorizations in recent WRDAs which require completion of 
either a Chief of Engineers report or other comparable report that is 
reviewed and approved by the Secretary before implementation.

    Question 10. Regarding the property purchased by the Federal 
Government in the Talisman transaction in 1998, can you identify what 
benefit the use of these lands as a reservoir will bring to the 
restoration project? Are these benefits wholly dependent on 
construction of additional features called for by the plan? Are the 
benefits dependent on use of the entire Talisman property or can use be 
phased-in? Based on authorization of this reservoir in the initial 
suite of projects, when do you anticipate the reservoir will be 
operating?

    Response 10. The EAA Storage Reservoir component includes above 
ground reservoir(s) with a total storage capacity of approximately 
360,000 acre-feet located on land associated with the Talisman Land 
purchase in the EAA. The design for the reservoir(s) assumed 60,000 
acres, divided into three, equally sized compartments with the water 
level fluctuating up to 6 feet above grade in each compartment. The 
Implementation Plan proposes to construct this component in two phases. 
The first phase would include construction of the first two 
compartments on lands purchased with Department of Interior Farm Bill 
funds, with South Florida Water Management District funds, and through 
a series of exchanges for lands being purchased with these funds. This 
phased approach was developed consistent with the Farm Bill land 
acquisition lease agreements.
    The first phase of this component will improve timing of 
environmental deliveries to the Water Conservation Areas including 
reducing damaging flood releases from the EAA to the Water Conservation 
Areas, reduce Lake Okeechobee regulatory releases to estuaries, meet 
supplemental agricultural irrigation demands, and increase flood 
protection within the EAA. Further, this component will reduce the need 
to make damaging regulatory releases from Lake Okeechobee to the St. 
Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries and will help meet EAA irrigation 
needs while increasing flood protection in the area.
    Compartment 1 of the reservoir would be used to meet EAA irrigation 
demands. The source of water is excess EAA runoff. Overflows to 
Compartment 2 could occur when Compartment 1 reaches capacity and Lake 
Okeechobee regulatory discharges are not occurring or impending. 
Compartment 2 would be used to meet environmental demands as a 
priority, but could supply a portion of EAA irrigation demands if 
environmental demands equal zero. Flows will be delivered to the Water 
Conservation Areas through Stormwater Treatment Areas 3 and 4.
    This feature is currently scheduled for construction initiation in 
September 2005 with completion in September 2009. The scheduled 
construction start is based on the existing lease agreements that were 
part of the Farm Bill land acquisition agreement.

    Question 11. The Chief of Engineer's Report indicates that the 
Corps will prepare a Project Implementation Report by 2004 analyzing 
the impact of adding 245,000 acre-feet to Biscayne Bay and the 
Everglades National Park. Can you explain the scope of that report and 
indicate whether it will be circulated for public review and comment?
    Response 11. The Project Implementation Report will determine how 
much of the 245,000 acre feet is necessary to restore Everglades 
National Park and Biscayne Bay. The evaluation will include more 
detailed studies, an Environmental Impact Statement, and full public 
review. Once this has been completed, a final executive branch decision 
will be made and a proposal will be forwarded to Congress for 
consideration in a Water Resources Development Act of 2004. Congress 
would then have the opportunity to discuss and debate the proposal. In 
short, construction will not start on this proposal until it has been 
studied fully and congressional authorization is obtained.

    Question 12. The Chief Engineer's Report indicates that the Corps 
intends to provide 245,000 acre-feet of additional water to the 
Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay. What is the anticipated 
benefit from the addition of this water?
    Response 12. In response to the October 1998 draft report on the 
Comprehensive Plan, the Department of the Interior and other scientists 
suggested that additional water was needed to ensure restoration of 
Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay. The interagency team that 
developed the Comprehensive Plan evaluated several options and 
concluded that additional water, would provide important benefits to 
Everglades National Park and Biscayne Bay. The principal remaining 
questions are how to deliver this water without impacting other parts 
of the ecosystem (e.g. the Water Conservation Areas), impacts on 
secondary canals in Palm Beach County, and how much the water would 
have to cleaned before it could be delivered to the ecosystem. A 
discussion of this proposal in general terms was included in the Corps' 
final report that was released in April 1999. Letters clarifying this 
issue were part of the public record that was available for review last 
April.

    Question 13. Is the Corps planning to accelerate the completion of 
the North Lake Okeechobee and Central Lake Belt storage areas? How is 
the Corps planning to implement this goal? When does the Corps plan to 
have these storage areas completed?
    Response 13. The Corps has committed to investigating the potential 
of accelerating the implementation of these project components to 
maximize early ecosystem restoration benefits. These features provide 
significant storage capacity that significantly improves the ecologic 
health of Lake Okeechobee and the Everglades. The North Lake Okeechobee 
Storage Area is currently scheduled for completion in 2014. This 
feature will help reduce eutrophication of the Lake and provide 
significant water quality improvement and ecologic restoration of the 
lake. The existing schedule for completing the first phase of the 
Central Lake Belt Storage Area is 2021. However, the Corps has 
committed to working with industry and local government to identify 
ways to expedite this feature. Accelerating this feature will reduce 
ecologically damaging high water levels in the Water Conservation Areas 
and will help restore flow into Everglades National Park.

    Question 14. The Chief Engineer's Report indicates that an 
additional 245,000 acre-feet will be captured from urban runoff or by 
some other means. If the Corps adds 245,000 acre-feet of water captured 
from urban runoff to the Everglades system, will the PIR address 
potential environment hazards from this water? What would the potential 
method be for removing any contaminants?
    Response 14. The Project Implementation Report will fully assess 
the environmental impacts of capturing urban runoff and evaluate 
potential treatment strategies. The types and extent of contaminants 
and the potential methods for removing them can not be assessed until 
the studies are completed.

    Question 15. In Senator Voinovich's remarks, he mentioned the 
Corps' ``backlog'' of projects in the state of Florida. Can you provide 
me with a definition of the term backlog, a list of all such projects 
in each state in the nation, and, for the Florida projects, the 
legislative history including authorization and follow-on changes to 
the authorization.
    Response 15. The $27 billion backlog of construction projects 
represents the unfunded, unconstructed portion beyond fiscal year 2000 
for all the active, authorized projects. Tables showing the backlog 
list (encl. 1) and the authorities for the Florida projects (encl. 2) 
are attached.
                               __________
Statement of Mary Doyle, Counselor to the Secretary, Department of the 
                                Interior
    Mr. Chairman, my name is Mary Doyle. I am Counselor to Secretary of 
the Interior Bruce Babbitt. Secretary Babbitt has recently appointed me 
to serve as Chair of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task 
Force. The Task Force is an interagency and intergovernmental entity 
created by the Congress in the 1996 Water Resources Development Act 
(WRDA) to guide the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem. I am 
pleased to have the opportunity to address you today and I thank the 
Committee for its leadership and true bipartisanship throughout this 
effort.
    Restoring the South Florida ecosystem is in its essence comprised 
of numerous inter-related partnerships. It is a partnership between 
agencies and departments of the Federal Government the Army Corps of 
Engineers, the Department of the Interior, and the Environmental 
Protection Agency, among others. It is a partnership between the 
executive branch and Congress; the executive branch and the Seminole 
and Miccosukee Tribes; the executive branch and the State of Florida, 
including its people and State and local levels of government. And it 
includes the active involvement of concerned environmental and citizen 
advisory groups. As demonstrated by the dynamic and well attended 
conference where we meet today, these multiple partnerships reflect the 
significance of the entire restoration effort for the future of South 
Florida and the superlative natural resources located here.
    An undertaking of this outstanding size, scope and ambition, 
consisting as it does of numerous whirring parts or partnerships is not 
simple or easy. These complex inter-relationships are required because 
the effort here spans the entire ecosystem 18,000 square miles of land 
and water stretching from the Chain of Lakes south of Orlando to the 
coral reefs off the Florida Keys. The natural system within the region 
contains areas with special designations such as outstanding Florida 
waters, a national marine sanctuary, an international biosphere reserve 
and numerous State and Federal parks, preserves and national wildlife 
refuges, all of which are interconnected. The built environment is 
equally complex, with more than 6.5 million residents, 37 million 
tourists every year and a $200 billion economy, as well as 16 counties 
and 150 municipalities. All of which depend upon clean and plentiful 
supplies of fresh water produced by the natural system.
    The goals of the effort, as you know, are three: (1) get the water 
right: that is, to restore a more natural water flow to the region 
while providing adequate water supplies, water quality and flood 
control; (2) restore and enhance the natural system protecting natural 
habitats and reestablishing threatened and endangered species; and (3) 
transforming the built environment to develop lifestyles and economies 
that do not degrade the natural environment and improve the quality of 
life in urban areas. Our vision for the future is a landscape whose 
health, integrity, and beauty are restored and nurtured by its 
interrelationships with South Florida's human communities.
    For many of the public agencies committed in this effort, both 
Federal and State, the challenge of working on an ecosystem-wide basis, 
with a dynamic and unfolding understanding of the interconnectedness of 
the vast system, is new and unprecedented. Each of these agencies has 
come to this partnership with its own set of authorities, 
constituencies, traditions and funding sources. While inevitably we 
have seen conflicts among these diverse partners at times, overall and 
overtime the partnerships have brought a great deal of progress toward 
the goal. For example, with the $200 million provided to us by Congress 
in the 1996 Farm Bill, the Department of the Interior, together with 
the State, has recently completed the acquisition of approximately 
92,000 acres of land within the ecosystem, including the Talisman 
acquisition, that is critical for increasing regional water storage 
capacity and improving water quality and habitat. In addition, the Fish 
and Wildlife Service, working with over 200 experts from Federal, 
State, and local agencies, conservation organizations, and private 
industry, developed a Multi-Species Recovery Plan for the imperilled 
plants and animals of South Florida, representing a comprehensive 
blueprint for restoring native plants and animals throughout the 
Florida Everglades. Unprecedented in scope or scale, covering over 
26,000 square miles in Florida's 19 southernmost counties, this plan 
will guide the actions of all parties toward the recovery of the 68 
federally listed threatened or endangered species of plants and animals 
in South Florida.
    I think all of us fortunate enough to be involved in this great 
effort of restoration know that the ecosystem-wide approach, the need 
to renew and resume ancient natural connections, is the call of the new 
century. Restoration--a fuller understanding of how it is defined and 
implemented--is the hallmark of a new era in natural resource 
management and environmental policy. The pioneering quality of this 
great effort in South Florida inspires each of us working within the 
complex public and private partnership with a powerful motivation to 
succeed. We must succeed, not only to secure the values sought in South 
Florida, but in order to show others the way.
    In July of last year, the Army Corps of Engineers, with local 
sponsorship by the South Florida Water Management District, submitted 
to Congress its Central and Southern Florida Project Comprehensive 
Review Study (now known as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration 
Plan or Comprehensive Plan) to restore America's Everglades. The 
Comprehensive Plan is a conceptual framework for structural and 
operational changes to the Central and South Florida Project that will 
result in restoration of the ecosystem over the next 20 years. The 
Corps deserves enduring credit for working constructively with all 
parties in developing the Comprehensive Plan. The Department of the 
Interior fully supports the Comprehensive Plan with the assurances 
provided in the Chief of Engineer's report accompanying its submission 
to Congress. We believe the Comprehensive Plan provides a practical and 
effective approach to ensure the long-term restoration of the South 
Florida ecosystem while meeting future water supply and flood control 
needs. We are eager to work with this committee and other Members of 
Congress to obtain the necessary authorizations and funding to allow 
the Corps of Engineers to proceed with implementation of the 
Comprehensive Plan.
    This Committee has asked the Department of the Interior to address 
three issues in this hearing: (1) The future role of the South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Task Force in the overall effort; (2) The role of 
the science advisory panel recently created by the National Academy of 
Sciences at Secretary Babbitt's request to advise the Task Force; and 
(3) Issues raised in the Comprehensive Plan for which the National Park 
Service and the Fish and Wildlife Service has responsibilities.
The Future Role of the Task Force
    The Task Force first took life in 1993 through an inter-agency 
agreement among the seven Federal agencies with key roles to play in 
the Everglades ecosystem. The idea was for these Federal Agencies to 
coordinate their plans and activities; the Department of the Interior 
was designated as chair. The experience of the next few years, however, 
during which the Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water 
Management District were developing the Comprehensive Plan, showed the 
need for broader consultation and coordination among all the public 
entities engaged in restoration planning. So in the Water Resources 
Development Act of 1996, Congress established the Task Force in its 
present form to include seven Federal agencies, the Seminole and 
Miccosukee Tribes, the State of Florida, the South Florida Water 
Management District, and two representatives of local government. It is 
directed to coordinate the development of consistent policies and plans 
for the ecosystem restoration, facilitate the resolution of interagency 
and intergovernmental conflicts along the way, and coordinate 
scientific research associated with the restoration of the South 
Florida ecosystem. In the 1996 legislation, Congress also directed the 
Task Force to establish a Florida-based Working Group including 
representatives of its member agencies and entities, as well as other 
governmental entities as appropriate. Today's Working Group has a 
membership of 29, including representatives of State and local 
government agencies with expertise to bring to the restoration effort. 
Over the past several years, the Task Force and its Working Group have 
worked closely with the Corps, providing advice on all aspects of the 
Comprehensive Plan, and facilitating the development of agreement among 
its members on significant issues addressed in the Comprehensive Plan.
    The Task Force will address several key issues in the future. 
First, the Task Force will continue its consultation role with the 
Corps to assist in timely implementation, as authorized by Congress, of 
the Comprehensive Plan. Second, the Task Force, along with its Working 
Group, will continue its traditional role of providing a forum for 
planning and coordination among its member agencies. An extremely 
important element of this continuing interagency planning will be its 
work with the recently established Science Advisory Panel to ensure 
that implementation of the Comprehensive Plan and the adaptive 
assessment process will benefit at every stage from sound science. 
Third, the Task Force is developing an Integrated Strategic Plan that 
will synthesize existing plans and activities throughout the region and 
serve as the framework for future adaptive management for the next 50 
years. In this strategic planning process, the Task Force is engaging 
community leaders and decisionmakers at all levels of government as 
well as the private sector in an effort to achieve a common vision and 
set of goals that will reflect the interrelationships of the natural 
environment, the economy and society, as well as stressing the 
dependence of each element upon the others. The Department expects to 
submit this Integrated Strategic Plan to the Congress by July 31, 2000. 
Finally, the Task Force will continue to report on a biennial basis to 
Congress on, among other things, progress made toward restoration.
The Science Advisory Panel
    For many decades, science has been the motivating engine in 
alerting us to the environmental problems associated with the Central 
and Southern Florida Project and in describing the needs and values of 
Everglades restoration. Scientists have guided the establishment of 
restoration goals and have identified approaches to achieve them. In 
his 1993 speech to the Everglades Coalition, Secretary Babbitt declared 
his strong commitment to science as the foundation upon which the 
restoration effort would be built. Similarly, Congress directed the 
Task Force to ``. . . coordinate scientific and other research 
associated with the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem.'' 
Accordingly, with the help from increased funding provided by Congress, 
agency scientists have identified key gaps in our understanding of how 
the ecosystem functioned and recommended a coordinated research program 
to address long-term restoration requirements. Overall, we believe that 
research and applied science will allow us to evaluate the 
effectiveness of management actions, enable future outcomes and promote 
common understandings of ecological success. And it is extremely 
important that we make use of the best available science and take full 
advantage of peer review processes.
    To that end, with the completion of the Comprehensive Plan and at 
the request of the Task Force for peer reviewed science, Secretary 
Babbitt requested the National Academy of Sciences to provide 
additional scientific input on Plan implementation. The science 
advisory panel, which has now renamed itself the Committee on 
Restoration of the Greater Everglades Ecosystem, or ``CROGEE'', began 
its work last month. It is composed of 16 scientists representing a 
broad range of expertise including biology, ecology and hydrology. They 
also bring an objective scientific viewpoint, as none of them are 
presently involved in South Florida research and monitoring.
    The purpose of CROGEE is to provide scientific advice to the 
agencies responsible for implementing the restoration and preservation 
plan for the South Florida ecosystem. The Comprehensive Plan is 
predicated upon the concept of ``adaptive assessment,'' which calls for 
careful scientific monitoring over the entire 20-year period of 
implementation to assure that restoration goals are being met as 
planned projects come on line, and where the goals are not being 
achieved to devise science-based approaches in response to emerging 
needs. CROGEE is currently drafting its initial work plan, which will 
be submitted for discussion and approval to the Task Force at its 
meeting next month.
Fish, Wildlife and Parks Issues in the Comprehensive Plan
    The development and drainage of South Florida over the last 50 
years has pushed the natural system to the brink in many ways, 
threatening or endangering plants, animals, national wildlife refuges 
and national parks dependent on the natural quantity, quality, timing, 
and distribution of water, the driving force in South Florida's 
ecosystem. The Comprehensive Plan holds the promise of substantial 
restoration, with large benefits not only for the plants, animals, 
refuges, and parks, but also for the human beings of South Florida and 
the nation. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Park 
Service have provided their expertise to the Corps in the development 
of the Comprehensive Plan, and will continue to consult and coordinate 
after authorization in the Comprehensive Plan's implementation.
    This final plan incorporates significant changes from the 1998 
draft plan, based on comments from the Department of the Interior and 
others, that improves the prospects for long-term ecosystem 
restoration. For example, the final plan includes a process for 
targeting water deliveries to Everglades and Biscayne National Parks 
that would approximate 90 percent of the pre-drainage volumes, compared 
to only 70 percent of such volumes in the draft plan. The Department 
believes that the additional 245,000 acre feet of water per year for 
these parks will be critical to restoring natural habitats and we look 
forward to working with the Corps and others in the planning effort to 
provide this additional water. As another example, the final plan 
accelerates implementation of Comprehensive Plan components, providing 
for completion of two-thirds of the projects by 2010, so that more 
environmental benefits can be realized earlier in the process than 
proposed in the draft plan. As a last example, the final plan improves 
upon the draft plan by making maximum use of available acreage in the 
Everglades Agricultural Area for water storage and providing for a 
comprehensive water quality plan.
    The primary and overarching purpose of the Comprehensive Plan is to 
restore the South Florida ecosystem on which fish, wildlife, refuge, 
and park resources depend. The promise of the Comprehensive Plan 
depends on effective implementation to ensure that the natural system 
benefits are achieved in a timely manner and maintained for the long-
term. These assurances must address the proper quantity, quality, 
timing, and distribution of water for the natural system, even in times 
of stress on the water system. We need assurances that benefits 
promised in the Comprehensive Plan are provided. The Department 
strongly encourages the initial authorization for the Comprehensive 
Plan includes assurances to guarantee sufficient quantities of clean 
fresh water at the right place and the right time for the environment.
    We have an historic opportunity to address the negative 
environmental impacts of past activities and save a national treasure 
for our future generations while at the same time ensuring South 
Florida's future viability. We are trying to do things that have never 
before been attempted, certainly not at this scale. This effort has 
always enjoyed bipartisan support and reflects a level of partnership 
among the State of Florida, the Federal Government and concerned 
citizens that we wish to emulate elsewhere.
    We appreciate the leadership and commitment by Chairman Smith and 
Senator Graham have shown in helping us achieve the many 
accomplishments I have mentioned today. If we are to truly succeed, 
that commitment will need to continue for many years to come, and we 
look forward to working with you and Congress as we proceed.
    Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement. Thank you for the 
opportunity to address the committee on this important effort and I 
will be pleased to answer any questions you or the other members of the 
committee may have.
                               __________
    Statement of David B. Struhs, Secretary, Florida Department of 
                        Environmental Protection
    Chairman Smith and distinguished members of the Committee on 
Environment and Public Works: Good afternoon and welcome to Florida. 
Though unable to be with us today due to a special session of Florida's 
legislature, Governor Bush has asked me to communicate to the members 
of the committee the message he delivered to the Coalition yesterday--
we are ready, willing and waiting to take action.
    Just 6 months ago, I had the privilege of again representing 
Governor Bush and our State by joining Vice-President Gore, 
Administrator Browner, Senators Graham, Rack and one of my mentors, 
Senator John Chafee, along with a Florida Legislative Delegation to 
present the Central and Southern Florida Project Comprehensive Review 
Study, formerly known as the Everglades Restudy, to Congress.
    It was a significant moment. On July 1, 1999, the State made a 
commitment to act boldly, decisively, and responsibly. We pledged to 
act. We pledged to continue doing our part to restore the world's most 
unique ecosystem, Not only to replenish the Everglades, but to restore 
the historic balance between lard and water, protecting critical 
habitats and dramatically improving water quality. We pledged our 
resources to remove levees and reclaim billions of gallons of fresh 
water, yet provide necessary flood protection for what will soon be the 
nation's third most populous State.
    The State has long understood that our Federal partners would want 
to see vivid demonstrations of the notion ``actions speak louder than 
words'' Florida's leadership in preserving the Everglades is deafening. 
Since 1947, the State has purchased almost 3.4 million acres of 
conservation lands in the greater Everglades ecosystem at a cost of 
over $1.1 billion. This is in addition to the $2.2 billion that has 
been spent on restoration and protection activities. This year alone, 
the State will spend almost $155 million on Everglades protection 
efforts.
    But what have we accomplished since jumping into action on July 1? 
Over the past 6 months:
    The State has acquired, or has a contract to acquire, 80,000 acres 
of conservation land.
    The State has allocated over $133 million for acquisition of lands 
identified in the Restudy. Most notable are funds for East Everglades, 
Belle Meade, Southern Golden Gate Estates and Southern Corkscrew 
Regional Ecosystem Water Projects.
    The South Florida Water Management District has completed 
construction on Everglades Stormwater Treatment Areas 2 and 5 and now 
have 17,248 acres of filter marshes to cleanse the waters flowing into 
the Everglades.
    Just 2 weeks ago, the State announced landmark legislation to begin 
the restoration of Lake Okeechobee, the headwaters of the Everglades. 
The initial program, to be backed with $30 million in funding, will 
dramatically reduce Phosphorus loads in the lake. Priority projects are 
part of the Restoration Plan and have also been identified as 
priorities by the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Working Group and 
Florida Audubon.
    However, we recognize there is still much to do. Governor Bush 
stressed yesterday the need for a set of standards, a test if you will, 
that each plan put forth for successful and complete restoration of the 
Everglades must meet.
    First, we must continue building consensus with as many interests 
as possible. We have made significant progress in this area. The recent 
activity surrounding Lake Okeechobee is a good example of this.
    Second, decisions need to be data-driven and science based. 
Physical science, not political science, must guide our decisions. It 
is more important to get it right rather than getting it first.
    Finally, there needs to be financial accountability. We have a 
fiduciary responsibility to the people of Florida and the Nation as a 
whole. Tax dollars must be spent both wisely and efficiently. .
    There are 7 principles behind the funding of Florida's portion of 
the Everglades Restoration. These principles will be discussed in depth 
in the coming weeks but I would like to highlight three of them today.
    First, Florida's funding commitment will be adequate to fully fund 
Florida share of the project. Second, Florida's funding commitment will 
not siphon resources from other statewide environmental restoration 
programs. And finally, Florida's funding commitment will not add to 
Florida's long term debt.
    While the costs to implementing the Comprehensive Plan are 
substantial, they are within the collective reach of State and Federal 
Governments, working together. The State legislature, the South 
Florida: Water Management District and the executive branch of State 
government will work together to fund the State's share of the costs. 
As Governor Bush said yesterday ``There should be no question about 
Florida's commitment to finish what we have begun.''
    Florida has been and will continue to be a leader in the 
preservation of this unique and historic area. There is no greater 
example of our commitment than Everglades National Park, just a short 
distance from here, whose 1.6 million acres is comprised mostly of 
state-donated land.
    In 1948, just after President Harry Truman signed the legislation 
authorizing construction of the C&SF project, Senator and former 
Governor Spessard Holland remarked, ``The whole Florida delegation has 
stuck together in this matter and will, I am sure, continue to do so, 
and each member of the delegation is entitled to his full share of the 
credit. The Florida citizens, industries, and public units have also 
cooperated to the fullest degree as has the Republican delegation. I 
want you to remember that this is not a partisan project and should 
continue to merit the united efforts of all our people.''
    That quote is as applicable in the year 2000 as it was in 1948. We 
are all in this together. The stakes are high, but the rewards are even 
greater.
    Thank you.
                                 ______
                                 
Responses by David B. Struhs to Additional Questions from Senator Smith
    Question 1. Mr. Secretary, could you please provide the Committee 
with a copy of the State's funding Plan for the Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan? What assurances can the State of Florida 
provide to demonstrate to the Federal partners its commitment to 
finance the non-Federal share of the project?
    Response. Governor Bush recently announced his funding commitment 
of $1.25 billion of statewide funding which, along with resources from 
south Florida willfully fund the local sponsor's share. We will have 
mechanisms that anticipate peak year funding needs and will not siphon 
resources from other statewide environmental restoration programs. 
Florida has the fiscal capability to fully fund its share without 
adding to Florida's long term debt burden.

    Question 2. Regarding ``new water'' captures, are there safeguards 
in place, particularly under state law, to ensure that 80 percent of 
the ``new water'' will be delivered to the environment and not for 
urban/agricultural use?
    Response. Florida Water Law (Chapter 373, F.S.) provides many 
safeguards to ensure the proper quantity, quality, timing and 
distribution of ``new water'' over time. These safeguards are as 
follows:
    Water reservations: Provides broad authority to the water 
management districts to identify quantizes of water to protect fish and 
wildlife. Water reserved for fish and wildlife cannot be allocated to 
any consumptive user. Reservations are adopted by rule, cannot be 
changed without participation by all stakeholders, including the 
Federal and environmental interests and are not limited to water 
quantizes provided during the initial creation of a national park, such 
as the Everglades.
    Florida's water management district's must identify the point at 
which further withdrawals would be significantly harmful to the water 
resources. This concept, known as minimum flows and levels, are another 
layer of protection for natural systems and are used most effectively 
to restrict consumptive use withdrawals during droughts, when the 
natural systems may be most threatened.

    Question 3. If the population of Florida indeed doubles over the 
next 50 years, will this 80-20 percent delivery remain intact?
    Response. Yes. While it may not be a precise 80-20 split, full 
implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan will 
meet the water supply needs of the natural system and the projected 
population in south Florida of 12 million people in the year 2050.

    Question 4. How do you respond to criticism that this restoration 
effort is nothing more than a water supply plan for the State of 
Florida?
    Response. Performance measures developed to determine the 
effectiveness of the Restudy indicate that implementation of the 
Restudy will provide phenomenal restoration results. Most areas of the 
remaining natural system will have their natural hydroperiods restored. 
. Large portions of the remnant ecosystem will be reconnected. The 
coastal estuaries will be protected from the frequent catastrophic 
releases of excess freshwater that currently occur about every 3 years. 
As a result of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, habitat 
for wildlife will improve. An ancillary benefit of keeping this water 
in the system is that there is also an increase in available water 
supply. If the Restudy is not implemented, there is a high probability 
that new water supply demands will be met with alternative sources; yet 
the restoration of the natural system would be lost.

    Question 5. How do you see the Everglades Restoration effort being 
impacted by the economic development that is nothing short of the 
inevitable in the State of Florida?
    Response. Everglades restoration and economic development are not 
mutually exclusive. Most of the anticipated development on the East 
Coast will occur through urban redevelopment. The excellent land 
acquisition efforts of the state and water management district have 
resulted in an extensive network of conservation lands and buffers that 
are protected from future development.
                                 ______
                                 
   Responses by David B. Struhs to Additional Questions from Senator 
                                 Graham
    Question 1. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystems if we move forward with this project.
    Response. The performance measures demonstrate that essentially 
every part of the natural system from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay 
will show dramatic improvements. Conditions will be improved for the 
recovery of large wading bird populations. Populations of endangered 
species including the wood stork, snail kite, Cape Sable seaside 
sparrow, and American crocodile will benefit from the improved habitat 
as a result of the recommended plan. We also expect great improvements 
in water quality throughout the system. Observable beneficial changes 
are:
      Substantial reduction in the number and severity of 
ecologically damaging extreme high water and low water events on Lake 
Okeechobee, resulting in protection of the Lake's littoral wetlands and 
deep water zones and associated ecological And fisheries resources.
      Reduced inputs of excessive nutrients into Lake 
Okeechobee.
      Substantial reduction or elimination of damaging flows of 
excessive nutrients, pesticides, and suspended materials to the 
Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries due to improved water quality 
and water depths in Lake Okeechobee.
      Recovery of desirable salinity ranges in the 
Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, benefiting ecological and 
fisheries resources.
      Recovery of more natural volume and timing patterns 
offlow between Lake Okeechobee and the northern Everglades.
      Recovery of more natural volume and timing patterns 
offlow into the eastern Big Cypress basin, including improved habitat 
conditions for the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow.
      Reduced inputs and distribution of excessive nutrients in 
the Everglades.
      Substantial recovery of more natural hydroperiods, 
surface water distribution and timing patterns in the Everglades, 
resulting in recovery of more healthy Everglades ecosystems and the 
characteristic animals of these wetlands.
      Substantial recovery of more natural flow patterns and 
volumes into Florida Bay, including recovery of natural salinity 
ranges, resulting in recovery of ecological and fisheries resources.
      Substantial increase in the spatial extent of healthy 
wetlands in the southern Everglades.
      Substantial improvements in reaching desired salinity 
range and timing offlows for Lake Worth Lagoon, and recovery of healthy 
fisheries.
      Recovery of more natural flow distribution patterns and 
in desired salinity range for Biscayne Bay, and recovery of healthy 
near-shore ecological and fisheries resources.
      Increased spatial extent, hydropatterns and quality of 
southern Miami-Dade wetlands.

    Question 2. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystems if we do not move forward with this project?
    Response. If we don't move forward, the evaluation tools used in 
the Restudy indicate that virtually every part of the natural system 
will decline and be imperiled in the year 2050. The consequences of not 
moving forward are great. The health of the natural system is directly 
linked to the economy of Florida and the nation. Observable negative 
consequences of not moving forward are:
      Reductions in the spatial extent of healthy wetlands will 
continue.
      Species that require large expanses of natural habitat, 
such as the Florida panther, snail kite, and wading birds, will 
increasingly become stressed by the loss of habitats.
      Losses of organic soils will continue to reduce water 
storage capacity and ecological productivity throughout the Everglades.
      Canals and levees will continue to encourage the 
introduction and spread of exotic plants and animals.
      Unnatural fire patterns will increasingly damage the 
natural landscapes of south Florida.
      South Florida recreational and commercial fishing will 
decline, both in the freshwater Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, and in 
the St. Lucie, Caloosahatchee and Florida Bay estuaries.
      Endangered species will continue to decline, and some 
species may be irreversibly lost in south Florida.
      The Everglades will cease to exist as a functional, 
recognizable ``River of Grass.''

    Question 3. Based on your view of how the Restudy authorization 
process will move forward, will Congress' action in WRDA 2000 be the 
first phase in a multi-stage authorization process or will this year be 
the only time this project comes before Congress?
    Response. The State of Florida would like to see the Restudy 
authorized through a stand-alone Everglades bill. This legislation 
should direct the Army Corps of Engineers, in conjunction with its 
State partner, proceed expeditiously in implementing the Central and 
Southern Florida Restudy ``restoration'' in accordance with the 
implementation plan developed and submitted to Congress on July 1, 
1999. Otherwise, WRDA 2000 action will begin a series of authorizations 
to be taken in future WRDAs for a number of years. Based on the current 
implementation schedule, authorizations for construction would be 
requested through WRDA 2014.

    Question 4. Can you describe the consequences of beginning this 
project without completing it?
    Response. In general, most ecological and biological restoration 
targets for sustainable natural systems will not be reached. Because 
restoration must proceed far enough to get critical ecological 
components and processes past some minimal ``threshold `` level of 
health, it is possible that little in the way of long-term recovery 
will occur. Fresh water flows may be inadequate to counter the adverse 
effects of sea level rise and sinking shorelines; of special concern, 
degrading coastal forests may eventually be ``overtopped `` by future 
hurricanes, resulting in substantial increases in flooding. Partially 
recovered wetland systems may exhibit unnatural fluctuations in 
ecological conditions, thus maintaining unstable and unpredictable 
habitat conditions for native animals and plants.

    Question 5. This year in the Interior Appropriations bill, 
Congressman Regula called for the development of ``assurances'' 
language that would ensure that the park and natural systems in the 
Everglades region receive adequate quantities of water. I know that the 
Administration and the state are working very hard to develop this 
language for inclusion into the Administration's WRDA proposal. Can you 
describe for me the basic principles that you feel are critical 
elements of this language and why?
    Response. The State of Florida's basic principles are:
      Distribution of ``new water'' should be dictated by sound 
science.
      Best way to ensure the proper quantity, distribution and 
timing of water to the natural system is to develop design criteria for 
each project component to achieve the targets set forth in the natural 
systems model.
      Existing Florida Water Law is very protective of the 
natural system and should be considered in Federal legislation.

    Question 6. Can you elaborate on the Florida DEP's plan for 
ensuring that the quantities of water generated by the Restudy meet 
water quality standards of their intended uses?
    Response. The Department of Environmental Protection is an active 
member of the Restudy Team. Our strategy from the beginning has been to 
actively participate on the Restudy implementation team and through 
this participation demand the incorporation of water quality features 
into the design of each and every Restudy project component. We also 
stand committed to permit the construction and operation of the 
individual project components only if the Army Corps of Engineers and 
South Florida Water Management District can provide reasonable 
assurance that the structures will meet all water quality standards.

    Question 7. What actions is Florida DEP taking to ensure that 
actions surrounding Lake Okeechobee do not degrade water quality in the 
system?
    Response. The Department supports proposed Comprehensive Lake 
Okeechobee legislation. The Lake Okeechobee legislation commits the 
State to a long-term effort to construct new stormwater containment and 
treatment structures and to better control phosphorous at its source. 
The water containment and treatment structures are also project 
components of the Restudy. The legislation will provide the state's 
funding for two of the treatment areas and provides a schedule for the 
construction of the remaining stormwater treatment areas. The cleanup 
of Lake Okeechobee is critical to the restoration of the Everglades.
                               __________
 Statement of Michael Collins, Chairman, Governing Board of the South 
                   Florida Water Management District
    Mr. Chairman, honorable members of the committee, I am Michael 
Collins, Chairman of the Governing Board of the South Florida Water 
Management District. It is a pleasure to stand before you today to talk 
about restoration of the Everglades and to support the roadmap for 
getting there the Comprehensive Plan.
    Before being appointed by Governor Bush to serve on the governing 
board of the Water Management District, I served as a member of the 
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Water Quality Protection Program 
Steering Committee and the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable 
South Florida. I have been a member of the Florida Keys Fishing Guides 
Association since 1976, serving as president from 1982-1997.
    I have spent countless hours on the waters of Florida Bay. I have 
watched the population of South Florida grow and the health and size of 
the Everglades steadily decline. I can speak from experience about the 
inextricable link between the health of our environment and the health 
of our economy. The survival of the Everglades is indeed essential to 
residents, and there are 6.5 million of us. It is essential to business 
and agriculture. And, it is essential to the $13-billion-a-year tourism 
industry.
    Today many talk about the importance of our partnership with the 
Federal Government and I would like to underscore the importance of the 
partnership. It was not an accident that Governor Bush appointed me to 
the governing board of the Water Management District. This 
administration is committed to restoration of the Everglades. The State 
of Florida has demonstrated this commitment through several changes in 
administrations and through several changes in political party 
leadership. Indeed Everglades Restoration is a bipartisan effort. I 
remember back in 1983 then Governor Bob Graham started the Save Our 
Everglades Program. Sir, we are fortunate to have your knowledge and 
leadership in Washington. We are especially fortunate that you now 
serve on the committee that will make the decision to authorize the 
Comprehensive Plan. The State of Florida has also benefited from the 
strong relationship between our two Senators and the united front taken 
on behalf of the Everglades. The State of Florida, under the leadership 
of Governor Bush intends to continue this dedication and commitment to 
Restoration and to the partnership we have with the Federal Government.
    Speaking of the partnership between the State and the Federal 
Government. I would like to point out that this is a very established 
partnership. The Federal Government has played an integral role in the 
development of the area encompassed by the Comprehensive Plan to 
restore the Everglades for almost exactly 100 years, when the U.S. Army 
Corps of Engineers' began surveying the Kissimmee/Okeechobee/
Caloosahatchee water system to assess ways to improve navigation. 
Recognizing its temperate climate and good soil, the State became 
extremely interested in draining the land of water. It created the 
Everglades Drainage District as well as a funding mechanism that funded 
construction of a system of canals around Lake Okeechobee. However, 
following two devastating hurricanes that killed thousands of people 
south of Lake Okeechobee, in the late 1920's, the Corps, in conjunction 
with a newly created State agency (the Okeechobee Drainage District), 
improved the region's flood control ability by adding major levees.
    Being an area of extremes, this region experienced major droughts 
for close to 15 years, followed by more devastating hurricanes in 1947. 
It became apparent that a master plan would have to be developed that 
balanced the demands for flood protection as well as reliable water 
supply. Congress authorized the Central and Southern Florida Flood 
Control Project in 1948. The South Florida Water Management District 
now serves as local sponsor to the Corps for this massive project, 
which includes some 1800 miles of canals and levees that run through 16 
counties.
    The system that was requested by the State, built by the Federal 
Government and is now operated and maintained by the Water Management 
District accomplished its intended purpose. It allowed people to live 
and prosper on land in South Florida. Unfortunately, it did have 
unintended consequences for the environment. You will hear a lot today 
about the four interrelated factors necessary to restore the Everglades 
ecosystem: quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water. 
Getting the water right, striking a balance and sharing adversity among 
the urban, agricultural and environmental demands will define success.
    The fundamental concept upon which implementation of the 
Comprehensive Plan rests ``adaptive assessment'' is the key to 
achieving this success. This approach will allow for continuous 
refinements as more is learned through scientific monitoring over the 
20 to 25-year period of implementation.
    The importance of the adaptive assessment approach can not be over 
emphasized. While the Plan was developed under the leadership of the 
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the South Florida Water Management 
District, countless scientists from many agencies, including the 
Everglades National Park, two Indian tribes, and many local 
governments, participated in development of the Plan. Overall, the Plan 
enjoys broad-base support. However, there are still issues close to 
certain interests that must be worked out along the way. And, based on 
the past 50 years, we know enough to know that we don't have all of the 
answers today.
    The Comprehensive Plan before you for consideration is not the 
ultimate perfect plan for restoration of the Everglades. The perfect 
plan does not exist. As we debate the merits of the Plan before you the 
health of the Everglades continues to decline. It is time to move 
forward and we must do it together. The Plan is flexible enough to 
allow for needed adjustments along the way.
    To fully appreciate the Plan before you for consideration you must 
appreciate the dynamics of the complexities involved in creating an 
ecosystem-wide restoration plan and realize that the interconnectedness 
of this vast system. The coordination efforts in developing a Plan such 
as this one are enormous. Within the boundaries of the Plan there are 
16 counties, 150 municipalities, 2 Indian Tribes, a multitude of State 
and Federal agencies, utilities, agricultural interests, and 
environmental interests. Overlay these dynamics over the scientific 
complexities associated with getting the water right for a natural 
system that is home to an international biosphere reserve, four 
national parks and wildlife refuges, a national marine sanctuary, areas 
of special designations such as outstanding Florida waters, and 
numerous State parks, preserves and wildlife refuges. Developing a plan 
with broad base support appears insurmountable. Yet, we did it. How? It 
was accomplished through a comprehensive inclusive process.
    The Restudy now referred to as the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan was developed by multi-agency teams and through the 
efforts of groups like the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable 
South Florida. I believe so strongly in the merits of the role the 
Governor's Commission played in development of the Plan that I was 
instrumental in the Governor Bush's decision to continue this type of 
process by creating the Governor's Commission for Everglades 
Restoration. I contend that decisions about implementation of the 
Comprehensive Plan should not be made outside of the process that has 
proven to work. Any attempt to bypass the process will only create 
distrust on many fronts.
    The Comprehensive Plan provides the best opportunity for solving 
the region's environmental and waters resource problems within the 
region. The South Florida Water Management District strongly supports 
the Comprehensive Plan and the process used for developing this 
product. We believe the Plan is the roadmap for providing adequate 
water for a healthy, sustainable Everglades ecosystem as well as for 
maintaining urban and agriculture use.
    Finally, I would like to emphasize the uniqueness of Everglades 
Restoration. Many of the comments today will highlight the uniqueness 
of the ecosystem. The international attention this ecosystem receives 
certainly validates this fact. As I previously stated the process used 
to develop a plan to restore the Everglades is also unique. And, 
finally the State of Florida and the local sponsor standing head to 
head with the Federal Government ready to implement this plan are also 
unique.
    Since 1947 the State of Florida has acquired 3.4 million acres of 
conservation lands at a cost of $1.1 billion. In addition, the State 
has spent approximately $2.2 billion in other restoration activities. 
The State Florida and the local sponsor to the Comprehensive Plan for 
restoring the Everglades will pay 50 percent of the cost of 
implementation. As equal partners we will be looking for your approval 
for the Federal Government to also share the operation, maintenance and 
monitoring costs associated with this Plan estimated to be $175 million 
annually.
    The South Florida Water Management District in addition to serving 
as local sponsor for the Comprehensive Plan is also local sponsors for 
the Kissimmee River Restoration Project and the C-111 Project in South 
Dade. In addition, our agency is solely responsible for a major 
restoration project designed to address water quality issues in the 
Everglades. This estimated cost of this long-term project known as the 
Everglades Construction Project is estimated over $800 million.
    Today, after this hearing, there is a signing ceremony for eight 
critical projects. You will remember that this Committee authorized 
Critical Projects to allow for a jump-start on Everglades Restoration, 
thank you! The South Florida Water Management District will sign a 
project cooperation agreement with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to 
serve as local sponsor for seven of the eight projects. The total 
estimated cost for our contribution is approximately $47 million. Are 
we committed? You bet we are! Are we in it for the long haul? With the 
investments made to date it would be irresponsible not to be!
    In closing, I would like to reiterate that as we go through the 
legislative process toward authorization, the Committee will here many 
challenges to the Comprehensive Plan suggesting that more studies are 
needed. I strongly contend it is time to move forward and you have 
before you a Plan that has incorporated the flexibility to do just that 
in a cost effective, scientifically based way.
    We the South Florida Water Management District have set a budget 
reserve account dedicated to the implementation of the Comprehensive 
Plan to the tune of $``X'' annually. We will work with the State to 
obtain the remainder of the necessary funds to achieve implementation. 
We urge you approval for the Federal Government to move forward on this 
unprecedented ecosystem restoration plan and for the U.S. Army Corps of 
Engineers to be given the flexibility to do so in a way that maximizes 
environmental benefits while ensuring the other needs of the region are 
maintained.
    With that Mr. Chairman I conclude my remarks. Thank you and the 
committee members for the opportunity to speak today. And, thank you 
Mr. Chairman for your leadership and commitment to Everglades 
Restoration.
                                 ______
                                 
Responses by Michael Collins to Additional Questions from Senator Smith
    Question 1. Regarding the Stormwater Treatment Areas, do you have 
good scientific evidence to demonstrate that these areas have been 
effective and will be effective in achieving seater quality standards 
for phosphorus'? Can these areas really treat the volume of water that 
the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) envisions being 
redirected through the Everglades systems What happens then? Do you 
foresee the need for additional treatment and if so, at what cost?
    Response. Regarding the Stormwater Treatment Areas (STAs), we have 
good scientific evidence from the two initial constructed wetlands that 
the STAs will achieve their design goal of 50 pars per billion. 
However, eve do not have good scientific evidence that they alone will 
be able to achieve the long-term water quality standard for phosphorus, 
assumed for planning purposes to be around 10 parts per billion. In 
addition to researching ways to optimize STA performance, we are 
investigating advanced treatment technologies to be incorporated with 
the STAB, and also looking at ways we enhance the phosphorus load 
reduction at the farm level. Additional details are found in the 
Everglades Consolidated Report (SFWMD January 2000). Additional 
treatment measures will be required to work in concert with the 
additional components of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. 
Depending on the treatment measure implemented, the costs will vary. At 
this time, insufficient information exists to estimate these additional 
treatment costs.
    Analysis conducted during the development of the Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan indicated that the performance of the STAs 
would be enhanced with the construction of storage facilities in the 
Everglades Agricultural Arca. Lois is due to the fact that the 
reservoir is able to capture large discharges of water during periods 
of high rainfall which is then released to the STA's for treatment when 
there is a downstream environmental demand in the Water Conservation 
Areas throughout the year.

    Question 2. Concerning He ``adaptive assessment program'' which is 
at the heart of the CERP, there has been criticism that this plan 
essentially equates to the Federal Government writing a blank check for 
the restoration effort. Can you respond to those criticisms and 
recommend safeguards we can put into place to balance the concepts of 
flexibility and oversight? Was there such flexibility in place for the 
original Central and Southern Florida Project? What were the 
ramifications?
    Response. The Army Corps of Engineers Civil Works pro&rams have 
built-in safeguards that respond to this question. The primary 
safeguard is that a project cannot overrun its costs by more than 15 
percent without the Corps returning to Congress for further 
authorization Additionally, the Congress funds Cows programs on a year-
to-year basis.
    The concept of adaptive assessment is new to the current 
Comprehensive Plan. The C&SF Project has, however, had numerous 
authorizations over the Scars since 1948 when the project was initially 
authorized. Each authorization addled to the project. If one looks at a 
map of the current project, one can see that there are parts of the 
project that were authorized to be constructed, but for varying 
reasons, never were constructed. It could be argued that the project 
has, in effect, been managed ``adaptively'' since it was first 
constructed.

    Question 3. What would be the effects on the ecosystem if 
implementation of the Plan revere delayed and only pilot projects 
authorized in WRDA 2000? Alternatively, what if authorization of some 
of the pilot projects Acre delayed?
    Response. Authorization of only pilot projects would help to answer 
questions regarding those technologies that have uncertainty in their 
application in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. However, 
delaying the authorization of an initial set of projects for 
construction would set the implementation schedule back for key 
elements of the Water Preserve Area. In addition the construction of 
storage and treatment facilities that would have positive affects on 
the quality of water flowing into Lake Okeechobee and the St. Lucie 
Estuary as well as the quantity and timing of waler flowing to the 
Everglades would be delayed.
    If pilot projects were delayed key questions regarding the 
uncertainties of these technologies ant their full scale application 
would be delayed, thus delaying many key projects which would accrue 
significant restoration benefits.
    If implementation of the Plan were delayed, the state's on-going 
restoration program would achier intermediate goals. Florida's 1994 
Everglades Forever Act requires that all waters discharging to the 
Everglades Protection Area must achieve and maintain compliance with 
all water quality standards by December 31, 2006. In addition, the 
Everglades Forever Act requires that the volume of inflows to the 
Everglades Protection Area should be increased by over 25 percent. The 
District and other State agencies are conducting research and are 
preparing to implement these long-term solutions, although the 2006 
timeframe is ambitious. At this time no funding has been designated or 
allocated for these long-term measures.

    Question 4. What is the SFWMD's position on authorizing this 
measure as stand-alone legislation, separate from a WRDA package?
    Response. The South Florida Waler Management Districts Governing 
Board has nor taken a position on stand-alone legislation, however 
Governor Bush has taken a position in support of stand-alone 
legislation.
                                 ______
                                 
 Responses by Michael Collins to Additional Questions from Senator Bob 
                                 Graham
    Question 1. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystem if we move forward with this project?
    Response. Substantial reduction in the number and severity of 
ecologically damaging extreme high water and low water events on Lake 
Okeechobee, resulting in protection of the lockets littoral wetlands 
and deep water zones and associated ecological and fisheries resources.
      Reduced inputs of excessive nutrients into Lake 
Okeechobee.
      Substantial reduction or elimination of damaging flows of 
excessive nutrients, pesticides and suspended materials to the 
Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries due to improved water quality 
and water depths in Lake Okeechobee.
      Recovery of desirable salinity ranges in the 
Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries, benefiting ecological and 
fisheries resources.
      Recovery of more natural volume and timing patterns of 
flow between Lake Okeechobee and the northern Everglades.
      Recovery of more natural volume and timing patterns of 
flow into the eastern Big Cypress basin, including improved habitat 
conditions for the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow.
      Reduced inputs and distribution of excessive nutrients in 
the Everglades.
      Substantial recovery of ashore natural hydroperiods, 
surface water distribution and timing patterns in the Everglades, 
resulting in recovery of more healthy Everglades ecosystems and the 
characteristic animals of these wetlands.
      Substantial recovery of more natural flow patterns and 
volumes into Honda Bay, including recovery of natural salinity ranges. 
resulting in recovery of ecological and fisheries resources.
      Substantial increase in the spatial extent of healthy 
wetlands in the southern Everglades.
      Substantial improvements in reaching desired salinity 
range ant timing of flows for Lake Worth Lagoon, and recovery of 
healthy fisheries.
      Recovery of more natural flow distribution patterns and 
in desired salinity range for Biscayne Bay, and recovery of healthy 
near-shore ecological and fisheries resources.
      Increased spatial extent, hydropatterns and quality of 
southern Miami-Dade wetlands.

    Question 2. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystems if we do not move forward with this project?
    Response. Reductions in the spatial extent of healthy wetlands will 
continue. Species that require large expanses of natural habitat, such 
as the Florida panther, snail kite, and wading birds, will increasingly 
become stressed by the loss of habitats.
      Losses of organic soils will continue to reduce water 
storage capacity and ecological productivity throughout the Everglades. 
Canals and levees will continue to encourage the introduction and 
spread of exotic plants and animals. Unnatural Ore patterns will 
increasingly damage the natural landscapes of south Florida. South 
Florida recreational and commercial fishing will decline, both in the 
freshwater Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, and in the St. Lucie, 
Caloosahatchee and Florida Bay estuaries. Endangered species will 
continue to decline, and some species may be irreversibly lost in south 
Florida. The Everglades will cease to exist as a functional, 
recognizable ``River of Grass.''

    Question 3. Based on your view of how the Restudy authorization 
process will move forward. will Congress' action in WRDA 2000 be the 
first phase in a multi-stage authorization process or will this year be 
the only tithe this project comes before Congress?
    Response. WRDA 2000 action will begin a series of authorizations to 
be taken in future WRDA s for a number of years. Based on the current 
implementation schedule, authorizations for construction would be 
requested through WRDA 2014.

    Question 4. Can you describe the of beginning this project without 
completing it?
    Response. In general, most ecological and biological restoration 
targets for sustainable natural systems will not be reached. Because 
restoration must proceed far enough to get critical ecological 
components and processes past some minimal ``threshold'' level of 
health, it is possible that little in the way of long-term recovery 
will occur. Fresh water flows may be inadequate to counter the adverse 
effects of sea level rise and sinking shorelines; of especial concern, 
degrading coastal forests may eventually be ``overtopped'' by future 
hurricanes, resulting in substantial increases in flooding. Partially 
recovered wetland systems may exhibit unnatural fluctuations in 
ecological conditions, thus maintaining unstable and unpredictable 
habitat conditions for native animals and plants.

    Question 5. Is the majority of the runoff that enters the canal 
system from urban or agricultural use?
    Response. The answer to this question depends on what part of the 
canal system we are referring to. In the lower east coast urban area, 
much of the runoff reaching the canal system is a direct result of 
providing drainage to people who live in that area. Compared to the 
natural condition, the runoff discharged by the canal system in the 
urban areas has increased substantially. The contribution to runoff 
from the relatively small agricultural acreage in the urban area is 
estimate.
                               __________
        Statement of Jim Shore, on Behalf of the Seminole Tribe
Introduction
    On behalf of the Seminole Tribe of Florida, I wish to join the 
other Floridians participating in this hearing in providing a warm 
welcome to our Federal legislators from the north. I hope you enjoy the 
warm breezes of our Florida winter.
    I am Jim Shore, General Counsel of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. I 
am honored to represent our Chairman, James Billie, who was unable to 
join us today, and the almost 3000 members of the Seminole Tribe of 
Florida.
    The Seminoles have been active participants in the multi-faceted 
efforts to restore the South Florida Ecosystem and to provide a healthy 
future for people of Florida, as well as for the natural environment, 
including the Everglades, that draws so many more people to visit and 
move here. We appreciate being invited to share our views with Senators 
Smith, Voinovich, and Graham on the Restudy presented to Congress last 
July. The Tribe supports the Restudy.
    In this testimony, I will discuss, briefly, who we, the Seminole 
Tribe of Florida, are; our general philosophy regarding ecosystem 
restoration in South Florida; the Tribe's contribution to the 
restoration; and specific comments on the Restudy. I will be happy to 
entertain your questions at the conclusion of my remarks.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida
    The Seminole Tribe lives in the South Florida ecosystem. The Big 
Cypress Reservation is located in the Everglades about 60 miles east of 
here, directly north of the Big Cypress Preserve. The Immokalee 
Reservation is approximately 30 miles northeast of here, near the Big 
Cypress Preserve. The Brighton Reservation is located on the 
northwestern shores of Lake Okeechobee. Tribal headquarters in located 
on the Hollywood Reservation on the east coast. The Tribe relies on all 
aspects of a healthy ecosystem, including the Everglades which provide 
many of our tribal members with their livelihood. Our traditional 
Seminole cultural, religious, and recreational activities, as well as 
commercial endeavors, are dependent on a healthy South Florida 
ecosystem. In fact, the Tribe's identity is so closely linked to the 
land that Tribal members believe that if the land dies, so will the 
Tribe.
    Die ring the Seminole Wars of the lath (century, our Tribe found 
protection in the hostile Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp. But for 
this harsh environment filled with sawgrass and alligators, the 
Seminole Tribe of Florida would not exist today. Once in the Everglades 
and Big Cypress, we learned how to use the natural system for support 
without doing harm to the environment that sustained us. For example, 
our native dwelling, the chickee, is made of cypress logs and palmetto 
fronds. It protects its inhabitants from sun and rain, while allowing 
maximum circulation for cooling. When a chickee has outlived its useful 
life, the cypress and palmetto return to the earth to nourish the soil.
    In response to social challenges within the Tribe, we looked to our 
Tribal elders for guidance. Our elders taught us to look to the land, 
for when the land was ill, the Tribe would soon be ill as well. When we 
looked at the land, we saw the Everglades and supporting ecosystem in 
decline. We recognized that we had to help mitigate the impacts of man 
on this natural system. At the same time, we acknowledged that this 
land must sustain our people, and thereby our culture. The clear 
message we heard from our elders and the land was that we must design a 
way of life to preserve the land and the Tribe. Tribal members must be 
able to work and sustain themselves. We need to protect our Tribal 
farmers and ranchers.
Seminole Everglades Restoration Projects
    Recognizing the needs of our land and our people, the Tribe has 
developed a plan to mitigate the harm to the land and water systems 
within our Reservations while ensuring a sustainable future for the 
Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Big Cypress Reservation is the first of 
our Reservations for which this plan has been implemented. The Tribe is 
in the early stages of developing a plan with similar goals on the 
Brighton Reservation.
    On Big Cypress, the restoration plan will allow Tribal members to 
continue ongoing farming and ranching activities while improving water 
quality and restoring natural hydroperiod to large portions of the 
native lands on the Reservation and ultimately, positively affecting 
the Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. 
Construction activities on the western side of the Reservation have 
been identified as a ``Critical Project'' under section 528 of WRDA 
1996. The Tribe is working closely with the NRCS to identify 
appropriate programs to complete construction of the project on the 
eastern side of the reservation. Two Wetland Reserve Projects are 
currently underway.
    The Seminole Tribe is committed to improving water quality and 
flows on Big Cypress and has expressed that commitment by dedicating 
significant financial resources to our environmental programs and 
projects, as well as estimates of 9,000 acres of land to support the 
projects on Big Cypress alone.
General Comments on Everglades Restoration
    The Seminole Tribe participates in the task forces, working groups, 
commissions, and committees too numerous to list. In these various 
fore, stratified levels of detail are debated and discussed. Throughout 
our involvement, the Tribe has applied the following guidelines to the 
many proposals and plans that have been produced and vetted. Our 
resources limit our specific comments to portions of the plans that 
will directly affect our lands. Our ``philosophy,'' so to speak. 
however, can be applied to all of the plans.
    Shared adversity. No one place or group of people should be 
required to shoulder more than their proportional cost of the fix to 
the problem caused by the Federal project created to help all 
Floridians.
    If you messed it up, you clean it up. While all should share in the 
corrections to the built system to provide for sustainability, if an 
entity has created a specific problem, that entity is responsible for 
correcting the problem. For example, the Big Cypress projects are 
designed to improve the quality of the water that the Tribe discharges.
      Get the science right. The Tribe recognizes the 
complexity of the Everglades ecosystem. Understanding these 
complexities and the developing the applied scientific principles is 
critical to saving the ecosystem.
    Adaptive management. While, in the perfect world, the scientists 
would have all the answers to provide the design engineers building the 
projects needed to improve water quality, quantity, flows, and levels, 
in the real world, some projects need to proceed on the best available 
information. Best professional judgment must be executed in the design 
and implementation projects for which there is an absence of all needed 
data points. However, it is crucial that monitoring and data analysis 
continues for such projects and required adjustments to the design and/
or operation of the projects be undertaken in a timely way. In this 
way, adaptive management allows important restoration projects to 
proceed.
Specific Comments on the Restudy
    The Seminole Tribe supports the Restudy and its goals of addressing 
environmental restoration and adequate flood protection and water 
supply. The Tribe reviewed and commented on all drafts of the Restudy. 
Rather than provide extensive comments here, I will highlight our four 
most significant concerns:
    Ecological models and monitoring. While computer-generated models 
are useful and necessary analytical tools, the information they provide 
is not reality. It is important to recognize their limitations--limited 
to current knowledge, contain assumptions, and subject to computational 
constraints--and to deal with project planning accordingly. In 
addition, the Restudy computer models were designed so that many of the 
Tribe's lands are outside or at the edges of the models. This situation 
has forced the Tribe to infer the likely effects of the selected 
alternative on its lands. Because the predicted behavior of the model 
may not be accurate, the Tribe urges that project authorization include 
ongoing data gathering and monitoring.
    Adaptive management. The Tribe strongly supports the Restudy's 
incorporation of the adaptive management concept. The Tribe urges 
Congress to incorporate in the authorization of the initial projects 
the flexibility needed to allow for the application of adaptive 
management.
      Federal funding for water quality improvements. The Tribe 
believes that the Federal Government shares the responsibility for 
improving water quality. WRDA 2000 should incorporate the WRDA 1996 
provision requiring 50/50 Federal/local cost share for water quality 
projects.
      Critical projects and programmatic authority. Should any 
of the projects identified as ``critical projects'' under WRDA 1996 
section 528 fail to be implemented due to lack of Federal 
appropriations, programmatic authority under WRDA 2000 should renew 
authorization for the projects.
Conclusion
    Thank you for the opportunity to share the views of the Seminole 
Tribe of Florida with you. While the Tribe is a strong supporter of the 
Restudy, we will continue to be vigilant in our review of its 
implementation. We look forward to a continued partnership on a 
government-to-government basis in the challenging effort to save our 
Everglades.
                               __________
    Statement of Dexter Lehtinen, on Behalf of the Miccosukee Tribe
    My name is Dexter Lehtinen. I serve on the South Florida Ecosystem 
Restoration Task Force and the Governor's Commission for the 
Everglades. I previously served as a Florida State Representative and 
State Senator where I helped author the Surface Water Improvement and 
Management Act, which established the goal of saving the entire 
Everglades, whether federally, State, or tribally owned. I also served 
as U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, where I filed 
the so-called ``Everglades lawsuit''. I represent the Miccosukee Tribe 
of Indians of Florida, the Dade County Farm Bureau, and many residents 
of west Miami-:Dade County, Florida.
    My main point is that Everglades restoration is in serious trouble 
due to misplaced priorities, subordination of fundamental democratic 
values, Federal intransigence and bureaucratic arrogance and 
incompetence.
    Let me emphasize at the outset that the issue before this committee 
and the Congress as a whole is not whether Everglades restoration is a 
proper goal or whether restoration is worth the effort. Those who have 
struggled for years to achieve the primacy of Everglades restoration as 
a goal, including Senator Graham on your panel (and, if I may be so 
bold, I would add myself and others here at the Everglades Coalition to 
that group), have achieved at least the nominal commitment, or (perhaps 
more correctly described) the ``politically correct'' commitment, to 
that stated goal.
    But the harder questions relate generally to ``implementation.'' 
These questions include:

    (1) Restoration Goal: What does ``restoration'' mean? Are agencies 
really committed to Everglades restoration as the No. 1 priority?
    (2) Natural Conditions--As odd as it may sound: Do agencies really 
want natural conditions? And, what do ``natural'' conditions mean?
    (3) ``Everglades'' Scope--Perhaps odder sounding still: Which 
Everglades do we restore? Whose Everglades do we save?
    (4) Execution--How do we achieve it? Does the Restudy Plan achieve 
it? Does the Restudy process achieve it?
    (5) Fundamental Values--Are we really prepared to sacrifice 
fundamental property rights and the rule of law in favor of unbridled 
agency discretion?

    Many current problems stem from the deep-seated (though hidden) 
disagreements over the answers to these questions, illustrating many 
misconceptions about Everglades restoration, These problems include:
    A. System Problem (Lack of a System-wide, Everglades-wide 
Commitment: Parochial Approach).--Many agencies (particularly DOI 
agencies) seek only to protect their piece of the Everglades ecosystem 
(whether it be geographic, such as the Everglades National Park, or 
subject-matter, such as a single species), deliberately sacrificing 
other parts of the Everglades. These agencies readily discriminate 
against State-owned and tribal-owned Everglades, despite the 
congressional and Florida legislative mandate that these areas be 
preserved in their ``natural state'' and despite the Federal Trust 
responsibility owed to the Tribe.
    The Federal Government is sacrificing the State and tribal 
Everglades in favor of the smaller Federal Everglades (ENP and LNWR). 
The Water Conservation Areas (especially WCA 3-A) are dying due to 
Federal actions.
    Examples include: (i) flooding WCA 3-A for sparrow (resulting in 
destruction of WCA 3-A and damage to Florida Bay through uneven 
freshwater pulses); (ii) blocking Modified Water Deliveries with the 
effect of destroying WCA 3-A; and (iii) Chief's Letter rejection of 
Restudy water volumes, favoring ENP with adverse effect on WCA 3-A and 
Florida Bay; and (iv) blocking S-332D implementation in C-111 Project.
    Recommendation--The committee should establish the guideline that 
no part of the Everglades Protection Area (including Everglades 
National Park) should be treated more favorably than any other part 
with respect to hydrology (water volume and timing).
    B. Process Problems (Lack of Commitment to Decision-making Process; 
Lack of ``Partnership''; Low Inter-agency Cooperation; pro Forma Use of 
Task Force).--Inter-agency cooperation (particularly by Department of 
the Interior agencies) remains low and many agencies refuse to commit 
to the overall Restudy process. In addition, many agencies refuse to 
implement programs which, have been finalized through the NEPA 
(National Environmental Policy Act) and EIS (environmental impact 
statement) processes. Furthermore, the South Florida Ecosystem 
Restoration Task Force seems to serve the main purpose of giving the 
appearance of oversight or coordination, while avoiding serious matters 
or defects in the restoration process.
    The present Federal approach is little more than lip-service to so-
called ``partnership''. Deals are made in Washington, informing the 
public, the Tribes, and the State afterwards.
    Examples include: (i) Chief's Letter rejection of Restudy process 
(closed door meetings after Restudy complete); (ii) improper use of 
Endangered Species Act to override regular State role in water 
management (Corps actions on sparrow); (iii) exclusion of all-but-
favored private groups (exclusion of State and tribes) from sparrow 
meetings; (iv) disregard of NEPA public process on sparrow, Modified 
Water Deliveries, and elsewhere (iv) DOI lobbying anti-State and anti-
Tribe agenda on WRDA and Appropriations Bills; and (v) South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Task Force unresponsiveness to members' 
questions.
    Recommendation--The Committee should ensure as follows:
    (a) The Federal Government and its agencies should recognize the 
State's right of control over its lands and waters and right to equal 
involvement in the Everglades restoration policymaking process.
    (b) Congress and all agencies should disregard the Chief's Letter 
to the Restudy as exceeding the scope of the Chief's authority, 
procedurally infirm, and unacceptable.
    C. Execution Problems (Inability or Failure to Execute Specific 
Projects).--Frankly, the track record to date in implementing or 
executing specific congressionally directed and approved projects, from 
the mid-1980's to date, is abysmal (``shocking'' is probably a better 
word). Stalled ``Critical Projects'' include Modified Water Deliveries 
and the C-111 Project, both held up for a decade. These projects are 
assumed by the Restudy and by Congress be completed, a starting point 
for the restudy as the next step. The ``immobilisma'', agency 
incompetence, and outright refusal of agencies to execute any plan 
which the agency doesn't like even if it has been approved through the 
appropriate process, raises serious doubts about the wisdom of 
entrusting these agencies with the authority and funds involved in 
restoration.
    Neither Federal nor State government agencies are held accountable 
for gross errors and intentional deviations from law. In essence, the 
rule of law has ceased to be a relevant concept in Everglades 
restoration.
    Examples include: (i) failure to conduct required annual reviews of 
Test Iteration 7 of Experimental Water Deliveries Program; (ii) permit/
test 7 violation at G-211 structure in West Dade prior to Hurricane 
Irene; (iii) excessive groundwater levels in West Dade prior to 
Hurricane Irene; (iv) failure to follow public meetings law by SFWMD 
(local option to Modified Water Delivery); (v) Corps failure to follow 
Restudy procedures; (vi) failure to follow Regulation Schedule for WCA 
3-A; (vii) failure to follow NEPA for WCA 3-A; (viii) failure to 
implement Modified Water Deliveries Project; and (ix) failure to 
implement C-111 Project.
    Recommendation--The committee should ensure that both the Florida 
Legislature and the U.S. Congress hold their agencies and employees 
responsible for errors and accountable for delays in implementing 
policy and for deviations from and violations of law.
    D. Problems with Fundamental Values (Disregard of Fundamental 
Rights and Values of Liberty: Basic Property Rights and the Rule of 
Law).--Everglades restoration programs, at least their implementation 
by the Federal Government, is showing an alarming disregard for 
fundamental values (property rights and the rule of law). Everglades 
restoration must not be achieved at the expense of fundamental concepts 
of liberty, including property rights. The right to private property is 
so fundamental to ordered liberty and freedom that its sacrifice is 
simply not justified (and its sacrifice is also not necessary for 
Everglades restoration). A closely related concept is the legitimacy of 
government provided flood protection. When flood protection and private 
property rights are demeaned, the core rights of the average American 
are threatened. Such misalignment of values will not prevail but the 
ultimate rejection of this misalignment by the public will destroy the 
viability of restoration.
    Examples include: (i) The Corps actions for the sparrow (increasing 
flooding of lands in South Dade, West Kendall, 8.5 Square Mile Area, 
and WCA 3-A); (ii) increasing water levels in Dade under Test Iteration 
7 of Experimental Water Deliveries without implementing concomitant 
flood protection; (iii) failure to implement Modified Water Deliveries 
Project protection for property; and (iv) failure to implement C-111 
Project.
    Recommendation--The committee should reaffirm as follows:
    (a) Private property and flood protection are legitimate social 
values and neither property rights nor flood protection should be 
diminished in any respect in the course of Everglades restoration.
    (b) The triple goals of environmental protection, flood protection, 
and water supply must each be met without undue sacrifice. Plans which 
seek Everglades restoration at the expense of flood protection or urban 
and agricultural water supply are unacceptable. Plans which seek to 
transform Everglades restoration into a tool for ``no growth'', 
``growth management'', or urban planning are unacceptable, because 
these matters raise different issues and involve different social 
values.
    From a review of these problems, several major misconceptions about 
Everglades restoration are apparent, including:
    (i) The ``Everglades'' is ``Everglades National Park''--The 
misconception that the term ``Everglades'' means and is the same as 
``Everglades National Park'' leads to sacrificing the central 
Everglades, which are the jewels of the famous ``River of Grass''. The 
Florida and Miccosukee-owned Everglades north of Tamiami Trail are just 
as important and Federal and State policy call for the entire 
Everglades to be saved.
    (ii) Everglades Restoration is the Number One Federal Priority in 
the Everglades--This is clearly not the case in fact, although often 
stated in words. This unexamined misconception allows the Federal 
Government to place the Everglades second or even lower in priority 
while putting other goals first. The latest example is the flooding and 
destruction of the central Everglades by maintaining unnaturally high 
water levels in WCA 3-A and ``unnaturally'' low water levels in ENP, by 
closing structures along an unnatural barrier (Tamiami Trail), for the 
purpose of protecting a 10 percent subpopulation of a subspecies of 
bird which moved recently into the area (outside of its critical 
habitat) when water was unnaturally low. The stated policy is to 
maintain the Everglades unnaturally dry in parts and unnaturally wet in 
parts for the goal of protecting the bird; clearly, preserving the 
natural Everglades is not a No. 1 priority.
    (iii) At Least We're Making Progress/What We're Doing is Helping--
While we're making some progress, especially in water quality issues in 
the Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA), elsewhere we're deteriorating 
badly. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission said less 
than a month ago that ``WCA 3-A has degraded more in the last 5 years 
than in the previous 40 years together''. This on-going degradation of 
Florida and Tribal lands is a direct result of parochial Federal water 
policies, which the Federal Government shows no signs of changing.
    (iv) Everglades restoration is a Federal/State/Tribal Partnership--
The partnership is in name only, with Federal agencies constantly end-
running the established process whenever they don't get their way. The 
history of Federal relations with the Miccosukee Tribe, the Federal 
sacrifice of tribal lands and breaking of environmental commitments, is 
just another saga on the trail of Tears on which the Federal Government 
has sent its Native Americans.
    (v) The Problem in Everglades Restorable is Funding--The idea that 
the Everglades ``problem'' is a new version of the old approach of 
throwing Federal dollars at whatever problem is perceived to exist. But 
is also has the effect of ignoring real issues in restoration. A 
related misconception is that additional Finding can't hurt. But more 
than just wasting money, could actually result in damaging the 
Everglades more than if the money wasn't available.
    Many of these issues were discussed more thoroughly in my report 
accompanying the 1999 Report of the South. Florida Ecosystem 
restoration Task Force, on which I am a Member. It is interesting that 
the Task Force staff regularly distributes their glossy-print report 
without distributing the minority report which I filed as a Task Force 
Member. I have attached my April 1999 report. entitled Facing Up to 
Problems in Everglades Restoration (An Additional View): Supplement to 
``Maintaining the Momentum, 1999 Report of the South Florida Ecosystem 
Restoration Task Force'' (Exhibit A) for the committee's use. I have 
also attached my April 27, 1999 testimony to the House of 
Representatives, entitled South Florida modified Water Delivery: A Case 
of Agency Obstructionism (Exhibit B), my September 23, 1999 statement, 
entitled Statement of Dexter Lehtinen Regarding Backwood Deals on the 
Everglades (Exhibit C), and my November 10, 1999 testimony, entitled 
Putting People Last: Excessive Groundwater Levels in West Dade (Exhibit 
D).
    In addition to the recommendations identified with particular issue 
above, I recommend the following regarding general Everglades 
restoration and resource management:
    I. Create a Cabinet Agency For Indian Affairs--The discrimination 
against tribal lands and their destruction to serve Department of the 
Interior interests shows how Interior sacrifices Indian interests to 
serve other agency goals.
    II. Reduce Role of the Depart of the Interior--The role of Interior 
in Everglades restoration should be reduced to that of any landowner. 
The most destructive special interest in Everglades policy today is the 
U.S. Department of the Interior.
    III. Shift Chair of South Florida Task Force to Corps. The Task 
Force should be chaired by the Corps of Engineers, which is otherwise 
responsible for the overall Central and Southern Florida Project and 
for Water Resources Development Acts in general. The Task Force is now 
used to further parochial Interior (not general) interests.
    IV. Fund Everglades Restoration Through Corps of the State, Rather 
Than Interior. Interior improperly uses its role in funding to achieve 
collateral, parochial goals of the agency. Channeling Farm Bill (land 
acquisition) and Modified Water Deliveries money through Interior, for 
example, was a mistake.
    In conclusion, the current chaos, agency parochialism, and agency 
arrogance are threatening the viability of Everglades restoration, as 
is the subordination of fundamental property values and the rule of 
law. The public officials who ignore this reality in a ``politically 
correct'' assertion, but ``everything is going well in the Everglades'' 
are in effect the enemies of the Everglades. On the other hand, the 
public officials who recognize the reality, cut through this chaos, and 
suffer initial criticism from those who either don't want to admit 
problems or don't avant their parochialism to be unmasked, will be the 
heroes of Everglades restoration to whom future generations of 
Americans (Native Americans and non-Native Americans) will be eternally 
grateful.
                                 ______
                                 
Responses by Dexter Lehtinen to Additional Questions from Senator Smith
    Question 1. Can you describe the impact on the Miccosukee Tribe if 
we go forward with this project as currently proposed?
            I. Summary: Vagueness Renders Conclusions Premature
    The outcome or impact on the Tribe could be very negative or very 
positive (or somewhere in between), depending upon how the ``project.' 
is eventually defined and executed. Until the project components are 
each developed in greater detail, there is insufficient detail to 
determine whether the vague and ambiguous goals of the Plan will be met 
or whether certain elements might actually cause harm.
            II. Ambiguities and Dangers in the Comprehensive Plan
    The Comprehensive Plan (April 1999) is ambiguous in certain 
essential points and relies on inadequate models in several critical 
issues, leaving room for numerous areas of potential harm. In addition, 
the Chief's Transmittal Letter contradicts the Comprehensive Plan and 
raises serious concerns.
    1. Defining the ``Project''.--More Details Needed on Project 
Components--The Comprehensive Plan (Restudy, April 1999) is still vague 
and ambiguous on many essential elements, so that current assumptions 
or conclusions about its utility or impact on the Tribe or even the 
greater Everglades ecosystem are premature at best. Such premature 
assumption could even be dangerous and counter-productive, because they 
could lead to unbridled agency discretion, lax oversight, poor 
planning, and sub-optimal outcomes (outcomes which destroy part of the 
Everglades while helping other parts).
    2. Inadequate Modeling.--The possibility of adverse impacts Has 
discussed above) is magnified by the alarming admission within the 
restudy that two critical models are inadequate for the analytical 
tasks at hand. Ha) First, the ``natural Systems Model'' (NSM)uses very 
large grids ((2x2 miles) and does not have accurate topographic data in 
its data base. Accurate topographic data must be obtained and 
incorporated before predictions can be used with any reasonable 
assurances See p. 7-73. (b) Second, the ``South Florida Water 
Management Model''. (SFWMM or WMM) is inadequate to predict flood 
control outcomes. See ``Flood Control'' entry, pp. 7-65 and 7-62. 
Before project components are designed in detail and approved by 
Congress, these models must be upgraded.
    3. Potential Adverse Effects.--Within the scope of the Restudy, 
several possible adverse effects could develop if future detailed 
planning does not adequately address certain hydroperiod and water 
quality issues. These include, but are not limited to, the following: 
(a) excessive water levels in Water Conservation Areas (``flooding'' 
the central Everglades); (b) discharging polluted water into the 
central Everglades (essentially using the central Everglades to clean 
up water pollution before it reaches Everglades National Park to the 
south'; (c) discrimination against Water Conservation Area 3-A 
(treating the central Everglades less favorably than Everglades 
National Park); (d) discriminatory treatment of minority Americans 
(Hispanics, African-Americans, and Indians); and (e) flooding in 
residential and commercial land outside the Everglades   ``The Corps proposes to deliver additional water 
(approximately 245,000 acre-feet) to ENP and Biscayne Bay by either 
capturing additional runoff from urban areas or by some other means.''
      ``The primary and overarching purpose of the 
Comprehensive plan is to restore the South Florida ecosystem. 
Accordingly, to ensure the successful implementation of the 
Comprehensive plan, the Corps will work with the Department of the 
Interior, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other Federal 
Agencies and the State of Florida to develop the necessary assurances 
which will address the proper quantity, quality, timing and 
distribution of water for the natural system. Such assurances will not, 
to the extent practicable, impact other existing legal water uses and 
flood protection.''

    These two are among the most egregious examples of new 
recommendations that were made without the benefit of any additional 
NEPA analysis or opportunity for public review and comment. The first 
is an increase in total water supplied by the project for all purposes 
by more than 20 percent. Remarkably, no increase in the cost of the 
Comprehensive plan is identified to collect, store, treat and deliver 
this additional water. Moreover, this idea of 245,000 additional acre-
feet was rejected in the Jacksonville District's analysis because of 
its adverse impacts to vast stretches of state-owned Everglades.
    The second commitment abandons the balanced multipurpose nature of 
the comprehensive plan called for by Section 528 of the Water Resources 
Development Act of 1996 that authorized the development of the plan. 
The new commitment unequivocally subordinates the claims of economic 
users in time of drought to those of restoration without any evaluation 
of the economic or the environmental impacts of such a decision. 
Extreme climatic conditions sometimes call for difficult operational 
decisions. These decisions are best made in light of the environmental 
and economic conditions prevailing at the time.
    The addition of these commitments has led to litigation in Federal 
Court. The complaint is supported by a broad spectrum of Florida 
interests, including the Miccosukee Tribe and several agricultural 
producers. Its purpose is to seek injunctive relief to prevent the Army 
Corps of Engineers from implementing them in subsequent planning and 
design activities in furtherance of the Comprehensive plan. The 
agricultural community strongly opposes the inclusion of any of the 13 
additional commitments in the Chief's Report in any congressional 
authorization of the comprehensive plan.
Florida Agriculture's Recommendations for WRDA 2000 Authorizations
      Affirm the statement of the Comprehensive plan's multiple 
project purposes contained in the WRDA 1996 authorization.
    Florida agriculture supports the statement of Plan purposes 
contained in Section 528 of The Water Resources Development Act of 
1996: ``The comprehensive plan shall provide for the protection of 
water quality in and the reduction of the loss of freshwater from, the 
Everglades. The comprehensive plan shall include such features as are 
necessary to provide for the water-related needs of the region, 
including flood control, the enhancements of water supplies, and other 
objectives served the Central and Southern Florida Project.'' Congress 
should affirm this fundamental statement of purposes and priorities in 
authorizing the comprehensive plan.
      Approve the Comprehensive Plan presented in Jacksonville 
District's Feasibility Study as a framework to guide future project 
planning and require periodic updating.
    Florida agriculture believes that the Jacksonville District's 
recommended comprehensive plan is an appropriate guide and framework 
for the continued plan formulation and detailed technical analysis 
necessary to achieve the environmental and economic purposes served by 
the Central and Southern Florida Project for the next half-century. 
Congress should approve the plan as the framework for future planning 
and design of the new Central and Southern Florida Project elements and 
operational modifications.
    In approving the comprehensive plan, Congress should require it to 
be revised periodically based on (1) new scientific knowledge, (2) the 
results of the pilot projects discussed below, (3) the results of the 
three feasibility studies recommended in the District's report, (4) the 
actual benefits and other impacts resulting from newly completed 
features and changed operational rules and (5) the projected benefits 
and other impacts of further proposed modifications and additions to 
the Central and Southern Florida Projects. Such revisions are essential 
to maintain the comprehensive plan as a current framework guiding 
future project investments and operational changes over the two-decade 
implementation period.
    Without doubt, integration of the feasibility studies of Florida 
Bay and Florida Keys, of Southwest Florida, and of the Comprehensive 
Integrated Water Quality Plan, the actual results received from the 
completion of feasibility level studies of new construction elements as 
well as implementation and evaluation of the pilot projects will result 
in substantial modifications to the plan. Such changes must be 
anticipated and provided for in congressional action on the 
comprehensive plan in 2000. A revised comprehensive plan should be 
submitted to Congress whenever future recommendations for further 
project authorizations are requested.
      Authorize cost sharing for project operation and 
maintenance that reflects the unique combination of project purposes 
served by the Comprehensive Plan.
    Congress must recognize that a substantial share of the costs of 
operating and maintaining the new structures needed to implement the 
comprehensive plan are associated with ecosystem restoration and with 
Everglades National Park, specifically. The benefits of restoration are 
enjoyed across the nation, and indeed internationally, in the case of 
migrating species and rare and endangered species unique to South 
Florida. These costs are properly borne by the Federal Government.
      Authorize reallocation of present water users' supplies 
only when comparable replacement supplies are available to those users.
    Florida agriculture supports the Jacksonville District's 
recommended comprehensive plan because it recognizes that ecological 
and economic health of South Florida is at risk, and implementation of 
the plan is essential to restoring and maintaining that health. As an 
industry which contributes very little to the increase in demand for 
water over the next 50 years, we are concerned that our existing 
supplies not be taken from us and given to other users before 
replacement supplies are in place. Authorize the pilot projects not 
authorized in WRDA 1999.
    Florida agriculture supports the authorization of the five 
remaining pilot projects recommended in the comprehensive plan which 
were not authorized previously. Implementation of the $100 million in 
pilot projects is essential to demonstrate the technology underlying 
the comprehensive plan. Until we are confident this technology will 
perform as anticipated and at the projected cost, we can not be 
confident that the comprehensive plan can serve as the ultimate 
blueprint for meeting our future water demands.
      Authorize construction projects only when supported by 
feasibility level studies that have been formally transmitted to 
Congress by the Administration.
    The Restudy has succeeded in producing a conceptual plan that 
enjoys broad support; however, it is not at the level of detail 
necessary to define specific construction projects with any reasonable 
degree of certainty as to their costs, their benefits or even their 
physical impacts and performance; therefore, the Comprehensive Plan 
should not be authorized in its entirety. The large geographic area, 
project scope and complexity of issues have precluded the conduct of 
studies at the level of detail that normally supports Corps of 
Engineers construction authorizations. Congress should not authorize 
construction projects unless feasibility level studies have been 
completed and the report has been officially transmitted to Congress 
after full public and interagency review.
    The need for strict adherence to this rule is particularly 
important in the case of these projects because of the uncertainties of 
restoration science and the complex interaction among individual 
projects. We are painfully aware that even when projects are authorized 
after a full feasibility investigation,--in the case of South Florida, 
the Modified Water Deliveries Project for Everglades National Park--
these projects can become mired in design problems and scientific 
uncertainty and their implementation delayed for years. The 
comprehensive plan is too important to South Florida and the Nation, to 
prematurely authorize land acquisition and project construction. 
Florida agriculture urges Congress to authorize project construction 
only when a feasibility study has been completed and transmitted by the 
executive branch. It is also essential that this authorization function 
be retained by the Congress and not delegated to the executive branch.
      Require incremental justification of projects authorized 
for construction.
    We recommend that Congress require the Corps of Engineers to 
describe the benefits of each project in the feasibility report 
supporting project construction. Consistent with Section 528 of WRDA 
1996, we are not suggesting that an economic justification be required 
for projects which do not supply water for economic purposes. However, 
we believe it is essential that each project be formulated in 
accordance with the 1983 Principles and Guidelines for Water and 
Related Land Resources Implementation Studies of the U.S. Water 
Resources Council and that the contribution of each project to the 
objectives of the comprehensive plan be described. We believe it is 
important for Congress to understand the incremental contribution of 
each investment to the ecological and economic purposes served by the 
plan before authorizing its implementation. This is a standard 
requirement for other projects across the nation, and there should be 
no exception for modifications to the Central and Southern Florida 
Project.
      Require development and periodic updating of a strategic 
plan identifying all measures (and their associated life-cycle costs) 
necessary to achieve restoration and other project purposes including 
water quality and exotic species management. We share the concerns 
articulated in the Conference Committee report accompanying the fiscal 
year 2000 Interior Appropriations Act. The costs of restoration far 
exceed the $7.8 billion identified as the cost of the comprehensive 
plan. Moreover, there are several uncompleted projects, including 
Modified Water Deliveries to Everglades National Park, which will have 
important impacts on the South Florida Ecosystem. Congress should 
require the maintenance of the Strategic plan which would integrate all 
activities, including management of exotic species relating to 
restoration and a full identification of all restoration related 
measures and their life-cycle costs.
      Projects should use land acquired from willing sellers 
and land already in public ownership where practical; otherwise the 
State condemnation process should be followed.
    The Comprehensive Plan calls for acquisition of approximately 
248,000 acres of land needed for the various components of the Plan. 
Most of these acres will be targeted in the rural agricultural areas. 
To minimize the impact on one segment of the economy, the acquisitions 
should be focused to the greatest extent practical on willing sellers 
and government owned land. No one basin or sector of the economy in 
South Florida should bear a disproportionate burden if land is required 
to be taken though condemnation.
    Agriculture also feels that if condemnation is required, then the 
State of Florida's condemnation law should be followed which allows the 
landowner whose land is being taken to be reimbursed for all reasonable 
costs expended. We believe it is unfair to take someone's land and not 
reimburse the landowners reasonable costs, such as legal costs and 
appraisal costs, as is done in the Federal condemnation process.
      Water quality requirements should be agreed to by the 
Federal and State agencies before any project element is authorized.
    Currently, there is no requirement that the Federal or State 
agencies must present to Congress and the Florida Legislature how water 
quality standards will be met upon completion of a project component. 
Water quality must be an integral component of the Restudy. If we don't 
assess how water quality requirements will be met, we run the risk that 
we will spend millions and billions of dollars only to discover that we 
built systems that are albatrosses and must be retrofitted with many 
more billions of dollars to meet water quality standards. If water 
quality is not totally integrated with the flood control and water 
supply aspects of the project we run the risk that the project will be 
a failure or that the project will ultimately be too costly to 
complete. By addressing water quality during the authorization process, 
we will help assure that we build the most efficient systems at the 
outset and thus the overall success of the project.
      Funding issues must be resolved.
    In the recent past, the Federal Government has had difficulty 
funding projects such as the Kissimmee River Restoration, the C-111 
Project, Stormwater Treatment Area 1-East, etc. The State has not yet 
found a dedicated source of funds to fund the Restudy projects. Each 
Restudy project element should have reasonably assured funding from 
both the State and Federal Government before it is authorized. If 
authorization and funding commitments are not closely tied, we run the 
risk of condemning agricultural land and starting construction only to 
have projects unfinished for years.
Conclusions and Summary of Proposed Principles to Guide Further 
        Authorizations of the Comprehensive Plan
    I thank the Committee for this opportunity to present the views of 
Florida Agriculture on the results of the Central and Southern Florida 
Project Comprehensive Review Study. Successful implementation of the 
comprehensive plan is essential to the ecological and economic health 
of all of South Florida during the next century. The agricultural 
community is a vital element of the economy of South Florida and will 
benefit greatly from ensuring that additional water is made available 
to restore South Florida ecosystems and to provide for a growing urban 
population.
    Congress should affirm the multiple purpose nature of the 
comprehensive plan and direct its use as a framework and guide to 
future project planning and design, provided it is regularly updated. 
It should assure existing water users that their supplies would not be 
reallocated without replacement water being available on comparable 
terms. It should act quickly to reduce the uncertainties associated 
with the proposed comprehensive plan by authorizing and funding the 
pilot projects as soon as possible. It should not authorize any 
construction projects that are not based on the same level of 
engineering, economic and environmental analysis that is required of 
other projects nationwide.


                                 ______
                                 
  Responses of Malcolm Wade to Additional Questions from Senator Smith
    Question 1. What is the contribution that the sugar industry is 
making in the Everglades restoration effort?
    Response. Florida's sugar farmers are paying approximately $12 
million a year in special ``Agricultural Privilege Taxes'' mandated by 
Florida's 1994 Everglades Forever Act. (This is the only place in the 
country where farmers are taxed for the ``privilege'' of farming). 
These taxes will provide at least $233 million, which is more than 100 
percent of the project costs associated with cleaning farm water. The 
sugar farmers are the only stakeholders that are currently paying a tax 
in excess of general ad valorem taxes for the restoration.
    Forty thousand acres (60 square miles) consisting primarily of 
sugar cane farm land were taken out of production to build Stormwater 
Treatment Areas (STAB) to filter farm, urban and Lake Okeechobee water 
before it enters the Everglades system.
    In addition, sugar farmers contributed $1 million to help build the 
experimental prototype filter marsh, the Everglades Nutrient Removal 
Project.
    In addition, farmers have spent tens of millions of dollars on the 
farms to implement a series of Best Management Practices (BMPs)--soil 
and water management techniques which clean the water before it leaves 
the farms. These BMPs have been quite successful, reducing phosphorus 
levels an average of 50 percent a year since 1994, which is twice the 
legal requirement.
    In addition, the farmers formed a special environmental taxing 
district that has generated about $2,500,000 annually since 1989, used 
exclusively for environmental restoration within the Everglades 
ecosystem.
    U.S. Sugar also contributed more than 6 years of a top executive's 
time and expertise serving on the Governor's Commission for a 
Sustainable South Florida. This commission developed consensus support 
for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Restudy of the Central and South 
Florida Flood Control System. Sugar farmers continue to support the 
Restudy in public forums across the country.
    In addition, sugar farmers, as large property owners, also pay over 
$200,000 a year for Everglades Construction as part of property taxes 
levied by the South Florida Water Management District.
    Members of management in all of the major sugar companies have 
participated in a proactive way on all of the significant committees in 
the Everglades restoration process, including:
      Governors Commission on the Everglades;
      Governors Commission for a Sustainable South Florida;
      SFWMD Lower East Coast Water Supply Committee;
      SFWMD Lower West Coast Water Supply Committee;
      SFWMD Caloosahatchee River Advisory Committee;
      SFWMD Agriculture Advisory Committee;
      Everglades Forever Act Technical Mediation Group 
Everglades Technical Advisory Committee;
      Lake Okeechobee Technical Advisory Committee.

    Question 2. What have been the effects of the Federal sugar program 
on the Everglades ecosystem?
    Response. The Federal sugar program has had a positive effect on 
the Everglades ecosystem. It has enabled farmers to continue to keep 
these environmentally sensitive lands in agriculture. Sugarcane farming 
has been determined to be the best possible use for land in the 
Everglades Agricultural Area (EAA). Sugarcane is basically a tropical 
grass--it needs very little in the way of fertilizers or chemicals. If 
sugar farmers shifted from sugar to other crops the phosphorus run-off 
would be at least 200 percent greater.
    Other options for these 500,000 acres of land--located near Lake 
Okeechobee and less than an hour's drive from both east and west 
coasts--would be development or production of alternative crops. 
Development would be disastrous for the Everglades, and other crops 
require many times more fertilizer and pesticides.
    There are no subsidy payments to sugar farmers, and the Federal 
sugar program has operated at no cost to the Federal Government for 
many years. Reforms to the sugar program in the 1996 Freedom to Farm 
Bill removed government price supports, which have resulted in sugar 
prices dropping to 20-year lows. Yet, Florida's sugar farmers are 
efficient and have been vertically integrating, adding refining 
operations to compete in an increasingly competitive sugar market.
    The Federal sugar program is a response to predatory trading 
practices by foreign governments who heavily subsidize sugar production 
in their own countries. Absent the sugar program's import restrictions, 
this heavily subsidized foreign sugar would flood our markets, driving 
efficient American producers out of business. Farmers in the EAA would 
be forced to alternative uses for their land, with many negative 
consequences for the Everglades.
    The option (and ultimate goal of environmental extremists) of the 
Federal Government buying almost half a million acres of private land 
and returning it to nature is simply unrealistic. Money for purchasing 
the land aside, just managing such an expanse would be nearly 
impossible given the rapid invasion of exotic species on other 
government-owned land in the South Florida ecosystem. The government 
would also have to operate and maintain hundreds of pumps (currently 
owned and operated by the farmers) to move water from Lake Okeechobee 
south into the Everglades to maintain the water supply for South 
Florida as the natural contours of the land have changed over the last 
50 years.

    Question 3. In what capacity is the Talisman property currently 
being used by the sugar industry?
    Response. The transaction that gave the government the title to the 
``Talisman Property'' was a complex package of trades with, and lease-
backs to, several agricultural companies. The former Talisman tracts 
that were traded to consolidate the government ownership are now owned, 
and are being farmed, by the companies who participated in the trades. 
These properties are shown in dark green on the attached sketch.
    The land that is now owned by the government (the South Florida 
Water Management District), whether it was originally owned by Talisman 
(shown in orange on the attached map) or another company (shown in pink 
on the attached map), is being farmed under leases held by the SFWMD. 
The understanding during the negotiations of the Talisman agreements 
was that this land would continue to be farmed until the government 
needed the property for the construction of the water projects 
envisioned in the Restudy. Essentially all of the land now controlled 
by the government in anticipation of it being found suitable for use as 
part of the EAA reservoir project is encumbered with leases that allow 
farming at a minimum through 2005 or 2008, depending on the specific 
parcel, with a maximum term of 20 years.
    The parcels that were owned by a company other than Talisman, but 
are now part of the government holdings, are under lease to the 
original owner and are still being farmed and are shown in pink on the 
attached schedule. The government owned land that formerly belonged to 
Talisman is leased to the companies who participated in the land 
exchange. Because of the cropping cycles associated with sugar cane the 
government agreed to give the lessees a 30-month notice prior to 
requiring them to vacate the land.
    The attached sketch illustrates the government land holdings as a 
result of the Talisman transaction and the related lease expiration 
dates.

    Question 4. How does this change once the Everglades Agricultural 
Area Storage Reservoirs are put into place?
    Once it is determined how much land is needed for reservoirs and 
where these reservoirs will be located, there will be no use by the 
sugar companies. The water storage projects will become components of 
the Central and Southern Florida Project and will be owned and operated 
by the SFWMD. It is worth noting that the location of the EAA storage 
facilities modeled in the Restudy does not match the real estate the 
SFWMD now controls as a result of the Talisman transaction.
    It will be necessary to reformulate the reservoir plan during the 
design process to determine the final configuration, operation, cost 
and feasibility of the facilities.
                                 ______
                                 
  Responses by Malcolm Wade to Additional Questions from Senator Bob 
                                 Graham
    Question 1. This year in the Interior Appropriations bill, 
Congressman Regula called for the development of ``assurances'' 
language that would ensure that the park and natural systems in the 
Everglades region receive adequate quantities of water. I know that the 
Administration and the state are working very hard to develop this 
language for inclusion into the Administration's WRDA proposal. Can you 
describe for me the basic principles that you feel are critical 
elements of this language and why?
    Response. 1. Assurance provisions should be incorporated into WRDA 
2000 that are consistent with the Restudy purposes expressed in WRDA 
1996 that, through implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan, both environmental needs and other water related 
needs of the region will be met in a balanced way.
    The goals and purposes of the Proposed Comprehensive Plan include 
meeting not only environmental needs but the other water related needs 
as well. The South Florida Water Management District, as local sponsor 
of the C&S Florida Project is relying on the Comprehensive Plan to meet 
not just environmental water needs but other water supply and flood 
protection needs for urban and agricultural areas.
    Consequently, providing assurances that both environmental and 
economic needs will be met is fully consistent with the goals of the 
overall Comprehensive Plan of the Restudy. The current assessment of 
the Restudy team is that to meet all needs, roughly 80 percent of the 
new water will be used for the environment and the remaining 20 percent 
for other needs.
    2. Assurance that all needs will be addressed in a balanced way 
must also be provided through a clearly defined authorization process 
for plan components which will rely upon the Project Implementation 
Reports now proposed by the Restudy's Implementation Plan.
    The Proposed Comprehensive Plan is highly conceptual and based on 
hydrologic models that will be further refined and are likely to 
produce changing environmental restoration targets. The currently 
proposed project components are based on these model results, not on 
engineering designs or evaluations of operating efficiency or cost-
effectiveness. The pilot projects may also reveal the need for 
substantial changes to the proposed Plan. These uncertainties are 
acknowledged within the Restudy Report of April 1999.
    Consequently, each project implementation report should be required 
to identify the increase in, or reallocation of water supplies that 
would result from the project component and the uses to be served upon 
completion of the component. When Congress authorizes the component, it 
would then also affirm the assurances as to the uses that would receive 
the benefits of the component's implementation.
    This continuing process will meet the goals and objectives of the 
Everglades Restudy in a more direct and quantitative way and can be 
used to provide specific guarantees to all interests that individual 
project components will provide measurable and enforceable 
contributions to the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 
objectives.

    Question 2. You have raised some concerns regarding this 
authorization of the Restudy without a detailed feasibility study. Can 
you explain why you feel the Restudy should not move forward without 
this level of detail?
    Response. Our position has never been that the Restudy should not 
move forward. We have been active players in the formulation of the 
Comprehensive Plan and now support its approval (without the additional 
commitments in the Chiefs Report) by Congress as a framework for 
continued planning and design of future project modifications. We 
supported the Critical Projects process authorized in 1996, and we 
supported expediting the two ASR Pilot Projects authorized in 1999. We 
support authorization of the additional Pilot Projects in WRDA 2000. 
Congressional direction regarding the comprehensive plan and 
construction of the pilot projects are essential if the restoration 
process is to proceed as quickly as Federal and State resource 
limitations will allow. We support funding of all restoration 
activities at the Corps' capability level in fiscal year 2001 and 
beyond and note the Corps presently has the authority to continue 
preconstruction planning and design of additional project elements.
    We believe that the Restudy should move forward without delay at 
both the state and Federal levels. We do not, however, support 
construction authorization by Congress for major Restudy components in 
the absence of the basic engineering, economic and environmental 
analysis that details the project's cost, performance and feasibility. 
Premature authorization will not speed up the final construction or 
operational date for any project. In fact, it may become an obstacle to 
the process if the detailed analysis leads to a significant deviation 
from the conceptual plan that would be authorized in WRDA 2000. We 
believe that all parties should work together to find a process that 
allows the Restudy to move forward without delay while the needed final 
engineering analysis is completed. Our position is no different from 
the long-standing position of several administrations concerning water 
project authorizations, and we note that this position was affirmed by 
President Clinton as recently as his signing statement for WRDA 99.
    In addition, the detailed feasibility studies, referred to as 
Project Implementation Reports (PIR) in the Restudy, are the most 
appropriate vehicles for providing the assurances to Congress and other 
interested parties that the benefits projected to flow from the 
Comprehensive plan will actually be obtained. These reports will 
document and quantify how each component will work, what the 
restoration goals are and how much water can be expected to be provided 
to the ecosystem and other uses. This information can form the basis of 
binding water allocations to the environment and to other users that 
can be tied to completion of the component and the resulting change in 
systems operation. Water quality and other environmental and economic 
considerations will also be clarified.
                               __________
  Statement of Nora Williams, Monroe County Commissioner, Marathon, FL
    Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee, I want to thank you for 
this opportunity to testify before the Senate Committee on the 
Environment and Public Works on the important issue of the Everglades 
Restudy.
    Mr. Chairman, as a member of the Board of Monroe County 
Commissioners, I serve as the County's Land Use Liaison to the State of 
Florida, and I represent the Commissioners on the National Marine 
Sanctuary's Water Quality Steering Committee. I am also a recent 
appointment to the Governor's Commission for the Everglades. My county, 
Monroe, is better known as the Florida Keys, but it also includes vast 
tracks of the mainland Everglades and is the southernmost component of 
the Everglades ecosystem.
    My testimony before you today will be confined to five critical 
points:

    ONE: The restoration of the Everglades is absolutely critical to 
the future of South Florida and the Restudy is our last best chance to 
restore the Everglades. This is about more than our water supply--there 
simply is no South Florida as we know it without the Everglades. Fully 
one third of Everglades National Park is Florida Bay, the shallow body 
of water between the mainland and the Florida Keys. It is the nursery 
ground of the marine creatures that make their homes on the reefs of 
the Florida Keys, thus serving as the foundation of both the Florida 
Keys' ecosystem and its economy.
    TWO: We must start right away. The Restudy really must be 
authorized in the year 2000. The condition of the Everglades is not 
stagnant, but is getting steadily worse over time, and can be expected 
at some point to reach ecological collapse. And there often isn't 
recovery from collapse. Fragile ecosystems reach a point where no 
amount of action can ever restore what has been lost And sometimes when 
I'm walking along the edge of the grassy wetlands of the Everglades, 
I'm deeply frightened of how close we are to irretrievable loss.
    THREE: The Restudy is an evolving process. When you examine the 
Restudy, you're definitely looking at a flawed document--there can be 
no question about it. There's a paragraph for just about every vested 
special interest in the State--with one major exception I will mention 
later--and the plan is fundamentally compromised repeatedly on one side 
or the other. But, as it stands, it's as close as we're likely to get 
to consensus with something this mighty, this expensive and this 
complex. Please recognize that your approval of the Restudy begins a 
process of refinement of these expressed objectives and plan--work to 
be done not before the passage of the Restudy but as the approved and 
funded Restudy evolves.
    FOUR: The Restudy must not be the basis for further degradation of 
the Everglades ecosystem. Much of the expense of the Everglades Restudy 
is directly traceable to undoing the earlier work of the Army Corps of 
Engineers this century in Florida. Work to control and direct the flow 
of water for the convenience and profit of a single species is rarely 
wise, even when that species is us--and we're now finding the cost of 
single species ecosystem manipulation is not only expensive, its 
devastating and almost always harmful even to the single species it is 
designed to benefit. Let's enter this Restudy pledged not to commit the 
mistakes of the past and determined that we will not balance every step 
forward with a step back.
    FIVE: Funding water quality improvements in the Florida Keys is 
crucial to the Restudy's success. Increasingly, the Army Corps of 
Engineers has come to see that their job, if responsibly undertaken, 
isn't just about the movement of water--it's about the quality of the 
water that is moved. That's why I'm deeply distressed by the one 
special interest I know of that didn't get included in this Restudy 
you'll find remarkably little mention of the Florida Keys, the enormous 
wastewater and stormwater challenges we face, and no money allocated to 
help with those problems.

    The Florida Keys are essentially the southernmost third of the 
Everglades. What happens in South Florida to the north of us ends up in 
our Bay, in our backyards, flowing through to the precious reef tract 
that is not only the world's No. 1 dive destination, but the boundary 
of the Everglades ecosystem. With documented water quality concerns 
that made headlines in national press across the Nation last year, how 
could we have emerged completely unfunded from the Restudy? Our 
wastewater system upgrade costs are higher than anywhere else because 
our islands are solid rock, and the water quality standards to which we 
are being held are higher than anywhere else. And yet, with our cost of 
living among the highest in Florida, our citizens have one of the 
lowest incomes. We brought these issues formally before the Army Corps 
of Engineers during their public hearings to no avail.
    I can't accept the argument I hear most frequently for our 
exclusion--that the Restudy is a delicately balanced Christmas tree, 
already heavily laden with special interest and specific project 
ornaments--that one more may topple this precious tree. Ignoring what 
the Keys face, and those impacts on the Everglades ecosystem, is like 
saying the tree is finished before you put the star on top.
    We have a Restudy that recognizes the wastewater crisis in the 
Florida Keys, that acknowledges that solutions for this crisis are, and 
I'm quoting here, Beyond the means of Tanya and yet offers no help for 
us in its $8 billion budget. We're not left out because the problem 
isn't recognized, and we're not left out because our problems and their 
expense pale in comparison with those that were selected for funding 
inclusion.
    Can it simply be about our lack of clout? With only 85,000 people 
spread across 150 miles of islands, have we so little voice in the 
process? I just don't know. But I can tell you with absolute conviction 
something that I really DO know--water quality surrounding the Florida 
Keys is deeply threatened and we cannot bear the burden alone. I am 
here before you today to ask, whether within the Restudy or through a 
separate appropriation, that you don't forget us. The Florida Keys are 
a national treasure, a part of the Everglades ecosystem, and we too are 
in danger of irretrievable loss and unbearable burdens.
    The Everglades Restudy is our last, best chance to recover 
something we can't afford, in any sense of the word to lose, and the 
time for the Restudy's approval is now. Let us acknowledge that the 
Restudy is flawed and that it will evolve over time. And let us pledge 
to one another that the Restudy will be committed to movement forward! 
not used as an excuse for allowing additional degradation of the 
Everglades. And let me beg that you not forget the place I'm so proud 
to call home the Florida Keys.
                               __________
                                          State of Florida,
                    Office of the Attorney General, January 3, 2000

The Honorable Bob Smith, Chairman,
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works,
Dirksen Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC 20510-6175.

Dear Senator Smith: It is a privilege and a pleasure to welcome you to 
Florida as part of the review of Everglades legislation by the Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works.
    Few issues are more important, or more galvanizing, for Florida 
than the fate of the Everglades. I am sure your committee colleague 
Senator Bob Graham has on more than one occasion described to you the 
splendor of the Florida Everglades and the crucial role played by the 
Everglades system. Senator Graham's efforts to protect and restore the 
Everglades system, begun when he was our Governor, remain at the top of 
Florida's agenda. In a newspaper survey just this week, Florida's eight 
living Governors unanimously agreed that the environment--led by the 
Everglades--is the central issue facing our state in the 21st Century.
    The Everglades restoration legislation under review by your 
committee is desperately needed to ensure the long-term protection of 
this vital environmental resources. In welcoming you to our state, I 
strongly urge you to lend you full support to the legislation.
            Sincerely,
                   Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General.
                               __________
                          Florida House of Representatives,
                  Tallahassee, Florida 32399-1300, January 5, 2000.

The Honorable Bob Smith, Chairman,
Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works,
Dirksen Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC 20510.

Dear Senator Smith: Allow me to take this opportunity to welcome you 
and the members of the Committee on Environment and Public Works to 
Florida.
    We are pleased to have the opportunity to reiterate the state's 
longstanding commitment to the restoration of Florida's Everglades. The 
Everglades are a uniquely valuable natural resource and well worth our 
best efforts to assure that restoration is ultimately successful. What 
we have in the Comprehensive Plan for the Restudy is an overall 
strategy for restoration. Now that it is time to begin implementation, 
it is imperative that we closely examine each planned project to 
determine those that maximize ecosystem benefits. Moreover, it is our 
responsibility to see that the public dollars available for Everglades 
restoration are put to their best use.
    Rest assured that Florida is committed to continuing our 
partnership with the Federal Government to restore the beauty and 
vitality of the Everglades ecosystem. file will be following your 
committee's actions with great interest and look forward to working 
with you.
            Sincerely,
                                    John Thrasher, Speaker.
                               __________
Statement of Hon. Carrie P. Meek, U.S. Representative from the State of 
                                Florida
    Mr. Chairman, I bid you a heartfelt welcome to this part of the 
Sunshine State. I want you to know that I am a native Floridian. For 
this reason, I am honored to participate in these proceedings that, I 
hope, will finally lead to a sensible and realistic legislation in the 
Congress as soon as possible.
    In the interest of time, I will be brief but succinct in my 
remarks, knowing full well that we have among us today a group of the 
most committed and erudite witnesses whose resilient dedication to the 
Everglades has withstood the challenges of the times. I also would like 
these remarks to be included in the proceedings of this hearing.
    Mr. Chairman, from my perspective I want to focus on one basic 
issue: The Comprehensive Plan that should define our legislation for 
the restoration of our precious Everglades should include specific 
elements designed to ensure equitable treatment of all segments of 
South Florida's population in order to prevent disproportionate 
negative impacts on minority populations due to the implementation of 
specific engineering projects.
    In light of this issue, I see two glaring consequences of the 
Everglades restoration on inner city residents.
    1. The implementation of market-driven initiatives of the State of 
Florida that are linked to Everglades restoration will redirect 
development and growth to communities where African-Americans live and 
will result in their displacement and dislocation and thereby diminish 
their quality of life.
    As is usually assumed, growth is not always synonymous to progress.
    2. Whatever comprehensive plan that will emerge from the Everglades 
restoration will alter the South Florida landscape in a manner that 
creates opportunities for the kind of excesses we Floridians have 
experienced over the last half-century.
    It is not tenable to then say those results--unintended 
consequences, for the most part--were not also the responsibility of 
those who devised and supported the Plan. And if the genuine measure of 
a society is how it takes care of the least of its members, the 
disenfranchised, the young and the old, the poor and, the sick, then in 
order for the Everglades restoration to be the success we all want it 
to be, the Comprehensive Plan must include, as part of its essential 
thrust, measures that address environmental justice and community 
revitalization. It will not long succeed unless all of us are included 
in this Plan.
    Mr. Chairman, it is my understanding that this project carries 
along with it some $8 billion. It is easily the largest public works 
project not only in the United States, but throughout the world.
    Accordingly, I would like to issue a call to action to the 
proponents of this project not to summarily exclude our inner city 
residents--African-Americans and other minorities--whose lives will 
surely be affected by it.
    Let us not be oblivious of one other Federal program that 
masqueraded as ``urban renewal,'' whose glaring effects resulted in the 
disingenuous dislocation of many African-American families in the inner 
cities.
    Rather, let us be inclusive and responsive by aggressively engaging 
these very same affected residents via a comprehensive program designed 
to teach them on strict environmental clean-up standards, train them on 
environmental rehab and health safety projects, as well as job creation 
criteria.
    Finally, Mr. Chairman, as we discuss, debate and think through the 
various phases of any plan to restore the pristine beauty and 
strengthen the longevity of our precious Everglades, indeed the most 
crucial and challenging undertaking in this new millennium, I would 
like all of us to hearken to the wisdom of the 1987 United Nations' 
World Commission on Environment and Development Report. Though written 
more than a decade ago, its timeliness is as salient today.
    It defined sustainable development as ``. . . development which 
meets the needs of the present without endangering the ability of 
future generations to meet their own needs.''
    That definition rests on three principles:

    1) that the future must not be sacrificed to the demands of the 
present;
    2) that humanity's economic is linked to the integrity of the 
natural systems; and
    3) that protecting the environment is impossible unless improve the 
economic prospects of the Earth's poorest people.

    Mr. Chairman, thank you once again for this opportunity and I look 
forward to working with you in the Congress for the good of my fellow 
Floridians, for the good of our nation, and for the longevity of Mother 
Earth.
                               __________
                             U.S. House of Representatives,
                                    Washington, DC, January 6, 2000

The Hon. Bob Smith, Chairman,
Committee on Environment and Public Works,
410 Dirksen Building,
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Bob: As the Dean of the Florida Congressional Delegation, let me 
welcome you to Florida for your hearing on the Everglades restoration 
project.
    As you know, this project is a top priority for our entire 
delegation as well as our Governor Jeb Bush. However, restoring the 
Everglades is more than a state priority, it is a national priority. As 
you will see and hear during your visit, the Everglades is a unique 
ecosystem and the decisions we make about its future are critical and 
very complicated.
    One of the principal witnesses who will testify before your 
Committee tomorrow is Nat Reed, who has long beers a very good friend 
of mine. His resume lists his many distinguished accomplishments 
including his service at the Department of Interior. What his resume 
does not say is how widely respected he is throughout our state and 
throughout the environmental community. He has devoted himself to the 
Everglades project and I know you will find his thoughts to be very 
compelling.
    Again, welcome to Florida and I look forward to any thoughts you 
might have about the Everglades project when you return. With best 
wishes and personal regards, I am
            Very truly yours,
                                           C.W. Bill Young,
                                                Member of Congress.
                               __________
                         Treasurer of the State of Florida,
                                                   January 4, 2000.

The Honorable Bob Smith,
Dirksen Senate Office Building,
Washington, DC 20510.

Dear Senator Smith: I wish to welcome you and your committee to sunny, 
southwest Florida and to thank you for holding a field hearing 
regarding the proposed Everglades restoration. Florida is honored to 
act as host to your committee.
    I have been a long-time advocate of restoring the Florida 
Everglades ecosystem and support you and your committee in your efforts 
toward this worthy goal.
            Sincerely,
                                               Bill Nelson.
                               __________
  Statement of Hon. Mark Foley, U.S. Representative from the State of 
                                Florida
    First and foremost, I want to thank Chairman Smith for this 
hearing. It is the first one in his capacity as chairman of the Senate 
Committee on Environment and Public Works--and, by that virtue alone, 
sends a strong signal on the importance of restoring the vitality of 
the Florida Everglades.
    Thanks to the support of congressional colleagues such as the 
Chairman, all of us who are part of the Florida congressional 
delegation have been able to bring the issue of the Everglades into the 
national spotlight. It is now recognized across America--as it long has 
been by Floridians--as a national treasure that needs to be protected.
    It also is now widely recognized that it is a treasure in need of 
help.
    The good news is that we know the cause of its problems: more than 
50 years of diverting the natural ebb and flow of water--the lifeblood 
of the Everglades--from the Kissimmee River north of Lake Okeechobee to 
the Park's boundaries in Florida Bay. This diversion has often left the 
Everglades with too much or too little water, endangering the native 
plant and wildlife accustomed to the Everglades historic water flows.
    In order to preserve the Everglades, we need to restore its natural 
flow of water--and that will take a tremendous and vital partnership 
between Federal, state and local governments. That is why I so welcome 
Chairman Smith's committee here today, to officially begin our 
congressional review of the recommendations contained in the Restudy, 
which was presented to Congress last July.
    The Restudy is vital to reestablishing the Everglades' traditional 
water flow while maintaining existing levels of flood control and 
improving urban and agricultural water supplies.
    Ever since the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began the Restudy 
effort to reevaluate the damage done by its old public works projects, 
we have learned that drainage improvements designed to supply water and 
protect us from devastating floods also have caused the decline of much 
of the South Florida ecosystem.
    Nowhere is this more evident than the St. Lucie River in my own 
congressional District.
    The St. Lucie River has long been a vital part of our local 
economy. Aside from the obvious draw of our beaches, tourists from all 
over come to Florida for boating, fishing, and other water-related 
activities. The St. Lucie River has always attracted many of these 
tourists because of its clear waters rich in fish and surrounding 
wildlife. Historically, this pristine ecosystem was supported by the 
slow natural drainage system of creeks and wetlands in central Martin 
and southern St. Lucie counties.
    As demand for agricultural and residential development grew, 
however, the advent of drainage canals caused dramatic changes in this 
fragile ecosystem, especially in the past few years. With each heavy 
rainfall in South Florida' the St. Lucie River has had to absorb 
billions of gallons of phosphorus-laden excess water from Lake 
Okeechobee, stressing the mix of saltwater and freshwater needed by 
marine life in the river. This situation has begun to have a 
devastating effect not only on the river, but on the economies derived 
by local fishermen and from tourism.
    Thankfully, the mission outlined by the Restudy will help us 
restore not only the Everglades National Park but also the St. Lucie 
River, which needs to return to its historic, pristine state. By 
addressing water storage problems on a regional scale, recommendations 
in the Restudy will mitigate future freshwater releases into the St. 
Lucie River.
    I look forward to working with Chairman Smith and my colleagues in 
the House to move forward with the Restudy this year. We must do 
everything we can to restore a national treasure place bit as precious 
and unique as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite National Park.
                               __________
                               West Palm Beach, FL, January 6, 2000

Dear Honorable Senators: I have asked Mr. Reed to add my message in 
with the materials that accompany his testimony before your 
subcommittee.
    My message is an ancient one: people, not governmental bodies, do 
the work. People like yourselves and those who are before and behind 
you are the engines that power action.
    We are blessed that the remnant Everglades still exists, in part 
due to the actions taken by brave individuals nearly a century ago. In 
1905, Audubon conservation officer Guy Bradley was shot dead while 
protecting wildlife in the Everglades. His death--the first 
conservationist to die tragically in the line of duty--rallied others 
to take action to protect the Everglades. It saddens fine to add that 
many others have died tragically in the Everglades and elsewhere in the 
world while protecting nature from our greed. I have included materials 
on some of those who have died tragically while working in the 
Everglades.
    We are now on the brink of destroying what our ancestors worked so 
hard to protect for us and for those who will follow us, If they were 
with us today, how would those ancestors react to our inaction? How 
will our children children judge our actions?
    Our offspring are facing a paved wasteland overrun by invasive 
exotic plants and animals because of our inaction. Future generations 
will see the evidence of many hearings and words ire The Congressional 
Record, but that is not action. What you do or not do is most important 
to future generations, but they cannot be here before you to make their 
pleas.
    This past May I was also privileged to be the developer/coordinator 
of the first South Florida Restoration Science Forum. The online forum 
registry has the names of nearly 400 people who registered. It is 
estimated that hundreds more also participated in the no-charge 3 day 
event. Now, thousands participate in the forum as it continues on the 
Internet (http://sofia.usgs.gov/sfrsf/). I have included several pages 
on the forum exhibits, so that you can see how the forum focused on the 
science reseeded for resource management decisionmaking actions.
    Presently, I'm part of a collaborative effort to build a web-based 
``virtual village'' to connect the many disparate and often 
disconnected Internet sites for the efforts that are vital for 
balancing the needs of nature and man in southern Florida. 
Evergladesvillage is organized to provide knowledge by regional 
location and by specific interest. It eliminates the need to jump 
between the web sites of numerous organizations to find what each is 
contributing. I have attached informational cards about 
Evergladesvillage. It's Internet address is http:/
fwww.evergladesvillage.net.
    I thank you for the opportunity to be part of your work. Best 
wishes in your decisions and your actions,
            Respectfully submitted,
                                             Robert Mooney,
                                                   P.O. Box 222154,
                                     West Palm Beach, FL 33422-2154
                               __________
   Response of the Lake Worth Drainage District to the Comprehensive 
                              Review Study
Executive Summary
    On July 1, 1999 the United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) 
submitted the Final Report of the Central and Southern Florida Project 
Comprehensive Review Study (Restudy) to Congress. The Restudy Plan 
recommends wholesale changes to the water management system in south 
Florida to provide for urban, agricultural and ecosystem sustainability 
through the construction of $7.8 billion worth of new water projects. 
The emphasis is on creating new water storage features to provide for 
growing environmental and urban demand.
    The Restudy Plan recommends several project features within or 
adjacent to the Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD). Although these 
will necessitate structural changes to the LWDD facilities, of more 
concern are the significant operational changes that will be needed to 
incorporate new sources of water, which will include numerous Aquifer 
Storage and Recovery (ASR) systems and new above ground reservoirs.
    The LWDD has participated in the process to develop the Restudy 
Plan and strongly supports congressional action to continue the 
process. Like many in south Florida we acknowledge the need to 
modernize the Federal water management system to promote both 
restoration of the ecosystem and continued economic prosperity. For the 
Restudy to succeed, the implementation phase must demonstrate that the 
technological solutions that are proposed will work, are affordable and 
will be constructed in a sequence that minimizes disruptions to 
existing activities and investments. There was broad consensus on these 
concepts throughout the development and publication of the Draft Plan 
last fall.
    Unfortunately, as soon as the public comment period was closed the 
Department of Interior expressed its dissatisfaction with the plan they 
had been instrumental in developing and demanded expensive, impractical 
changes to meet a narrow set of objectives. This led to a hurried ad 
hoc analysis by the Restudy planners of new features to pump large 
quantities of urban stormwater from West Palm Beach all the way to 
Everglades National Park. The structural changes necessary to make this 
possible are overwhelming. It would require the complete reorientation 
of a major portion of the LWDD system. Canals would have to be enlarged 
onto property that now holds hundreds of houses, business and major 
highways. The costs would be staggering. These costs are not included 
in the current $7.8 billion price tag.
    The process that led to this revised plan has reinforced a general 
discomfort with the Federal process controlling the Restudy. Local 
government staff and various public groups worked with the Corps over 
several years to develop a balanced plan that most people understand, 
only to have an elite group within one Federal agency attempt to obtain 
major changes without any public participation. The Corps has 
legitimized this closed door process by committing, in the Chief of 
Engineers' Report, to water diversions that cannot be made with the 
facilities in the Recommended Plan. Unless Congress insists on an open 
process to implement a plan that is based on sound engineering and 
economics the restoration of the Everglades will not have the support 
of the people of Florida.
Conclusions
    1. The Comprehensive Review of the Central and Southern Florida 
Flood Control Project is timely and necessary to assure the protection 
of the Everglades and future water supply for the people of south 
Florida.
    2. The Recommended Plan presented in the Draft Integrated Report, 
although dependent on the large-scale application of untested 
technologies, nevertheless provides a reasonable framework to begin a 
deliberate program to accomplish the objectives.
    3. Due to doubts about the viability of several of the most 
important Restudy Plan components, Congress should authorize and fund 
the pilot projects necessary to prove the feasibility of the new 
technologies and a few critical projects for which the engineering, 
economic and social impacts are not an issue.
    4. Diverting urban runoff from West Palm Beach through the LWDD 
canal system to Water Conservation Area 2 is not practical, and may not 
even be possible, given the number of existing public and private 
facilities that would have to be abandoned or significantly modified.
    5. The commitment by the Chief of Engineers to provide 245,000 
acre-feet of additional flow to Everglades National Park, above the 
unprecedented increases already provided by the Recommended Plan, is a 
breach of faith with those who participated in the development of the 
Plan and should be flatly rejected by Congress.
    6. The recommendation by the Chief of Engineers that the Federal 
Government pay none of the future operations and maintenance costs, 
when the process has been controlled to favor the agendas of Federal 
agencies at the expense of local interests, will eliminate any chance 
of the Plan being accepted by the people of Florida.
Introduction
    The Lake Worth Drainage District (LWDD)(see Figure 1) was 
established June 15, 1915 to provide water management to a 218 square 
mile area of eastern Palm Beach County. The mission has evolved as the 
area developed such that the LWDD now provides essential groundwater 
recharge to support 23 public water utilities serving over six hundred 
thousand people. For the last 45 years the District has relied on water 
supply deliveries from the Central and Southern Florida Project to 
recharge public water supply wellfields, maintain canal levels to 
prevent saltwater intrusion and provide irrigation and drainage to a 
vital agricultural area.
    In 1992, The United States Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) was 
authorized by Congress to develop a plan to reconfigure the water 
management system in south Florida to provide for urban, agriculture 
and ecosystem sustainability. On October 13, 1998, after 3 years of 
multi-agency effort to develop a plan, the draft Comprehensive Plan of 
the Central and Southern Florida Comprehensive Review Study Project was 
released for public comment. Public meetings were held around south 
Florida to present the Dratt Plan and receive public testimony. 
December 31, 1998 marked the conclusion of the public comment period 
and the Corps subsequently began preparation of the final Plan 
considering responses to the draft by the public and other agencies.
    The Final Plan presents a conceptual outline of $7.8 billion worth 
of capital projects to rebuild the water management system in south 
Florida. It is a plan that requires all interest groups to place their 
faith for ecosystem restoration and reliable water supplies in a 
process that will unfold over the next 20 years. Federal commitments to 
early investments in restoration are accompanied by assurances to 
existing water users that the transition to new technologies will not 
deprive them of the water supply and flood protection they now enjoy. 
Questions about the feasibility of the new technologies are to be 
answered by a series of up front pilot tests of field scale prototypes.
    Given enough time, money and sustained good faith by all involved 
parties the Restudy has the potential to provide a healthy ecosystem 
and economy for generations to come. Unfortunately the door was barely 
closed on the public comment period when the Department of Interior 
began demanding changes to the Plan which would add hundreds of 
millions of dollars to the cost of the plan.


    On December 31, 1998, the last day to submit written comments to 
the Corps, the staff of the National Park Service delivered a 70 page 
indictment of the $7.8 billion plan. They concluded that there was 
insufficient evidence to claim the recommended plan would result in the 
recovery of a healthy, sustainable ecosystem. ``Rather, we find 
substantial, credible, and compelling evidence to the contrary'' their 
report stated.
    This response by a lead Federal agency involved in the study 
prompted an immediate, closed door, redesign process to see if the plan 
could be amended to satisfy the Park Service. This process has had a 
significant impact on the recommendations contained in the Chief of 
Engineers' Report to Congress, without having been exposed to public 
review and comment.
The Lake Worth Drainage District
    The LWDD water management system provides flood protection to 
20,000 acres of prime agricultural land and 100,000 acres of urban 
development. Facilities include over 511 miles of' canals and 20 water 
control structures.
    Protecting private property and public facilities from flooding has 
always been an essential service provided by the LWDD. This is 
accomplished by a well-designed and maintained network of canals and 
control structures capable of removing excess stormwater without over 
draining the land or wasting valuable water. The present system is 
functioning at its build out capacity and new developments are required 
to hold water onsite and elevate roads and buildings so the present 
discharge capabilities are not exceeded. It is essential that any new 
facilities added to accomplish Restudy goals recognize the constraints 
inherent in the existing flood protection mission and capabilities of 
the LWDD.
    In the 1950's the Corps of Engineers connected the LWDD canal 
network to the water storage features of the Central and Southern 
Florida Project. (Figure 2) This transformed the drainage and water 
conservation system of the LWDD to an integrated water management 
system capable of supplying dry season recharge to urban wellfields 
supplying water to hundreds of thousands of people. Water delivered by 
the LWDD system is used to satisfy the needs of public utilities, golf 
courses, residential landscaping and a diverse and economically 
important agricultural economy. It is also essential to protect water 
supply wells from salt water intrusion during droughts. (See Figure 3)
    (1) Quoted from a report entitled ``Comments of Everglades National 
Park on the Programmatic Environmental impact Statement and Alternative 
D13R'' December 31, 1998.




The Restudy Recommended Plan
            General Overview
    Four of the proposed 68 components in the Recommended Plan will 
directly affect LWDD facilities; however, because of the interactions 
between most Plan components, the Corps' analysis has shown that 
operational or structural changes in any of the main components can 
potentially affect the rest of the system. For that reason it has been 
necessary for the LWDD to actively monitor and participate in Restudy 
activities to assure that water supply and flood protection are not 
impaired. Figure 4 is a conceptual drawing of the major structural 
features of the Recommended Plan.
    Table I lists the estimated capital and operations and maintenance 
costs for the Plan components in or adjacent to the LWDD. If these 
components are constructed and function as projected in the Corps 
computer model they will reduce the dependency of water users within 
the LWDD on the existing Federal project and make them more dependent 
on the new Federal features proposed -for construction. This has the 
effect of allocating most water from existing sources to environmental 
uses while new, expensive projects are required to meet the existing 
and future needs of the developed area.




    Appendix A gives a brief description of each of the projects listed 
in Table 1. The Agricultural Reserve Reservoir is the most significant 
project proposed within the LWDD boundary. This project will store 
local runoff that is now released to the ocean and make it available 
for local uses during dry periods. It is a worthwhile proposal in 
concept but there are important engineering details that must be 
resolved before the feasibility of the project can be assessed.
    The Corps has recommended a reasonable approach to implementation 
of the Agricultural Reserve Reservoir. They have committed to producing 
a detailed engineering, economic and environmental evaluation prior to 
returning to Congress for specific authorization to construct the 
reservoir. If this approach is followed for all the major components of 
the Plan continuing public support should be forthcoming.
            Doubts About the Final Report
    The Draft Comprehensive Plan was broadly circulated to all 
interested parties, numerous public hearings were held in south Florida 
and written comments were accepted through December 31, 1998, a period 
of 1 1 weeks from the first release of the 3,000 page report on October 
13. In most cases written comments were summarized by the Corps staff, 
and brief responses were drafted and included in an appendix to the 
Final Integrated Report.
    The comments from the National Park Service were treated much 
differently however. On the last day to submit comments, December 31, 
1998, the staff of Everglades National Park submitted a 70 page 
criticism of the Recommended Plan, even though the same staff was 
involved on a daily basis during every step of the plan development 
process. The Park Service threatened to withhold support for the 
Restudy unless significant last minute changes were made to the plan.
    The chief complaint of the Park Service was that the plan would not 
guarantee enough of an increase in flow to Everglades and Biscayne 
National Parks and that the time it would take to implement the 
components providing the most environmental benefits was not 
acceptable.
    In response, the computer modeling team began an expedited analysis 
to increase the water supply to Everglades National Park and Biscayne 
Bay. One of the premises of the Restudy Planning effort from the 
beginning was to avoid any proposal that would discharge urban runoff 
into the Everglades. With the Park Service requesting as much as 
500,000 acre feet per year of additional flow above what was provided 
by the Draft Plan, it became necessary to abandon that premise. In 
addition, since one of the demands was to provide more water to 
Biscayne Bay, the new water could only be obtained by diverting 
stormwater from coastal urban areas as far north as West Palm Beach.
    Impacts to LWDD
    The modifications that would have to occur within and around the 
LWDD to accommodate Park Service demands (Figure 5) included:
      Stormwater runoff from the West Palm Beach Canal would be 
pumped uphill through the Lake Worth Drainage District's primary canal 
running along the Florida Turnpike. From there it would be pumped again 
into the Agricultural Reserve Reservoir.
      From the Agricultural Reserve Reservoir, water would then 
be discharged south into another Lake Worth Drainage District canal and 
pumped again into the Hillsboro Impoundment.
      The Hillsboro Impoundment would be modified to accept the 
runoff from West Palm Beach and from the Hillsboro Canal which drains 
the cities of Boca Raton and Deerfield Beach. The Hillsboro Impoundment 
will require significant design and operational modifications to 
accommodate this inflow and treatment of urban runoff. The water would 
then be allowed to flow into Water Conservation Area 2A.
    The end result of these and other changes to the Plan was a 
conclusion that as much as 250,000 acre feet per year of additional 
water could be sent to the National Parks on top of the 62 percent 
increase projected with the Recommended Plan.
            Unresolved Technical Issues
    The proposed changes to the plan to satisfy the Park Service were 
forced into the hydrologic computer model without time to verify that 
the model's representation was accurate or whether the ideas were even 
feasible in the field. Questions include:
      How will urban runoff be cleaned to a sufficient degree 
to allow its release into the Everglades and how much will the 
treatment facilities cost?
      Is the re-routing of the stormwater from West Palm Beach 
even possible? The concept requires that two primary flood control 
canals that are already operating at the limit of their design capacity 
be enlarged to accommodate roughly a tripling of the hydraulic 
capacity. These primary canals currently share a narrow right of way 
with the Ronald Reagan Florida Turnpike with dense suburban development 
on both sides.
      How will the LWDD be able to provide flood protection to 
the landowners in their western service area? This plan would require 
the complete redesign of the western one third of the LWDD canal 
system. A system that works now by gravity flow would have to be 
retrofitted to connect to a primary canal controlled by large pump 
stations.


      Who would pay to build and operate this system? Even if 
Congress agrees to pay 50 percent of the initial cost a significant new 
source of funding would have to be found to pay the other half of the 
capital costs and all of the operating expenses. The LWDD does not have 
the tax base or legal authority to take on even a fraction of these 
extreme costs. Even though these extremely expensive structural changes 
are being proposed solely to satisfy the demands of the National Park 
Service, The Corps of Engineers Report recommends that all operation 
and maintenance costs be born by non-Federal entities in south Florida.
                               appendix a
Features of the Restudy Recommended Plan That Will Have a Direct Impact 
        on the Facilities or Operations of the Lake Worth Drainage 
        District
    The following pages give a brief description of several projects 
proposed by the restudy which will have a direct impact on the 
facilities or operation of the Lake Worth Drainage District. The 
sketches are extracted directly from the Restudy web site or the Final 
Integrated Report submitted to Congress on July 1, 1999 and are 
conceptualizations of the principle elements of each component.
    The Restudy Plan seeks to achieve its regional ecosystem goals 
through a combination of interrelated projects, some of which are large 
scale, such as 200 ASR wells around Lake Okeechobee and have distinct 
regional operational impact. Others are smaller in scope with most 
direct impacts limited to a local area. Although the components of most 
interest to the LWDD fit into this latter category, the performance of 
the entire mix of regional and local elements will determine the final 
performance of the Plan.
C-51 Backpumping to West Palm Beach Water Catchment Area
            Description and Purpose
    The purpose of this component is to reduce water supply 
restrictions in Northern Palm Beach County by providing additional flow 
to the West Palm Beach Water Catchment Area and to enhance Loxahatchee 
Slough. Figure 6 illustrates the conceptual features.
            Potential Impacts and Concerns for the LWDD
    The C-51 Canal receives flood flows from the LWDD system. The 
relocation of the S155A structure will reverse the direction of flow 
for this segment of the canal and must be accomplished in a way that 
preserves the flood control function of the existing canal.


Hillsboro Impoundment and ASR
            Description and Purpose
    The purpose of this component is to provide a water supply storage 
reservoir to supplement water deliveries to the Hillsboro Canal during 
the dry season. The 2,460 acre reservoir with a maximum depth of 6 feet 
will be located both north and south of the Hillsboro Canal. Thirty 
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells with a total injection and 
recovery capacity of 150 MOD will be used to enhance the storage 
capabilities of the project. Figure 7 illustrates the details of its 
conceptual features.
            Potential Impacts and Concerns
    The Hillsboro Impoundment receives excess water from the Hillsboro 
canal during the wet season and releases that water back for water 
supply during the dry season. The operation and design of the reservoir 
must be implemented in a manner that preserves the water supply and 
flood control function of the LWDD existing canal system. If properly 
implemented, the LWDD will benefit from the storage capabilities of 
this component. However, care must be taken to ensure that the LWDD's 
existing sources are not impacted until the storage capabilities 
including ASR are a proven reliable source.


Palm Beach County Agricultural Reserve Reservoir
            Description and Purpose
    The Agricultural Reserve Reservoir will supplement water supply for 
central and southern Palm Beach County by capturing and storing water 
currently discharged to tide. These supplemental deliveries will reduce 
demands on Lake Okeechobee and Water Conservation Area 1. Runoff from 
the western portion of the LWDD will pump into the 1660 acre 12 foot 
deep reservoir during wet periods and receive water from the reservoir 
during the dry season. Fifteen Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) wells 
totaling 75 MOD of injection and recovery were added to this component 
to increase its storage capabilities. Figure 8 illustrates the detail 
of its conceptual features.
            Potential Impacts and Concerns
    This component will impact the LWDD operations requiring a pumped, 
rather than a gravity system for flood protection. It will require the 
installation of two new pumps in addition to improving several existing 
LWDD canals. Potential flood impacts from the 12 ft. deep above ground 
reservoir need to be addressed. As with the Hillsboro Impoundment, the 
LWDD will benefit from the storage capabilities of this component; 
however, care must be taken to ensure that the LWDD's existing sources 
are not reallocated until this is proven to be a reliable substitute. 
The cost to construct and operate this facility is beyond the means of 
the LWDD.


Water Preserve Area / L-8 Basin
            Description and Purpose
    This component involves the combination of two separate components 
in the Restudy. The first being the L-8 Project enhancements and the 
second being the C-51 and Southern L-8 Reservoir. The combination these 
two components is intended to enhance the Loxahatchee Slough, increase 
base flows to the Northwest Fork of the Loxahatchee River and reduce 
water supply restrictions in the Northern Palm Beach County Service 
Area. This is accomplished by capturing more of the wet season 
discharge from portions of the southern L-8, C-51 and C-17 basins and 
routing this water to the West Palm Beach Catchment Area and C-51 and 
1,200 acre 40 foot deep Southern L-8 Reservoir. Figure 9 illustrates 
the detail of its conceptual features.
            Potential Impacts and Concerns
    The LWDD can benefit from this component if it is used to supply 
water to the C-51 canal during dry periods. Although the Final Plan 
mentions that this component will provide water to the LWDD, the 
quantity and timing of these deliveries is unclear.




                         EVERGLADES RESTORATION

                              ----------                              


                         THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2000

                               U.S. Senate,
         Committee on Environment and Public Works,
                                            Washington, DC.
    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 9:34 a.m. in room 
406, Senate Dirksen Building, Hon. Bob Smith (chairman of the 
committee) presiding.
    Present: Senators Smith, Graham, Chafee, Voinovich, Reid, 
Baucus, Warner, and Lautenberg.
    Also present: Senator Mack.

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB SMITH, 
          U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

    Senator Smith. The hearing of the Environment and Public 
Works Committee on the Everglades will please come to order.
    I would like to say to my colleagues that due to the fact 
that we are having a vote approximately somewhere in the 10 
vicinity, and Governor Bush has to leave at 10:30, I am going 
to dispense with opening statements, including my own, so that 
we can start right off the Governor's testimony.
    So let me start, Governor, by welcoming you. We are glad to 
see you here and our two colleagues, Senator Graham and Senator 
Mack. I am not sure how you want to do this. I think the two 
Senators are going to introduce the Governor, but welcome.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Smith follows:]
    Statement of Hon. Bob Smith, U.S. Senator from the State of New 
                               Hampshire
    Good morning. Four months ago, the committee held a hearing in 
Naples, Florida on the Everglades. It was my first hearing as Chairman 
of the committee. I said then, and reiterate now, that the passage of a 
bill to restore the Everglades is my top priority for the committee 
this year.
    The purpose of today's hearing is to receive comments on the 
Administration's Everglades proposal, submitted as part of its ``Water 
Resources Development Act of 2000'' request. The hearing is divided 
into morning and afternoon sessions. In the morning session, we will 
start with Governor Jeb Bush of Florida. I would like to extend my 
congratulations to Governor Bush, who just successfully shepherded 
legislation through the Florida legislature to implement the Everglades 
restoration plan which, I might add, passed both bodies unanimously. We 
will also hear from representatives of two impacted Indian Tribes, and 
from the South Florida Water Management District.
    The afternoon session will begin with a panel of witnesses from the 
``Federal Family'' the Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, the 
General Counsel of EPA, and the leader of the Administration's 
Everglades Task Force from the Department of Interior. They will be 
followed by representatives of the agriculture and environmental 
communities. I welcome all of our witnesses, and thank them for their 
testimony today.
    We all know that the Everglades face grave peril. The unintended 
consequence of the 1948 Federal flood control project is the too 
efficient redirection of water from Lake Okeechobee. Approximately 1.7 
billion gallons of water a day is needlessly directed out to sea. This 
project was done with the best of intentions--the Federal Government 
simply had to act when devastating floods took thousands of lives prior 
to the project. Unfortunately, the very success of the project 
disrupted the natural sheet flow of water through the so-called ``River 
of Grass,'' altering or destroying the habitat for many species of 
native plants, mammals, reptiles, fish and wading birds.
    The purpose of our January hearing was to receive comment on the 
``Central and South Florida Comprehensive Review Study,'' popularly 
known as the ``Restudy.'' Congress mandated the Restudy to preserve the 
Everglades in previous Water Resources Development Acts, and the 
Administration submitted the Restudy to Congress on July 1, 1999, as 
WRDA 1996 required.
    The Restudy includes a ``programmatic'' environmental impact 
statement; as such, it serves as a road map for the future restoration 
of the Everglades. All journeys need a road map. We will look to the 
Restudy as the roadmap for general guidance on restoring the 
Everglades, but we know in advance there maybe both unanticipated 
detours, and hopefully a few time-saving shortcuts, along the road we 
are about to travel. This inherent flexibility to adapt and change as 
future circumstances dictate is an integral part of the Restudy's 
approach to restoration. The risks of waiting much longer to reverse 
the Everglades' decline far outweigh the risks of starting now even as 
we continue to study and modify the plan. ``Adaptive Assessment'' means 
that we can move forward now, even in the face of some uncertainty.
    Everyone has had 10 months to evaluate the Restudy. Senators 
Voinovich, Graham and I visited Florida in conjunction with the January 
hearing on the Restudy. We are now at the next step of the process. As 
I have mentioned repeatedly, it is my top priority to pass a bill this 
year to begin restoration the Everglades. I want to applaud Senators 
Mack and Graham for their leadership on this issue. Over the next few 
weeks I look forward to working with them and Senators Voinovich and 
Baucus to draft a bill that takes into account the comments that we 
hear today. The goal that I have set for the committee is to report 
Restudy implementation legislation next month. Everglades may be part 
of a larger WRDA bill, or it may move as a stand-alone bill. I will 
follow whichever path that gives an Everglades bill the best chance of 
becoming law this year.
    As we proceed, I want to let everyone know that I will approach any 
problems with an open mind. We have studied these issues for a long 
time and we are ready to move forward. Some of the issues are complex, 
but I want my colleagues on the committee to know that it is my 
priority to get this bill ready for committee consideration 
expeditiously. The window of opportunity to have the bill considered on 
the Senate floor is closing rapidly.
    Today I am asking our witnesses to provide constructive comments on 
the Administration's proposal in order to make real progress, not just 
to hear a recitation of ``positions.'' For example, we need to find a 
principled basis we can use to determine how much, if anything, the 
Federal government should contribute to Operations & Maintenance of the 
completed Restudy. Another example--even if wastewater treatment proves 
technically feasible, is it cost-effective as compared to other means 
to provide water? Further, do we, as a national policy matter, want to 
encourage the return of treated wastewater back into the natural 
system? Should the Congress authorize the initial set of 10 projects 
now, or wait until the project implementation reports are complete, as 
some will testify today? These and many other issues need to be 
addressed thoughtfully in the next few weeks, and we seek your 
constructive comments.
    In preparing the hearing I directed staff to invite representatives 
from the sugar industry and the Citizens for a Sound Economy. In Naples 
last January, I promised representatives from Citizens for a Sound 
Economy, which voiced concerns about the costs of the Restudy, that 
they would have an opportunity to testify at a future hearing to raise 
their concerns. They were invited today but declined to testify in 
person.
    As for the sugar industry, we did invite them to testify today but 
they would not provide a witness. Though it is true that the sugar 
industry testified last January in Florida, it is unfortunate that they 
would not testify on the Administration's proposal. I had hoped to 
question a representative from the sugar industry in depth on several 
issues that I know they consider important. Among the issues that I 
wanted to question them about are: the extent of their support for the 
April 1999 Restudy; the rationale for their opposition to authorizing 
the 10 initial projects; and details regarding continued farming on the 
Talisman property if authorization is delayed. They should be here.
    The April 1999 Restudy was unanimously agreed to by the South 
Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force members. It was unanimously 
approved by the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable Florida, which 
included all of the major public and private interest groups. Since the 
Task Force and Commission attained that landmark effort in consensus 
building, it seems that some of the parties have backed away from the 
deal that was struck. The Administration may have started this, as the 
Chief's Report that transmitted the Restudy to the Congress made 
additional ``commitments'' that went well beyond the Restudy itself. 
Also, some in the agriculture industry seem to have backed away from 
key Restudy components that were included in the Plan the Gov's 
Commission unanimously approved on March 3, 1999. As we move forward, I 
hope to refocus our legislative efforts on the groundwork that Congress 
laid with the 1992 and 1996 Water Resources Development Acts, and the 
agreement that you all reached on the Restudy in April 1999. Let's stop 
backtracking, stop trying to sweeten the deal, and get on with the 
fairly straightforward task of implementing the Restudy.
    I am afraid too often people forget that the Everglades is a 
national environmental treasure. Restoration benefits not only 
Floridians, but the millions of us who visit Florida each year to 
behold this unique ecosystem. We also need to view our efforts as our 
legacy to future generations. As I said in Naples last January, many 
years from now I hope that we will be remembered for putting aside 
partisanship, narrow self-interest and short-term thinking by answering 
the call and saving the Everglades while we still could.
    I look forward to the testimony from our witnesses.
    Senator Graham?

             OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. BOB GRAHAM, 
             U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF FLORIDA

    Senator Graham. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and members of the 
committee. In deference to the time constraints, I will be 
brief in my introductory comments.
    I want to first thank you, Mr. Chairman, for convening this 
almost full day of hearing on the Everglades. This is a very 
momentous occasion for the Nation and for this important 
environmental treasure.
    It was approximately 52 years ago that this committee first 
authorized the Central and South Florida Flood Control Project, 
which started the largest public works project in the history 
of the Nation, since the Panama Canal.
    That project is now, for the first time in its history, 
being subject to a comprehensive reexamination. In 1992/1996, 
the Congress, through the Water Resource Development Act, 
directed the Corps of Engineers to undertake the basis of the 
study.
    In July 1999, the Corps. submitted its plan to the Congress 
in accordance with the congressional deadlines. And today, we 
commence the process of reviewing that Corps of Engineers 
report.
    This project has had several characteristics during the 
time of the preparation for this Restudy. And one of them has 
been its bipartisanship. This has been supported by Republican 
Presidents and Republican Congresses and Democratic Presidents 
and Democratic Congresses; and in Florida, by Republican and 
Democratic Governors and legislatures. This is a project that 
represents the best of the American political process, trying 
to deal with an extremely complex environmental and economic 
issue.
    I am pleased that today one of the persons who has 
continued this tradition of bipartisanship, our current 
Governor, Governor Jeb Bush, is here to present the primary 
presentation on behalf of the State of Florida as an indication 
of the great importance that this issue has for our State.
    The Governor demonstrated his commitment by spearheading 
two critical pieces of legislation through the just-adjourned 
Florida legislature, one of those related to Lake Okeechobee, a 
major clean-up, providing funding for the restoration of that 
extremely important water body, and the Everglades funding 
package that provides funding for the State share of this 50/50 
partnership for Everglades restoration.
    The State of Florida has now accepted its part of 
responsibility for this partnership. The challenge is now here 
at the Federal level. I look forward to working with you and 
the other members of the committee in discussing, understanding 
and, I hope before this Congress is over, authorizing this new 
restoration of the Florida Everglades.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Senator Graham.
    Senator Mack?

 STATEMENT OF HON. CONNIE MACK, U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF 
                            FLORIDA

    Senator Mack. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, and members of the 
committee. Thank you for holding this hearing today, and for 
allowing me to attend, and to speak on behalf of the 
Everglades. I am especially honored to introduce my friend, and 
Florida's Governor, Jeb Bush.
    Today is an important day. It is important because we stand 
at an historic juncture between planning and action. It is 
important because now, at long last, we have a realistic chance 
at restoring and protecting for future generations a unique 
environmental treasure that is fractured, starved for water, 
and in a state of steady decline.
    It is an important day because the document before you 
represents the cumulative efforts of all those who did the 
work, not the least of which are the efforts of my friend and 
colleague, Senator Graham, on the largest and most significant 
environmental restoration project in our Nation's history.
    Why does this matter? Why are the Everglades deserving of 
Congress' time and effort? Let me offer a few reasons.
    This restoration matters because in the last century, a 
wonderful, pristine, natural system has been systematically 
robbed of its beauty and its uniqueness in the name of short-
term human interests. The restoration matters because America's 
Everglades are a national treasure, unique in the world, and 
deserving of a better fate than what is currently written for 
it in the laws of this county.
    The restoration matters because we Floridians, after years 
of acrimony and conflicting goals, have come together behind a 
balanced plan that fully reconciles the needs of the natural 
system with those of the existing water system for water users. 
And the restoration matters to us as legislators, because 
Congress, in the past, caused the problem, and we should fix 
it.
    It has been well documented how Congress acted under the 
pressures of the day, and authorized the systematic destruction 
of the Everglades in the nature of flood control, urban 
development, and agriculture. That is history, and we can not 
change that.
    Instead, we must respond to the needs and priorities of our 
own generation, as well as generations to come, and pass this 
plan to restore America's Everglades.
    Mr. Chairman, passing this plan is all that remains between 
the long years of study and the actual restoration of the 
Everglades. The Administration has done their part in devoting 
a tremendous amount of time and effort on the document before 
you.
    To Governor Bush's credit, the State of Florida has already 
written this plan into Florida's laws, and arranged funding for 
Florida's share of that cost. There is only one task remaining. 
We, in Congress, must pass this plan this year, and let the 
work of restoration begin.
    I want to especially highlight the commitment of Governor 
Bush. He has consistently demonstrated with both words and 
actions that Florida is and will remain a full partner with us. 
He has instructed the members of his administration to provide 
valuable technical support to the Congress, during our efforts 
here.
    He has worked with Florida's legislature to set up a legal 
framework for the Everglades restoration. And he has assembled 
an impressive coalition of legislatures and local government 
officials to fully fund Florida's share of the cost.
    Mr. Chairman, again, it gives me great pleasure to present 
Governor Bush to the committee. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Senator Mack.
    Governor Bush, welcome; we are delighted to have you. We 
thank you and your staff for all of the help that you have 
provided us, over the past several months, since I was in 
Florida for the Everglades hearing.
    I just want to say to my colleagues that as soon as 
Governor Bush completes his statement, I would like to have one 
question for each member, in the order that they came in, 
simply because we will have a vote in the vicinity of 10, and 
Governor Bush has to leave at 10:30. If we get a second round, 
we will go to a second question.
    Governor, welcome.

     STATEMENT OF HON. JEB BUSH, GOVERNOR, STATE OF FLORIDA

    Governor Bush. Thank you, Senator Smith. And Senator 
Baucus, thank you. I want to also say hello to Senator Chafee, 
who I went to high school with. And it is a joy to see you here 
on the same committee as your father, who was a great supporter 
of this project, I might add.
    Senator Smith. And we want to keep him here.
    Governor Bush. Yes, we do.
    [Laughter.]
    Governor Bush. It is a joy to be here to have the 
opportunity to speak about one of our true national treasures, 
America's Everglades. And I want to thank Senator Graham and 
Senator Mack for being here and introducing me. It is a real 
privilege to be here. I would like to have my extended written 
statement, if you do not mind, included in the record.
    I am here to bring some good news, some hard truths, and a 
challenge. This year, together, we will begin this massive, yet 
essential, undertaking of restoring the Everglades.
    Restoring America's Everglades builds on the very American 
ideal that there are unique landscapes that we, as a Nation, 
believe are worth preserving. It is also an idea that is now 
worthy of action.
    First, the good news, last Friday, and I can tell you 
personally the good news, as another couple of Governors are 
here, when legislative sessions finish, Governors are always 
very happy. And in this case, last Friday, Florida concluded 
its annual legislative session.
    I can proudly report to the Congress that our commitment to 
the Everglades is solid. In fact, it is more than solid. As of 
next Tuesday, it will be the law.
    As part of our State budget, the Florida legislature has 
appropriated an unprecedented level of funding to begin the 
implementation of the Restudy; more than $136 million in the 
first year alone. These dollars will be matched by local 
governments in the South Florida Water Management District, for 
a total of $221 million to begin this important work.
    Next week, I will be joined by Federal, State, and local 
leaders to sign into law Florida's Everglades Restoration 
Investment Act, a measure that passed the Florida Senate and 
the Florida House of Representatives, unanimously. There was 
not one dissenting vote. Republicans and Democrats, alike, 
support this bill.
    With this new law, Florida will contribute over $2 billion 
to the Restudy project over the next 10 years. It will not only 
codify our long term monetary commitment to the Everglades, but 
it will also create a Save Our Everglades trust fund, that will 
enable Florida to save money for peak spending years on the 
horizon.
    In fact, the $221 million that will be invested this first 
year in the trust fund will not be spend. We are preparing, on 
the long term, to be able to buildup, because this project has 
many different projects inside of it, and the funding patterns 
go up and down, we are making a long-term commitment, from the 
get-go, to have a stable source of funding that will allow us 
to make this budget process work.
    Second, the hard truths; this is not the first time that 
Florida has gone first. Since 1983 when then-Governor Bob 
Graham created the Save Our Everglades Program, the State of 
Florida has spent over $2.3 billion, and acquired more than one 
million acres of land to avoid further destruction and 
degradation of the river grass.
    All of this is to say that the time has come for a 
legitimate and equal partnership with the Federal Government. 
For us, we have made this commitment, and we are looking to be 
an active partner with the Federal Government to carry out this 
project.
    I believe it will require Washington to think anew, to 
think a little bit differently about this; maybe less as a 
water project, and more as the protection of a national 
treasure.
    Too often in the past, the partnerships of this nature 
between the Federal and State Governments have been anything 
but partnerships. At their worst, they have been master/servant 
arrangements. The Administration's bill that you are 
considering today, I believe, is an example of this. And I have 
to admit, we are disappointed about their recommendations for a 
government structure.
    This has been a consensus plan, all along, by all parties, 
and I can assure you that this has not been an easy thing to 
accomplish. Senator Graham can attest to the fact that back 
home there are a lot of people, and Senator Mack can certainly 
agree, there are a lot of people that have very divergent views 
on this subject.
    They have been in the court, up until the last couple of 
years, for most of the decade of the 1990's. There was broad 
consensus on both the governance and the course of action for 
the Restudy. And we believe it is important to maintain that 
delicate balance. And the governance issue, I think, is one 
that is quite important.
    The Administration bill seeks to redefine the project 
purpose; to establish Federal agencies as the principal 
managers of South Florida's water resources; and to be the sole 
arbiter of differences that exist. And they will exist on a 
project of this magnitude. I believe we must rebalance this 
relationship into a true and equal partnership.
    Water Resources Develop Act projects typically require 20 
to 30 percent financial commitment from the States. Yet, 
Florida now stands ready to deliver with a 50 percent 
commitment. In exchange, we seek a new structure of governance.
    Because of the importance of this project and the enormity 
of the task ahead, Florida believes that it should be on equal 
footing with the Federal Government, not only in terms of 
financing, but in managing and governing and operating this 
project, as well.
    Working as equal partners not only makes business sense, 
but it also makes good public policy sense. Disputes will be 
resolved quickly and fairly. Opportunities for cost savings 
will be more readily identified and pursued, and both partners 
will reap the benefits of cooperation and consensus.
    Finally, the challenge: Florida needs your commitment. It 
is apparent that Americans across the country support restoring 
America's Everglades the same way we protected Yellowstone and 
the Grand Canyon.
    Foremost, we need to put Washington's financial commitment 
on the table. Congress should not delay in providing funding to 
match, dollar for dollar, Florida's commitment.
    Congress should also pass a stand-alone Everglades bill if 
it possible; one that demonstrates your own dedication to this 
endeavor. And Congress should, in cooperation with the 
Administration and the State of Florida, craft a project 
authorization that for the first time puts Florida and the 
Federal Government on equal footing.
    With this commitment from Washington, our Federal, State, 
and local governments will protect 68 federally Endangered 
Species that call America's Everglades their home.
    We will recapture 1.7 billion gallons of water that are now 
channeled out to sea, and use it to help restore our natural 
systems. And we will, in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt, 
continue America's legacy of stewardship.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, let your own 
legacy be that of saving America's Everglades. All the elements 
are in place. All that remains is your steadfast response; 
first through authorization, then through appropriation.
    We have done everything possible to make it as easy as it 
humanly can be for something of this magnitude to say yes. The 
State of Florida is now ready, willing, and able to be your 
partner to restore America's Everglades.
    Thank you very much.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Governor. I will start 
off with the first question, and then we will rotate through 
and see where we are with the time.
    First of all, I want to say to Senators Mack and Graham and 
to you, Governor, that it is not very often, and I think both 
the Senators sitting next to you can attest to this, that we 
see a situation where a State puts up its matching money, 
first, in anticipation of the Federal Government.
    So it certainly is a tremendous gesture on the part of the 
citizens of Florida, and the Governor, and the legislature. So 
that certainly adds considerably, I think, to the equation. And 
certainly, it adds a lot to us moving forward on this 
legislation.
    There has been controversy, and in fact, it is probably one 
of the most contentious issues in the project, Governor, about 
the authorizing in the year 2000, the initial 10 projects, if 
you will, that we have to start, because the project 
implementation reports will not be complete.
    Because of that, usually the committee does not authorize 
these projects without that kind of completion. So basically, 
the committee is being asked to reauthorize 10 projects, the 
first 10, which is what those dollars are for that you talked 
about in the comprehensive plan.
    So I guess the question is why the State believes that we 
should proceed differently by authorizing this year these 10 
projects.
    Governor Bush. Well, I truly believe that this is different 
than a typical water resource development project. If you 
visit, as I know you have, Senator, the Everglades and have 
seen its majesty, this is on par with the Grand Canyon, or 
other great monuments of nature in our country. And I believe 
we need to have a sense of urgency about this.
    Our State did not just start funding projects to protect 
the Everglades. This has been an ongoing efforts for a 
generation. In fact, Washington has provided support in land 
purchasing and other areas, as well.
    In our State, we believe that there should be a sense of 
urgency about this. We are prepared, unlike other Water 
Resource Development Act projects, to put up 50 percent of the 
money. The money is in place.
    There is a consensus. The water management District, whom 
you will hear from, and the Chairman will talk later today, I 
believe, will describe the efforts they have done to totally 
re-prioritize their spending, so that they can have resources 
available to take care of their responsibility.
    At the State level, we are spending more on the purchase of 
endangered lands than any State in the country; I believe more 
than national government's budget in this regard. So we have 
made a commitment that I believe shows that we need to 
accelerate this project.
    The Restudy, itself, had lots of input. There was a 
tremendous amount of debate over the last year. And I would 
just respectfully say that it is time to move on.
    Senator Smith. Thank you.
    Senator Baucus. Yes, thank you.
    Governor, I was interested in your comments about 
management. Could you go into that in a little more detail, 
please. What is in the Administration's proposal that you think 
is good with respect to management; and then what problems you 
might have; and why? If you could just go into that in a little 
more detail, so I can get a better flavor.
    Governor Bush. In a public works projects of this 
magnitude, I think it is important to have clear lines of 
authority, and a means to mitigate disputes.
    If this was not a Government project, and we just closed 
our eyes and assumed that this was a private sector development 
of some kind, we would have a Board of Directors, if you will. 
There would be clearly established, when there are disputes, 
how you would resolve them. It would not be done unilaterally.
    The Administration's governance proposal, in my opinion, 
does not allow us to be partners. The Governor, I believe, the 
way it was described, consults.
    If we are putting up half the money, we have a shared 
interest in this. We have a plan that has received the full 
support of all of the parties. It seems to me that we ought to 
have a means where we share in innovations that and where we 
discuss major decisions along the way.
    Senator Baucus. I was just curious though, as I understand 
it, a lot of the science is not yet complete on the project. 
And undoubtedly, there are going to be differences of opinion 
as to what to do with one portion of the project, and so on and 
so forth.
    I am just curious, how you envisioned, under the proposal 
that you would like to see adopted, those disputes being 
resolved. Like I said, the Governor of Florida says well, it 
should be (a), and whoever it is says, well, no, it should be 
(b). And if we have equal sharing, how are you going to work 
that out?
    Governor Bush. Well, I think it would be a better way of 
resolving the dispute to have a shared vision than to have a 
disagreement, where you default automatically to the Department 
of the Interior, which is the Administration's position on 
this.
    The other element of the governance issue that is important 
was that the foundation for the Restudy was that there would be 
an equal commitment to the natural system, to flood protection, 
and to water supply. And as I understand it that, too, has 
shifted.
    It is important to have this delicate balance between the 
interests that are all impacted. And this is a fully integrated 
project. You can not separate one from the other.
    Our own State laws give primacy to the natural system. So 
we are not suggesting that the natural system is not the 
principal purpose for doing this. But that is an example of, if 
the underlying policy changes by unilateral decision, that 
creates problems for the State being able to maintain the 
support that we have for this project, which is now near 
unanimous. I mean, it is strong, because people know that we 
are going to have a say in the implementation of it.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Baucus follows:]
  Statement of Hon. Max Baucus, U.S. Senator from the State of Montana
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to join you in welcoming our 
witnesses here today. I'm pleased to be here today to welcome our 
Florida witnesses, including the distinguished Governor, Jeb Bush.
    The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan has been many years 
in the making. In the 1970's, the State of Florida began looking at the 
adverse impacts the Central and South Florida project was having on the 
Everglades.
    Under the leadership of my current colleague from Florida, Senator 
Graham, who was Governor Graham in the early 1980's, the Governor's 
Save Our Everglades Program recognized that the health of the entire 
ecosystem was in jeopardy and that efforts were needed to protect and 
restore it. Ever since, he has worked tirelessly to get to the point 
where we find ourselves today--that is, having a comprehensive plan 
that will restore this valuable ecosystem.
    The Everglades is a national treasure, and I know, it holds a 
particularly special place in the hearts of Senator Graham.
    Like most plans, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 
isn't perfect and everyone didn't get everything they wanted. But the 
Administration, under the leadership of the Corps of Engineers and with 
the cooperation of the Department of the Interior and the Environmental 
Protection Agency are to be commended for bringing all of the effected 
parties to the table to develop a plan that can work for all of them--
the State of Florida and the ecosystem.
    I thank our witnesses for the time and energy they have put into 
the Everglades restoration effort. I look forward to hearing from them 
today and to working with the Chairman to move this plan forward.
    Senator Smith. Senator Voinovich?

        OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. GEORGE V. VOINOVICH, 
              U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF OHIO

    Senator Voinovich. First of all, I would like to welcome 
you. It is nice to see you, again. And I think it is 
significant that your two senators are with you, and that this 
proposal is coming from Florida on a bi-partisan basis. And I 
congratulate the State of Florida for their moving forward in 
terms of doing their share of this project.
    I would also like to congratulate the Chairman of this 
committee. Ordinarily, this hearing would have been held before 
the subcommittee of the Environment and Public Works Committee, 
the Transportation and Infrastructure. And the Chairman thinks 
so much of this project that he has called a meeting of the 
full committee to hear this proposal. And he should be 
congratulated for doing that. That shows the high priority that 
he places upon this initiative.
    The Comprehensive Everglades Plan that we are considering 
has a cost of about $7.8 billion, of which we are talking a 50/
50 share. During the peak years of the Everglades Comprehensive 
Plan, this will require a yearly appropriation of about $200 
million a year.
    The State of Florida has a current backlog of active 
authorized projects of about $1.5 billion. We have about a $30 
billion backlog right now, and the State of Florida has got 
about $1.5 billion of that backlog. These are authorized 
projects that are already in the pipe.
    In addition to the South Florida restoration, this includes 
beach nourishment projects, harbor deepening, and flood 
control. In the President's fiscal year 2001 budget, the 
construction requests for the State of Florida is about $176 
million.
    My question is that in view of the fact that during the 
1990's, the core construction appropriation is, on the average, 
$1.6 billion, how do you anticipate the Federal share of this 
to be funded? In other words, you have got $1.5 billion on the 
books now. In order to do this project, it is going to take an 
average of $200 million a year. And we only appropriate about 
$1.6 billion.
    The question is, have you thought about that at all, and 
have some concern about whether the Federal money is going to 
be available so that you can move forward with this project?
    Governor Bush. I think about it a lot. I certainly do not 
have much control over the budget process up here. What we have 
tried to do is to say, let us make this a high priority in our 
own State.
    Last year, we passed Florida Forever, which is a 
continuation of Preservation 2000, which I believe is the most 
ambitious land purchasing program of any State in the country, 
where we spend $300,000 a year purchasing pristine lands to 
keep them out of the path of development, and provide support 
for the natural systems.
    This year, we have continued that, as well as we are 
spending a 140 percent increase in water projects in our own 
State. So we have tried to make it easier for Washington to 
recognize that we are stepping up to the plate, as well. We are 
not asking for something and not making a commitment ourselves.
    We have limited resources, like any government. And we are 
saying that these water projects, in general, have a high 
priority, because it is an investment in the long term future 
of our State.
    We are a fast growing State. We have development 
encroaching into the natural systems. We are redefining our 
heritage, if we do not watch it. So we are stepping up to the 
plate on these projects. And we would encourage the Congress to 
prioritize their spending toward these projects, as well.
    With all due respect, Senator, I do not know where the 
money comes from up here, other than from our pockets. We give 
it to you all, and we would hope that you would spend it on the 
things that are of high priorities for Americans.
    Senator Voinovich. I would hope that the next 
Administration would recommend doubling the amount of money in 
the Water Resources Bill, so that we can move forward and deal 
with this $30 billion backlog of projects. And the prospect of 
reimbursing Florida for our share of it would be more 
realistic.
    I would like to just ask one other question. You are asking 
for a fast track authority here, to move with this. And you are 
talking about an even playing field. But, in effect, what you 
would like to do is move forward with this project.
    Anticipating that we do not get the money on the Federal 
level to do the Federal share of this, is it your thought, and 
maybe some of the other witnesses may shed some light on this, 
that you would just move forward with this project? And then, 
ordinarily, on this type of project, you only can move forward, 
based on whether or not you have got the Federal authorization.
    I think this plan anticipates that you will move with this, 
and that down the road, you will spend this money, and then 
come back and ask that it be reimbursed. And the understanding 
is on a 50/50 basis.
    If this authority is granted, would the State give any 
consideration of maybe even a larger share of paying for it? In 
other words, projects like this need to have the authorization 
from Congress to go forward. So we will give you the money, and 
we are giving you credit for land purchase and a lot of other 
things, as a special kind of permission that you would be 
getting, that is different than what we do on other projects.
    If we let you fast track this project, would the State give 
any consideration to perhaps changing the participation on it? 
Is my question clear?
    Governor Bush. It is clear, and I hope it is hypothetical.
    [Laughter.]
    Governor Bush. We have worked very hard. The back-home 
people believe that there has been strong support for a 50/50 
partnership in this, and that we hope that that will continue 
on to be the case.
    We are committed to restoring this treasure. And we would 
like to do it as an equal partner with the Federal Government, 
which I consider to be quite unique, given the history of these 
projects, where the States have been asked to make smaller 
commitments.
    We are here to say that we are prepared to make larger 
commitments. And this is a tradition that has been in existence 
long before I was Governor. And we are asking for Washington to 
continue to provide the kind of support that we would hope 
would make this project work.
    [The prepared statement of Senator Voinovich follows:]
 Statement of Hon. George V. Voinovich, U.S. Senator from the State of 
                                  Ohio
    Good morning, Mr. Chairman, and let me start out by thanking you 
for holding this hearing today on the future of the Everglades. I 
consider this to be of tremendous importance to this nation and I am 
pleased to be here.
    Mr. Chairman, I am no stranger to the Everglades.
    When I was Governor of Ohio, in response to my interests in the 
Everglades and thanks to the courtesy the Florida Fish and Wildlife 
Conservation Commission, I spent a day observing the environmentally 
impacted areas of the Everglades by helicopter and airboat.
    In addition, my wife Janet and I have made many visits to Florida 
including trips to the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge and 
Everglades National Park. I have enjoyed fishing in the Florida Bay and 
fishing for snook in the Everglades.
    This past January, I had the opportunity to participate with you, 
Mr. Chairman, and our colleague, Senator Graham, in this Committee's 
Everglades field hearing in Naples, Florida.
    While I was there, I had the opportunity to fly over portions of 
the ongoing water quality restoration efforts associated with the 
stormwater treatment areas of the Everglades Construction Project. I 
also got the chance to revisit the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge 
and tour it by airboat.
    I mention all of this to emphasize that I have invested a lot of 
time on the Everglades, and in particular, the Comprehensive 
Restoration Plan.
    I am unequivocally committed to the fact that the Everglades are a 
national treasure that must be protected and restored. Having said 
that, my detailed review of the Comprehensive Plan has also convinced 
me that the Everglades Comprehensive Restoration Plan was rushed to 
this Congress for its consideration.
    At a cost of $1.1 billion, the plans for the 10 initial projects 
that Congress has been asked to authorize are only conceptual and do 
not even begin to meet the standards that this Congress has set for 
project authorizations.
    There are some who will say that the Administration is only 
responding to what Congress requested back in 1996 when it called for a 
Comprehensive Plan by July 1,1999. However, the clear words of the 1996 
Act call for a feasibility report.
    Feasibility studies have not been completed on any portion of the 
comprehensive plan, and yet the Administration is seeking a $1.1 
billion authorization based on a ``conceptual'' plan that does not 
contain any meaningful level of detail regarding costs, benefits, 
environmental analysis, design, engineering or real estate.
    To authorize projects without this information would be a radical 
departure from the past oversight of the Corps' program by this 
Committee, and would make it very difficult to enforce historic 
standards of this Committee for authorization of Corps projects in 
this, and future, Water Resources Development Acts.
    This does not mean we cannot act on the Everglades Comprehensive 
Plan.
    I think we can and should act to advance the critical national 
issue of Everglades restoration. We can certainly endorse the 
Comprehensive Plan as a framework and guide for future action. We can 
authorize pilot projects to obtain the information we need to move 
forward.
    I am sure that under Chairman Smith's leadership, we can agree on 
some process that will advance the authorization of the initial 
projects while assuring that Congress has an opportunity to review and 
approve feasibility-level reports on these projects before they are 
implemented.
    Mr. Chairman, in addition to my service on the Environment and 
Public Works Committee, I also serve on the Government Affairs 
Committee where we are concerned about issues of Government efficiency, 
effectiveness and coordinated activity. I can't leave the topic of the 
Everglades restoration without this one observation.
    Homestead Air Force base is located only 8 miles from Everglades 
National Park, one and one half miles from Biscayne Bay and just north 
of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. The Air Force is seeking 
to transfer property at the Homestead Air Force Base in accordance with 
the recommendations of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission.
    The Air Force has prepared a draft Supplemental Environmental 
Impact Statement that presents as the proposed action, the reuse of the 
airbase as a regional commercial airport.
    I am very concerned that the noise, air quality impacts, water 
quality impacts and developmental pressure of commercial airport 
operations may not be compatible with the adjacent National Parks and 
Sanctuary.
    I believe it would be irresponsible for the Federal Government to 
approve an investment of billions of taxpayer dollars in restoration of 
the south Florida ecosystem, while at the same time, approving a reuse 
plan for Homestead Air Force base that is incompatible with such 
restoration objectives.
    I urge the Administration to pursue consistent objectives in South 
Florida's restoration and assure that the actions of the Air Force and 
Federal Aviation Administration are coordinated with the Federal, 
state, tribal and local agencies, and groups making up the South 
Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force.
    Finally, I would like to touch on the Everglades restoration in the 
context of the total, nationwide program of the Corps of Engineers.
    We cannot talk about the Everglades restoration in a vacuum. 
Currently the Corps of Engineers has a project backlog totaling about 
$30 billion needed to design and construct over 400 active authorized 
projects.
    These are not old outdated projects but projects that have been 
recently funded, which are economically justified and supported by a 
non-Federal sponsor. This backlog includes $1.5 billion worth of work 
within the State of Florida. The State of Florida work represents about 
5 percent of the backlog.
    The President's 2001 budget includes a construction funding request 
for the State of Florida of about $176 million--more than 10 percent of 
the nationwide construction account. This is before consideration of 
construction funding for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, 
which will require construction appropriations of $200 million a year 
during the peak years of construction.
    Mr. Chairman, I do not mean to single out the State of Florida, but 
rather, to emphasize that with construction appropriations for the 
Corps of Engineers averaging about $1.6 billion a year in the 1990's 
there is not enough money to accomplish all of the proposed work in the 
State of Florida and address the water resources needs of the rest of 
the Nation.
    Unless the Corps' construction appropriations is substantially 
increased to meet these needs, the State of Florida in particular and 
the Nation in general are going to have to make some very painful 
decisions on priorities. I believe this is a very critical issue for 
this committee as we consider the Water Resources Development Act and I 
plan to explore it further in a Subcommittee hearing on May 16.
    So, once again, I appreciate you calling this hearing this morning, 
Mr. Chairman, and I look forward to what I believe will be a lively 
discussion on some very topical issues.
    Senator Smith. I need to move forward. We are going to try 
one question, and then come back around, because of the vote. 
Senator Graham, you were here, and you are a member of the 
committee, too. Do you have a question from either that seat or 
up here?
    Senator Graham. Mr. Chairman, I have a lot of questions. 
But I think I will defer to the Governor's time, and the fact 
that I get an opportunity to pepper the Governor on a more 
frequent basis.
    Governor Bush. And if you can clean up after me, if I said 
something wrong, that would be good.
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Graham. No, I think the Governor has articulated 
the policy rationale and the State's position extremely well. 
So I would defer to the other members of the committee for 
their questions at this time.
    Senator Smith. Senator Chafee?
    Senator Chafee. As Governor Bush said, we went to high 
school together. I have not seen in 29 years.
    Governor Bush. The statute of limitations has run out.
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Chafee. But you mentioned in your statement the 
sense of urgency, and I will certainly do all I can to be 
supportive on my level here. It is a great project, and we wish 
to move forward.
    Senator Smith. There is no question? You would not do that 
to an old high school mate, would you?
    Senator Warner?

           OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. JOHN W. WARNER, 
         U.S. SENATOR FROM THE COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

    Senator Warner. Welcome Governor, and I would just like to 
talk a little bit about the history of this committee. I have 
been on it, out of my 22 years in Senate, about 12 or 14. And I 
am referring to the Water Resources Development Act of 1998, 
which contains the statement, and this statement has been in 
every single committee report since 1986. I will read from page 
3.
    ``Since 1986, it has been the policy of the committee to 
authorize only those construction projects that conform with 
cost sharing and other policies established in the Water 
Resources Development Act of 1986. In addition, it has been the 
policy of the committee to require projects to have undergone 
full, final engineering, economic, and environmental review by 
the Chief of Engineers, prior to project approvals by the 
committee.''
    As I read through your petition, you are asking us to waive 
a policy which has guided this committee since 1986. And that 
is a very significant precedent.
    I also wish to make an observation. You said, ``Roosevelt's 
legacy of stewardship.'' And how well you understand, coming 
from a very historic family that has provided leadership for 
this Nation for so long, that there are the 50 States, and that 
we all compete among each other for the scarce moneys to 
preserve those portions within our States which relate to 
Roosevelt's Stewardship Program.
    Shortly after I came to the Senate, and specifically in 
1984, I joined with marvelous Senator, Senator Mac Mathias, and 
we devised the legislation to begin the preservation and the 
restoration of the Chesapeake Bay. That magnificent watershed 
serves seven States in the immediate touching of the bay, and 
the migratory birds, fish, waterfowl, in many, many, many other 
States.
    We have worked very hard with the Federal/State 
partnership. And since 1984, we have gotten only $150 million 
from the Federal Government, and several States have applied 
$300 million, to show you a comparable project and the funding 
levels that we have received and struggled each year to get, 
bit by bit.
    So as strongly as I feel about this project, I must tell 
you that I feel that I have a stewardship and a trusteeship to 
my State and seven other States and the balance of the States, 
as we look at the very significant cost of this project, which 
could, in the estimate of some, go as high as $12 billion.
    So that concerns me that this committee is being asked to 
approve construction of 10 projects for $1.1 billion, without 
the information being completed, in sharp contrast to our 
policy.
    The project implementation reports will not be done for 
another 18 months or more, and construction is not scheduled 
until 2004, at the earliest.
    I know that your State has taken significant financial 
steps to participate in this restoration, as you have so stated 
today. You have acquired significant acreage that will be 
important to improving water flows into the Everglades. I am 
aware that legislation has been enacted to provide $100 million 
over 10 years for this restoration effort.
    However, the same level of progress can be made on these 10 
projects, with the Corps. continuing planning, engineering, and 
design for the next 2 years. By the time the 2000 bill comes 
up, Congress would have the benefit of the project 
implementation reports on these 10 projects, and then be ready 
for construction authorization. This approach would not delay 
the construction of any of these projects now tentatively set 
for 2004.
    I really feel that the policy which has guided us these 
many years has to be protected. And I will just finish. 
Basically, I am stating in candor, before my two very dear 
friends and colleagues here who are supporting you, the 
concerns that this one Senator has.
    Now there is a provision in the legislation relating to the 
distribution of water flow from the project. It seems that the 
restoration of the Everglades is only one feature of the 
project. Others involve flood protection and water supply for 
urban/suburban areas, and for agriculture uses.
    In light of the complexity and the cost of the restoration 
effort, I want to be sure that Federal dollars are used to 
restore our national assets, Everglades Park, Big Cypress 
Preserve, and other wildlife refuges.
    We must have a guarantee, and I underline that, that these 
properties will receive the amount of water they need when they 
need it, and carefully be sure that the environmental 
restoration of the Everglades gets water over and above the 
commercial, urban, and agricultural uses that will come.
    So that is my statement, Mr. Chairman and our distinguished 
witness. I do not want to put a few raindrops on this parade, 
but that is about it.
    Governor Bush. We need a little rain down in the 
Everglades, so that would not be too bad.
    Senator Warner. I do not want to be a constructive partner, 
but I must go back to Roosevelt's stewardship program, and it 
is for 50 States. And I gave you one example of something that 
has been very dear to my heart for these many years that I have 
been privileged to serve in this body.
    Mr. Chairman, I think given the vote and the Governor's 
schedule, I have said my piece.
    Senator Mack. Mr. Chairman?
    Senator Smith. Certainly, Senator Mack.
    Senator Mack. Let me just make a comment or two. I 
understand Senator Warner's concern about making sure that the 
Federal interest is protected.
    I think one of the very unique things that has happened in 
this plan is the coming together of all the different interests 
in the State of Florida that have worked together on this 
project to, at this point, superimpose on that, that there is a 
No. 1 objective that we are going to establish that does not 
take into consideration the working relationship among the 
entities in our State. I think that could be disastrous for 
this effort.
    Senator Warner. I am not sure I follow exactly what you 
mean. I commend the Governor, his leadership, and the State 
entities to come together.
    Senator Mack. If we now say, though, that the primary 
objective is the water for the park, as opposed to all other 
interests, then the political dynamics that have brought people 
together to be able to support this plan, both nationally and 
within our State; and within our State, the commitment that the 
State legislature has made unanimously for over $100 million, 
plus what is going to be done by the Water Management District 
of over $200 million totally, what I am saying to you is, if we 
superimpose the No. 1 objective established up here, that does 
not take into consideration the other interests, and I find 
that that could be troublesome.
    Senator Warner. But, you know, Senator, I see estimates of 
$12 billion of taxpayers' money for this project. Do disavow 
those?
    Senator Smith. No, it is not that much.
    Senator Warner. All right, well, I am sorry, that was the 
figure that was given to me. We have already put in $500-plus 
million on this project.
    Senator Smith. It is a 50/50 cost split, between the 
Federal Government and the State government. The highest 
estimate that I have seen is $5 billion to the Federal side, 
over the 36 year life of the plan.
    Governor Bush. And if I could just add, the question of 
primacy of one use over the others, our State law requires 
minimum levels and flows that gives primacy to the natural 
system.
    Without doing this plan, we can not implement that. We need 
to find ways to capture water, not allow it to go out to tide. 
And you can not separate these projects, one from the other. 
They are fully integrated to be able to achieve the desired 
result. So that would be one point.
    The second point is, this is a federally created problem, 
which may be different than other projects such as Beautiful 
Chesapeake Bay. The mess that has been created was created by 
well-intended engineers, that engineered a system that now we 
need to completely re-engineer. And so I think that makes it a 
little bit different.
    I would just argue that while this is not a typical water 
resource development project, we are not typically putting up 
the 20 percent, either. We are putting up 50 percent, and we 
are putting it up in advance. And we are putting it in a trust 
fund that can not be touched. We are making our commitment a 
long-term commitment, which does distinguish our State's 
commitment from other States that have come and respectively 
asked for cooperation and money from the Congress.
    Senator Smith. Senator Warner, you are correct, that the 
policy of the committee is as indicated. Normally, the policy 
is that the study would be complete, the PIRS. However, it is 
not a policy that we have been rigidly sticking to. As you 
know, we authorize projects on a regular basis here, contingent 
upon the later completion of a favorable report. And if those 
reports are not favorable, then we do not approve it.
    So I think, under the adaptive management concept that we 
have outlined here throughout this plan, we certainly would 
have the opportunity to pull the plug, should something not 
come out the way we would anticipate it, in my view.
    Senator Smith. Mr. Chairman, the $12 billion figure I used 
has been discussed with staff, with the GAO. Apparently, it is 
$7.8 billion that would be expended over 30 years for the 
project. The balance in the $12 billion is land acquisition 
costs and other things like that, I am told.
    Senator Smith. But that is split between the Feds and----
    Senator Warner. That is correct. But, again, you know, $7.8 
billion is quite significant, in contrast to what I have been 
able to achieve for the Chesapeake Bay.
    Senator Smith. Let me just make a 10 second comment here. 
We have got 3 minutes left on the vote, and we have at least 
five Senators here that need to go down there. So if you have 
another comment, go ahead.
    Senator Warner. No, I am finished. I am fine, Mr. Chairman. 
I have rained enough on this parade.
    Senator Smith. Senator Chafee, do you have any other 
questions or comments?
    Senator Chafee. No.
    Senator Smith. Does anybody else?
    [No response.]
    Senator Smith. Well, Governor, I think it would probably be 
a good time to make the break here, and to thank you for, 
again, your support and your help, and Senators Mack and 
Graham, as well, will be proceeding along the line.
    The objective here is to have this hearing, meet with you 
and the respective Senators, and the Administration, and the 
committee, and try to put a bill together that I think comes as 
close to that agreement as possible.
    I am sure there are going to be a few bumps in the road, 
but we are going to try to do that. And I am going to try to do 
it soon, within the next 30 days, if we can pull it off, so 
that we can get it considered before the Senate.
    So thank you very much for being here.
    Governor Bush. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Let me just say, I am going to recess for 
about 15 minutes or so, while I go down and vote. And the next 
panel will come up, as soon as I return, which should be in 
about 15 minutes. The hearing is recessed.
    [Recess.]
    Senator Smith. The committee will come to order, please.
    I would ask the second panel to please come to the table: 
Ms. Patricia Power, on behalf of the Seminole Tribe; and Dexter 
Lehtinen, on behalf of the Miccosukee Tribe. So it is the 
Miccosukee Tribe and the Seminole Tribe.
    Because of the fact of the Governor's schedule, we had to 
take his remarks and questions early. I am going to take this 
opportunity to give a brief opening statement, and any other 
member who wishes to have an opening statement may do so, and 
then we will move directly to the testimony of the two 
witnesses.
    I might just say to the Clerk that these opening statements 
should be put in the record, ahead of Governor Bush's 
testimony.
    The committee held a hearing on this issue in Naples, 
Florida. It was the first hearing that I had, as the Chairman 
of the committee. And I said then, and I believe now, that we 
need to restore the Everglades. It is a top priority for the 
committee this year.
    I say that, recognizing that there are differences on 
various components of the plan. But I am committed to work 
those differences out, and pass a bill out of committee on the 
Everglades restoration.
    The purpose of today's hearing is to receive comments on 
the Administration's proposal, submitted as part of its Water 
Resources Development Act 2000 request. We have two sessions, 
one this morning and one in the afternoon.
    We have already had Governor Bush. And I want to just 
extend my congratulations to Governor Bush, who just 
successfully shepherded legislation through the Florida 
legislature, unanimously, to implement the Everglades 
Restoration Plan.
    We will hear from two representatives of the Indian tribes 
of South Florida, and the South Florida Water Management 
District this morning. And then the afternoon session will 
begin with a panel of witnesses from the ``Federal family'': 
The Army Assistant Secretary for Civil Works, the General 
Counsel of the EPA, and the leader of the Administration's 
Everglades Task Force from the Department of Interior. And they 
will be followed by representatives of the agricultural and 
environmental communities.
    I certainly welcome all of the witnesses today. I know some 
of you traveled a long distance, and we appreciate you being 
here.
    We all know, whatever our views are on the specifics of the 
plan, that the Everglades faces great peril, the unintended 
consequence of the 1948 Federal Flood Control Project is the 
too efficient redirection of water from Lake Okeechobee. 
Approximately 1.7 billion gallons of water a day are needlessly 
directed out to sea.
    It was done, this project in 1948, with the best of 
intentions, but the results were not good. The Federal 
Government simply had to act when devastating floods took 
thousands of lives.
    But, unfortunately, the success of the project disrupted 
the natural flow of the water, the so-called ``river of 
grass,'' altering or destroying the habitat for many species of 
animals, birds, reptiles, and fish.
    The purpose of the January hearing was to receive comment 
on the Central and South Florida comprehensive review study, 
properly known as the Restudy. And Congress mandated the 
Restudy to preserve the Everglades in previous WRDA acts, and 
the Administration submitted the Restudy to Congress on July 1, 
1999, as the WRDA 1996 required it to do.
    The Restudy includes a programmatic environmental impact 
statement. As such, it serves as a road map for the future 
restoration of the Everglades. All journeys should have a road 
map, if you want to know where you are going.
    We will look to the Restudy as the road map for a general 
guidance on restoring the Everglades. But we know in advance, 
there are going to be unanticipated detours and, hopefully, a 
few timesaving shortcuts, as well, along this road.
    That does not mean that we should not take the journey. And 
I want to repeat that. It does not mean that we should not take 
the journey. We can deal with the detours. And, hopefully, we 
can even have shortcuts.
    This inherent flexibility to adapt the adapted management 
concept and change, as future circumstances dictate, is an 
integral part of the Restudy's approach to restoration. Some 
think that this plan, once it is passed, is locked in and we 
can not change it, we can not adapt to any new science or any 
new information. That is simply not true.
    The risks of waiting much longer to reverse the 
Everglades's decline far outweigh the risks of starting now, 
even as we continue to study and modify the plan. Adaptive 
assessment or adaptive management means we can move forward 
now, even in the face of some uncertainty; even in the face of 
not having every single bit of information that we might like 
to have.
    Everyone has had 10 months to evaluate the Restudy. 
Senators Voinovich, Graham, and I visited Florida, in 
conjunction with the January hearing on the Restudy, and we are 
now at the next step of the process.
    As I have said before, and I will say it again, it is a top 
priority for me, and I believe the committee, to pass a bill to 
begin the restoration of the Everglades. I applaud Senators 
Mack and Graham for their leadership over the next few weeks. I 
look forward to working with them and Senators Voinovich and 
Baucus to draft a bill that takes into account the comments 
that we hear today.
    The goal that I have set for the committee is to report 
Restudy implementation legislation next month. The Everglades 
may be part of a larger WRDA bill, or it may move as a 
standalone bill. I will follow whichever path it takes to give 
the Everglades restoration the best chance of becoming law this 
year.
    I want to just make one comment about cost. There have been 
a lot of numbers thrown around. This fiscal year, the cost 
would be in the vicinity of $100 million. The 14 year cost of 
the 10 initial projects would be in the vicinity of $1.1 
billion. And that would be split between the State and the 
Federal Government.
    If you break it down into something a little simpler, in 
terms of the entire cost, it is about 50 cents a person, per 
year. So if you find a cheap Coke machine, it costs you a can 
of Coke a year for the restoration of the Everglades. That is 
not a high price to pay.
    As we proceed, I want to let everyone know that I have an 
open mind on these issues. I am not locked into any plan or any 
study or any detail. We have studied these issues for a long, 
long time. But we can not study them forever if we are going to 
save the Everglades. Sometimes, we have to act around this 
place, and I am prepared to do it.
    I want my colleagues on the committee to know that it is my 
priority to get this bill ready for the committee, and to get 
it done expeditiously. If we have problems, we are going to 
resolve them. And if we have to take a vote to resolve them, 
then we will take a vote and resolve them, if we have 
differences.
    The window of opportunity to have the bill considered on 
the Senate Floor is closing, and it is closing rapidly. The 
leader has already told us that Appropriations bills are 
expected to be completed perhaps as early as the August recess.
    That perhaps might be a little bit too rosy, but it may 
happen. And if it does, the window is going to close even 
faster. So we do not have a lot of time.
    So I am asking our witnesses today to provide constructive 
comments on the Administration's proposal, in order to make 
real progress; not just to hear a recitation of positions. We 
have your written statements. But we need to find a principal 
basis that we can use to determine how much, if anything, the 
Federal Government should contribute to O&M, operation and 
maintenance, of the Restudy.
    Another example, even if waste water treatment proves 
technically feasible, is it cost effective, as compared to 
other means, to provide water further? Do we, as a national 
policy matter, want to encourage the return of treated waste 
water back into the natural system? That is another key 
question.
    Should the Congress authorize the initial set of 10 
projects now, or wait until the project implementation reports 
are complete? You heard comments from both Senator Warner and, 
I believe, Senator Voinovich; but, certainly, Senator Warner a 
little while ago on that issue.
    These and many other issues need to be addressed 
thoughtfully in the next few weeks, and we seek your 
constructive comments. That is the only way we are going to be 
able to work it out.
    In preparing the hearing, I asked the staff to invite 
representatives from the sugar industry and the Citizens for a 
Sound Economy, both of whom were down in Florida last January. 
I promised the representatives from Citizens for a Sound 
Economy, who had some concerns about the cost of the Restudy, 
that they would have an opportunity to testify. They were 
invited, and declined. So I want to put that on the record.
    As for the sugar industry, we did invite them to testify 
today, but they also declined. Though it is true that the sugar 
industry did testify last January in Florida, it is unfortunate 
that they would not testify on the Administration's proposal, 
because I believe it would have been helpful in clarifying some 
of the differences that they have.
    Among the issues that I wanted to question on were, the 
extent of their support for the April 1999 Restudy; the 
rationale for their opposition to authorizing the 10 initial 
projects; and details regarding continued farming on the 
Talisman property if authorization is delayed. They should be 
here. They should testify, and they are not here.
    The April 1999 Restudy was unanimously agreed to by the 
South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force members. It was 
unanimously approved by the Governor's Commission for a 
sustainable Florida, which included all of the major public and 
private interest groups.
    Since the Task Force and Commission attained that landmark 
effort in consensus building, it seems that some of the parties 
have backed away from a deal that was struck. Maybe the 
administration started this as the Chief's Report that 
transmitted this Restudy made additional ``commitments'' that 
went well beyond the Restudy, itself.
    Also, some in the agriculture industry seem to have backed 
away from the key Restudy components that were included in the 
plan.
    As we move forward, I want to refocus our legislative 
efforts on the groundwork that Congress laid with the 1992 and 
1996 Water Resources Development Act, and the agreement that 
you all reached, that everybody reached, in the Restudy in 
April 1999. That does not mean that you agreed with everything 
in it, but you agreed to a plan.
    So we need to stop backtracking and start focusing; not 
looking to sweeten the deal, but we need to get on with the 
fairly straight-forward task of implementing this Restudy. And 
not testifying, frankly, is not a good way to do it. It is 
certainly not a good way to endear yourself to me.
    I am afraid too often people forget that the Everglades is 
an environmental and a national treasure. Restoration benefits 
not only Florida, but the millions of us who visit Florida each 
year, and the probably millions more, Senator Graham, who want 
to retire there at some point.
    As I said in Naples last January, many years from now, I 
hope that we will be remembered for putting aside partisanship, 
putting aside differences as to the cost of this project, or 
the date of this project or that project, and that we sit down, 
put aside narrow self interests and short-term thinking, and we 
are willing to sit down at the table, and work out a deal that 
will save the Everglades.
    This is about the next generation. It is not about the next 
election, and it is not about some petty bickering. It is about 
the next generation, as to whether or not we, in this Congress, 
are prepared to stand up in the year 2000 and begin the process 
of saving the Everglades.
    We are not going to save it with one act or one bill this 
year. We are going to start a process that we can adapt to on a 
year-to-year basis to begin the process and find out whether or 
not we are willing to make the commitment to do this.
    Will it work? We are not 100 percent certain. We know one 
thing, though. If we do not do anything, we will lose the 
Everglades. So the risk is worth taking.
    I am committed to the restoration. I am open minded about 
how we do it, and I am willing to listen.
    Senator Graham?
    Senator Graham. Mr. Chairman, prudence would say to be 
quiet after that statement.
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Graham. And I will be as close to quite as I can.
    I would like to submit, for the record, a letter from the 
Corps of Engineers in response to the issue of the total cost 
of this restoration. This was a letter dated March 30.
    Senator Smith. Without objection, it will be admitted into 
the record.
    Senator Graham. Excuse me, I misspoke. It actually is a 
letter from the U.S. Department of Interior, John Berry, 
Assistant Secretary.
    [The referenced documents follow:]
                           U.S. Department of the Interior,
                                   Office of the Secretary,
                                    Washington, DC, March 30, 2000.

Honorable Ralph Regula, Chairman,
Subcommittee on Interior and Related Agencies,
Committee on Appropriations,
House of Representatives,
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Mr. Chairman: On March 8, 2000, the Department submitted a report 
to you on the total cost estimate to restore the South Florida 
ecosystem.
    This provides a revised cost estimate report.
    The total cost of $14.8 billion has not changed, nor has the $8.4 
billion estimated to be the responsibility of the State of Florida. 
Total Federal costs have been revised from $6.4 billion to $6.5 billion 
(+$25.0 million) to reflect revised estimates for the Department of the 
Interior land acquisition needs.
    As a result of this revision, $424.0 million is estimated as the 
balance to complete Department of the Interior funding, subject to the 
availability of appropriations. Through fiscal year 2000, $915.0 
million has been appropriated for the Department of the Interior.
    Again, the Department appreciates the significant support and 
funding that this Committee has provided for the South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Initiative.
    Similar letters have been sent to the Honorable Norman Dicks, 
Ranking Minority Member; the Honorable Slade Gorton and the Honorable 
Robert C. Byrd, Chairman and Ranking Minority Member respectively, of 
the Subcommittee on the Department of the Interior and Related 
Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate.
            Sincerely,
John Berry, Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and 
                                                    Budget.
                                 ______
                                 
I. Introduction
    The Conference Committee Report language accompanying the 
Department of the Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for 
Fiscal Year 2000, Public Law 106-113, requested that the Department 
submit information, to be updated biennially, on the total cost of the 
effort to--restore the South Florida ecosystem. In relevant part, the 
report language states:
    It would be useful to have a complete estimate of the total costs 
to restore the South Florida ecosystem. The House and Senate Committees 
on Appropriations believe that this new estimate will exceed the 
$7,800,000,000 estimate that has been used over the last 5 years. This 
recalculated estimate should include all three goals of this 
initiative, namely, (1) getting the water right, (2) restoring and 
enhancing the natural habitat, and (3) transforming the built 
environment. The Congress and the American people are committed to this 
project. Over $1,300,000,000 has been appropriated to date; however, 
and the public deserves to know how much this project will truly cost. 
This information should be submitted to the House and Senate Committees 
on Appropriations no later than February 1, 2000, and should be updated 
biennially.
    The purpose of this report is to provide the House and Senate 
Appropriations Committees with the Department's best estimate for the 
total costs to restore the South Florida ecosystem. The estimate 
provided in Part V of this report reflects state and Federal costs to 
date for major on-going programs that advance the goals of the 
restoration effort, as well as future estimated costs to complete this 
work or associated with planned or proposed activities that are not yet 
underway. The estimate exceeds the $7.8 billion figure representing the 
costs to construct project features associated with the implementation 
of the Army Corps of Engineers' Central and Southern Florida Project 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan presented to Congress on July 
1, 1999. The Department believes that the actual costs to construct the 
Comprehensive Plan may be lower or higher depending upon a variety of 
factors, such as congressional authorization for project features that 
will undergo further site specific studies and analyses prior to 
initiating construction. The Department will update this report 
biennially to reflect any future changes.
    Although some of the activities included in the Department's total 
cost estimate began well before the emphasis in the last decade on 
ecosystem restoration (e.g., state land preservation efforts, the 
Modified Water Deliveries Project for Everglades National Park, the 
State of Florida's Everglades Construction Project), and may well have 
occurred without such increased emphasis, the Department is including 
the non-recurring costs for these activities as their completion is 
integral to the overall success of the restoration of the South Florida 
ecosystem Not included in the Department's estimate, however, are the 
normal recurring operating costs--or ``agency mission'' costs--for 
state and Federal agencies. For example, National Park Service costs to 
operate and maintain Everglades National Park, Fish and Wildlife 
Service costs to provide for Endangered Species Act consultation, and 
South Florida Water Management District costs to operate and maintain 
its water delivery infrastructure are not included. Although the 
Department has cited such figures in the past, as included in the Task 
Force's annual cross-cut budget, to describe its total funding in 
support of the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort, the 
Department believes that it is proper to exclude these agency mission 
costs and focus primarily on the increased funding devoted to this 
effort that occurred or is planned to occur due to specific restoration 
needs or goals.
    To provide context for the total cost estimate, Part II of this 
report provides a brief background on the South Florida ecosystem; Part 
III summarizes major on-going state and Federal efforts key to the 
restoration that preceded the establishment of the South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (Task Force) and the 1992 
congressional authorization and direction for the Army Corps of 
Engineers to complete its Restudy for the Central and Southern Florida 
Project; Part IV briefly describes future efforts; and Part V provides 
the Department's best estimate to date for the total costs to restore 
the South Florida ecosystem. The programs and associated costs included 
in Part V are arranged according to the three goals for the restoration 
effort; Federal and state costs are noted accordingly. Federal costs 
are further subdivided according to individual agencies.
    In accordance with the Committee's directive, this report will be 
updated biennially as more information becomes available and current 
plans and cost estimates are updated in response to lessons learned and 
new information. The Department believes that expanding knowledge of 
ecosystem restoration requirements in South Florida and Me process of 
adaptive management for implementation of the Comprehensive Plan will 
result in changes to the total cost estimate presented in Part V.
II. Background--South Florida Ecosystem
    In its natural state, the South Florida ecosystem was connected by 
the flow of water south from Lake Okeechobee through vast freshwater 
marshes--known as the Everglades--to Florida Bay and on to the coral 
reefs of the Florida Keys. The Everglades covered approximately 18,000 
square miles and were the heart of a unique and biologically productive 
region, supporting vast colonies of wading birds, a mixture of 
temperate and tropical plant and animal species, and teeming coastal 
fisheries.
    During the last century, efforts were made to drain the Everglades 
and make the region habitable. This culminated in the construction of 
the Central and Southern Florida Project, a flood control project 
jointly built and managed by the Army Corps of Engineers and the South 
Florida Water Management District. In response to periods of drought 
and extreme floods, which left 90 percent of South Florida under water, 
this project was authorized by Congress in 1948 and succeeded in 
draining half of the original Everglades, allowing for the expanded 
development of cities on the lower east coast of Florida and the 
farming area south of Lake Okeechobee known as the Everglades 
Agricultural Area (EAA). Although historically most rainwater soaked 
into the region's wetlands, the Central and Southern Florida Project 
canal system, comprised of over 1,800 miles of canals and levees and 
200 water control structures, now drains the water off the land such 
that an average of 1.7 billion gallons of water per day are discharged 
into the ocean. Additionally, phosphorus runoff from agricultural 
operations has polluted much of the remaining Everglades and Lake 
Okeechobee and caused fundamental, and negative, ecological change.
    As a result, not enough clean water is available for the 
environment, resulting in long-term problems for the Everglades and the 
communities in the region. Examples include: (i) 90 percent reductions 
in wading bird populations; (ii) 68 species listed as endangered or 
threatened; (iii) reduced fisheries in Biscayne and Florida Bays; (iv) 
loss of over five feet of organic soil in the EAA; (v) degraded water 
quality in inland and coastal areas; (vi) infestation and spread of 
invasive exotic plant species on over 1.5 million acres; (vii) damaging 
fresh water releases into the St. Lucie, Caloosahatchee, and many other 
estuaries; (viii) loss of wetlands that provide important species 
habitat and ground water recharge; (ix) loss of tree islands and 
damaging ecological effects in the state managed water conservation 
areas. Without significant infrastructure modification, these problems 
have the potential only to get worse and water shortages are a 
certainty in future years as water demands continue to grow.
    Today, South Florida is home to 6.5 million people and the 
population is expected to double by 2050. The region receives over 37 
million tourists annually and supports a $200 billion economy. 
Restoration is an imperative--not only for ensuring a sustainable South 
Florida economy to guarantee clean fresh water supplies for all future 
needs--but also to protect the ecological health of the Everglades that 
has been nationally and internationally recognized as like no other 
place on Earth.
III. Major On-Going State and Federal Efforts to Protect and Restore 
        the South Florida Ecosystem
    Over the last decade, and prior to the establishment of the South 
Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force in 1993, significant efforts 
have been made at both the Federal and state level to reverse the trend 
of environmental degradation in the Everglades. These efforts include: 
(i) improving water quality and reducing pollutants entering Lake 
Okeechobee and the Everglades from agricultural interests; (ii) 
restoring more natural hydropatterns in areas such as Everglades 
National Park and the Kissimmee River Basin; (iii) acquiring land for 
Federal and state conservation areas, regional water storage capacity, 
habitat and recreation; and (iv) management and protection of the coral 
reef through the trusteeship of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration's (NOAA) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. 
Although other activities are included in the total cost estimate, a 
brief summary of the most significant projects follows:
    Improving water quality: In the late 1970's, the State of Florida 
and the South Florida Water Management District began investigating 
ways to improve ecosystem water quality, including the Lake Okeechobee 
Works of the District, farm Best Management Practices, and a cattle 
buy-out program. By 1988, design had begun on the 3,700-acre Everglades 
Nutrient Removal Project. In 1988, the Federal Government sued the 
State of Florida for its failure to enforce state water quality 
standards on pollution discharges from the EAA into the Everglades. 
This lawsuit was settled in 1991 and a judicially enforceable Consent 
decree ordered the state to take a series of remedial measures, 
including the construction of stormwater treatment areas (STAB) on 
former farms in the EAA to help clean up farm runoff. The technical 
plan in the original Consent decree was expanded significantly after 
mediation with stakeholders. In 1994, the Florida legislature enacted 
the Everglades Forever Act, which codified proposed modifications to 
the consent decree as and provided for other measures to improve 
overall water quality, including funding mechanisms and construction 
timetable for a comprehensive program of six STAB, implementation of 
best management practices, additional research, establishing water 
quality criteria and implementation of advanced water quality treatment 
measures.
    Among the most important of these measures is the completion of the 
Everglades Construction Project, a series of six STAs presently under 
construction and located between the EAA and the natural areas to the 
south. Of the six STAB, five are funded by the State of Florida and the 
sixth, STA 1-E, is federally funded to improve water quality discharges 
into Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The Everglades Construction 
Project is expected to cost approximately $696 million in capital costs 
to complete, of which $505 million is being financed by the State of 
Florida and $190 million by the Federal Government (of which $46 
million was appropriated to the Department of the Interior in fiscal 
year 1998 for land acquisition within STA 1-E). Construction of the 
STAs are proposed to be complete in December 2006. Although that date 
has yet to be approved by the court, which retains jurisdiction over 
this matter, the projects called for by the Consent decree are 
implemented by the South Florida Water Management District.
    Additionally, as a result of the Everglades Forever Act, the South 
Florida Water Management District established the Everglades Stormwater 
Program, which includes two main components in the form of an EAA 
phosphorus reduction program and the Urban and Tributary Basins 
Program. The EAA phosphorus reduction program includes regulatory 
programs developed to reduce phosphorus loads from the EAA by reducing 
phosphorus on the surrounding farms and other adjacent land prior to 
discharging offsite. Landowners in the EAA have implemented a series of 
best management practices that have effectively reduced the phosphorus 
loads to the Everglades. Over the last 3 years, the total cumulative 
loads attributable to the EAA have been reduced by 44 percent. The 
Urban and Tributary Basins Program was developed to ensure that all 
basins discharging into, from or within the Everglades, other than 
those included in the EAA, meet state water quality standards. Costs 
associated with this program are not included in this report at this 
time as additional strategies, in the form of regulatory changes and 
construction, are still being developed.
    Generally, the STAs and farm Best Management Practices are expected 
to reduce overall phosphorus levels to 50 parts per billion (ppb), thus 
improving water quality from EAA discharges and other sources compared 
to current levels. However, the Everglades Forever Act requires the 
state to adopt a numeric criterion for phosphorus by 2003 so that all 
discharges into the Everglades will meet Federal and state water 
quality standards by 2006. If the state does not adopt a numeric 
criterion, the Everglades Forever Act sets a default standard of 1O 
ppb. It appears that additional measures will likely be needed to 
further enhance the performance of the STAs to meet these requirements; 
however, the costs to make such modifications are not known at this 
time. The South Florida Water Management District is presently 
conducting research into advanced treatment technologies to enhance the 
performance of the STAB, and also to be potentially applied to other 
tributaries of the Everglades. Although funding for the implementation 
of advanced treatment has not been appropriated, to date $10 million 
has been budgeted by the South Florida Water Management District toward 
that research. Once completed, these efforts are expected to 
significantly improve water quality for the region.
    As part of the effort to improve water quality in Lake Okeechobee, 
the South Florida Water Management District is conducting the Lake 
Okeechobee Sediment Removal Feasibility Study. The purpose of the study 
is to identify a feasible method of removing sediment that will reduce 
the internal phosphorus loading and balance the lake's nutrient 
assimilative capacity. Costs to implement this program are not known at 
this time.
    In addition to these measures, and in recognition of the critical 
role of water quality in maintaining coral reef natural resources, the 
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Protection Act of 1990 
required the Secretary of Commerce, the Environmental Protection 
Agency, and the State of Florida to develop a Water Quality Protection 
Program for the Sanctuary.
    Restoring more natural hydropatterns: More natural hydropatterns 
are presently being restored in Everglades National Park and the 
Kissimmee River Basin. In 1989, Congress enacted the Everglades 
National Park Protection and Expansion Act (Act) to expand Everglades 
National Park and to restore more natural sheet water flows to the park 
and Shark River Slough. To restore more natural sheet water flows to 
the park, the Act authorized the construction of the Modified Water 
Deliveries Project. That project is 100 percent federally funded by the 
Department of the Interior and is presently scheduled for completion in 
2003, depending upon the availability of Federal funding and completion 
of ongoing planning. The estimated total cost for this project is 
between $133.5 million and $212 million. The range of costs is based 
upon alternative design scenarios for certain project features that are 
presently undergoing supplemental National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) compliance. The project is undergoing supplemental NEPA 
compliance because: (i) the original project authorization was amended 
in 1994; and (ii) completion of both the C-111 project design and the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan expanded agency knowledge 
that raised questions concerning the original 1992 design for the 8.5 
Square Mile Area flood mitigation component of the Modified Water 
Deliveries Project. This led to technical disagreements among the 
relevant agencies and stakeholders over the appropriate course of 
action and alternatives are being explored under the NEPA process. If a 
locally preferred option for the 8.5 Square Mile Area component of this 
project is chosen the project will be cost shared between the Federal 
Government and the South Florida Water Management District. For the 
purposes of this report, a range of costs is presented for this 
project, although this does not indicate a decision by the Federal 
Government or the South Florida Water Management District to proceed 
with any of the alternatives presently being evaluated under NEPA.
    Authorized by Congress in 1992, the Kissimmee River Restoration 
project is intended to reverse the environmental devastation of earlier 
efforts to channel the once 103 mile free flowing river into a 56 mile 
canal, destroying nearly 43,000 acres of wetlands and important 
habitat. The project involves restoring about 40 square miles of the 
historic habitat in the Kissimmee river floodplain north of Lake 
Okeechobee, as well as restoring water-level fluctuations and seasonal 
discharges from Lakes Kissimmee and in the upper basin lakes. This 
project is estimated to cost approximately $518 million, is equally 
cost shared with the South Florida Water Management District, and is 
expected be complete in 2010.
    The C-111 project comprises modifications to the Central and 
Southern Florida Project to provide more natural hydrologic conditions 
in Taylor Slough and the panhandle of Everglades National Park and to 
minimize damaging flood releases to Barnes Sound and Manatee Bay. 
Restoring natural hydrologic conditions in Taylor Slough is integral to 
restoring fresh water flows to Florida Bay. The project was initially 
authorized by Congress in 1991 at a cost of 5155 million, including 
land, and a completion date of 2001. Reauthorized by Congress in 1996, 
the Army Corps is directed to consider state water quality standards 
and incorporate the necessary features into the C-111 project 
implementation. The 1996 authorization states that all project costs, 
including land, are to be shared equally between the Army Corps and the 
South Florida--Water Management District. A supplement to the 1994 C-
111 General Reevaluation Report will include actual land acquisition 
costs, a water quality strategy, redistribution of funding 
responsibilities and a revised implementation timeline, all of which 
may result in a revised cost estimate.
    In addition to improving water quality, certain components of the 
Everglades Construction Project described above will restore more 
natural hydropatterns in the northern Everglades presently severed by 
the Central and Southern Florida Project. The STA 1-E/C-51W Project 
will provide flood control for the western C-51 basin and will restore 
a portion of the historic Everglades flows to Loxahatchee National 
Wildlife Refuge. The current project was reauthorized by Congress in 
1996; project construction is 15 percent cost shared with the South 
Florida Water Management District, with the District providing all 
lands, easements and rights-of-way, with the exception of those lands 
that are incorporated into STA 1-E, as discussed below, which is 100 
percent federally funded and for which the Department of the Interior 
provided $46 million, through a grant to the South Florida Water 
Management District, toward land acquisition costs. The Department has 
just learned that the costs to complete land acquisition for STA 1-E 
will be higher, but does not have a revised estimate at this time. It 
is estimated that the STA 1-E/C-51W project will cost $210 million when 
complete in 2003, although this number will change once final land 
acquisition costs are known.
    Land Acquisition: The Federal and state governments have expended 
significant funds to acquire and protect lands in the region. Land 
acquisition is a critical part of ecosystem restoration as acquired 
lands are needed to protect key Federal and state conservation areas, 
create and restore additional water storage capacity and recharge areas 
to help increase overall water supplies and restore natural hydrology, 
and for habitat protection and enhancement and for recreation. As 
described above, some lands are also used to improve overall water 
quality (e.g. STAB).
    Significant actions taken to protect South Florida's natural 
resources since the establishment of Everglades National Park in 1947 
and its expansion in 1989 (together protecting 1.4 million acres of the 
remaining Everglades) include: (i) Florida's 1972 Land Conservation 
Act, 1981 Save Our Rivers Program, 1990 Preservation 2000 Act, and the 
Florida Forever Act that dedicate state funding for land acquisition at 
state parks and preserves in the ecosystem; (ii) the 1996 Federal 
Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (Farm Bill) that provided the 
Department with $200 million for ecosystem restoration, including land 
acquisition; and (iii) numerous annual Interior Appropriations Acts 
that have funded land acquisition at parks and refuges in the region, 
as well as additional state land acquisition assistance funds. The 
state assistance funds provided by the Department of the interior have, 
for the most part, been targeted toward acquisition of lands that 
create additional opportunities for water storage and are generally 
expected to be incorporated into a Comprehensive Plan project feature.
    Through these efforts, it is estimated that $1.6 billion has been 
spent to date (of which $1.1 billion is state funding and $0.5 billion 
is Federal) for the acquisition of 4.7 million acres. It is estimated 
that about 638,000 non-Federal acres remain to be acquired in South 
Florida at an estimated cost of $2.2 billion. These figures do not 
include the 220,000 acres of lands needed for the Comprehensive Plan 
implementation, which are included in the overall cost estimate for the 
Comprehensive Plan.
    Critical Restoration Projects: Pursuant to the Water Resources 
Development Act of 1996, the Army Corps and the South Florida Water 
Management District have entered into agreements to undertake nine 
critical restoration projects that will provide immediate and 
substantial benefits for the ecosystem. The Corps and the Seminole 
Tribe have entered into a similar agreement for one critical project. 
The ten projects have a total cost of $150 million, half of which will 
be paid for by the Federal Government. These projects, although small 
and including such features as improving flows under the Tamiami Trail, 
have immediate environmental benefits that will assist in achieving the 
goals of the restoration.
    Exotic Species Control: Commensurate with land acquisition is 
proper land management and efforts to eradicate and prevent the spread 
of invasive exotic plant species. More than 200 species of exotic plant 
species have invaded the Everglades. The majority of these species 
occur in limited areas, and do not pose a direct threat to native plant 
communities. However, plants like melaleuca, Brazilian pepper, 
Australian pine, and Old World climbing fern, are causing widespread 
damage throughout the South Florida ecosystem, and are considered 
species of primary concern. The South Florida Water Management 
District, state, and Federal Government are all directing resources to 
combat this problem. While areal coverage for some species will 
decrease with vigilant management efforts--which has been the case with 
melaleuca--new species could invade without additional management 
initiatives. The history of this problem indicates that management 
efforts will only intensify with time and should be considered a 
perpetual management requirement in the Everglades region.
IV. Proposed Future Everglades Restoration Efforts
    Despite the on-going efforts described above, it is widely 
recognized that full restoration of the South Florida would require an 
overhaul of the 1948 Central and Southern Florida Project. To this end, 
in the 1992 and 1996 Water Resources Development Acts, Congress 
directed the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a comprehensive review 
study (now known as the Comprehensive Plan) of the entire project with 
a focus on making changes that would restore, preserve and protect the 
environment, while also providing clean and adequate fresh water 
supplies and flood protection to communities. Completion of the 
Comprehensive Plan was an interagency and intergovernmental effort 
consisting of an inclusive and open process with opportunity for input 
from all stakeholders.
    The Comprehensive Plan was submitted to Congress on July 1, 1999. 
Comprised of over 60 structural and operational elements, the 
Comprehensive Plan proposes a conceptual Stonework to store water for 
critical uses; manage water to improve the quality, quantity, timing 
and distribution of flows to the Everglades; improve wildlife habitat; 
and create wetlands to filter runoff. The estimated non-recurring 
capital cost, including real estate acquisition and construction of 
project features, for the Comprehensive Plan is $7.8 billion, of which 
50 percent is proposed to be provided by the state, with the remainder 
provided by the Federal Government. . Operating costs, or those costs 
that recur on an annual basis, are estimated at $172 million per year 
at full build out and are not included in the total cost estimate as 
they resemble agency mission costs that were excluded for other 
programs. The Administration shortly expects to submit its 
authorization proposal for an initial suite of projects to implement 
the Comprehensive Plan. It is expected that the Comprehensive Plan will 
take more than 20 years to complete, with the Army Corps of Engineers 
providing nearly all of the Federal funding. Its completion is integral 
to achieving two of the three goals of the restoration effort, 
discussed further below, and it is the single largest cost component of 
the restoration effort.
    Also in 1996, in an effort to encourage appropriate Federal and 
state agencies to work more closely together, the Congress established 
the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (Task Force), 
chaired by the Secretary of the Interior, with the mandate to guide the 
restoration of the South Florida ecosystem. To this end, the Task Force 
established degree goals: (1) getting the water right: that is, to 
restore a more natural water flow to the region while providing 
adequate water supplies, water quality and flood control; (2) restore 
and enhance the natural system, protecting natural habitats and 
reestablishing threatened and endangered species; and (3) transform the 
built environment to develop lifestyles and economies that do not 
degrade the natural environment and improve the quality of life in 
urban areas.
    The Task Force is presently developing a Strategic Plan, to be 
submitted to Congress by July 31, 2000, that will integrate on-going 
efforts with future proposed actions like the Comprehensive Plan. The 
Strategic Plan will outline how the overall restoration of the South 
Florida ecosystem will occur, identify the resources needed to 
accomplish restoration objectives, assign accountability for 
accomplishing actions, and link the goals established by the Task Force 
to outcome-oriented goals. At this time, and based upon input from 
State of Florida stakeholders, the state is reviewing Goal 3, 
``transforming the built environment,'' including state proposals for 
managing growth. Because implementation of Goal 3 is largely viewed as 
a state responsibility and the State of Florida is considering how to 
address this issue, the Department is including only estimated Federal 
costs in support of the present goal. The Department expects that the 
completion of the Strategic Plan will result in an improved ability to 
report on costs to implement this goal.
V. Estimated Total Costs for the Restoration of the South Florida 
        Ecosystem
    This section presents the Department's best estimate for the total 
costs for South Florida ecosystem restoration. As noted earlier, these 
costs are comprised of: (1) major on-going programs; and (2) future 
planned activities that may change, based uponsite specific designs and 
new information, or may require future Federal and/or state legislative 
authorization.
    Finally, this report may not have captured all of the costs that 
could be categorized by some as meeting the goals of Everglades 
restoration. A sustainable environment will also need a diverse and 
balanced economy. The regional economy should continue to support 
traditional industries such as agriculture, tourism, development, 
fishing and manufacturing. It must ensure that these resource-dependent 
industries are compatible with restoration goals and will maintain or 
enhance the quality of life in built areas. It is difficult to quantify 
the costs of responsible development that would include such 
characteristics as redeveloping declining urban areas, roads, 
utilities, services, and light rail, to name a few.
    Managing growth and development problems cannot be solved by each 
local government acting alone. Roads do not stop at city and county 
boundaries. Our major natural resources and ecosystems frequently 
encompass parts of many local jurisdictions. A decision by one local 
government to construct a major public facility or permit private 
development can have a significant impact on an entire region, and the 
collective decisions of all local governments affect the entire state.
    Among its recommendations to Congress in July 1999, the 
Comprehensive Plan recommended a feasibility study to identify the 
dominant water and environmental resource issues in southwest Florida 
in view of robust population growth in the region and to develop 
potential solutions to any problems that may be identified. The 
Southwest Florida Study is being conducted by the Army Corps and the 
South Florida Water Management District. The study area includes all of 
Lee County, most of Collier and Hendry Counties, and portions of 
Charlotte, Glades and Monroe Counties. It encompasses approximately 
4,300 square miles and includes two major drainage basins. It is likely 
that this feasibility study could recommend programs and costs that 
would support any of the goals of the restoration effort. At this time, 
however, no costs are included as they are not yet known.
    In accordance with the Committee's direction, the Department 
expects to provide updates of this information on at least a biennial 
basis, or more frequently should it be desired, so that all parties 
involved are aware of the significant Federal, state and local 
investments that are being made in this important effort. Following are 
estimated total costs, arranged according to the ecosystem restoration 
goals:












                               __________
                           U.S. Department of the Interior,
                                   Office of the Secretary,
                                     Washington, DC, March 8, 2000.

Honorable Ralph Regula, Chairman,
Subcommittee on the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies,
Committee on Appropriations,
House of Representatives,
Washington, DC 20515.

Dear Mr. Chairman: The Conference Committee Report language 
accompanying the Department of the Interior and Related Agencies 
Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2000, Public Law 106-113, requested 
that the Department submit information, to be.updated biennially, on 
the total cost of the effort to restore the South Florida ecosystem. In 
relevant part, the report language states:
    It would be useful to have a complete estimate of the total costs 
to restore the South Florida ecosystem. The House and Senate Committees 
on Appropriations believe that this new estimate will exceed the 
$7,800,000,000 estimate that has been used over the last 5 years. This 
recalculated estimate should include all three goals of this 
initiative, namely. (1) getting the water right, (2) restoring and 
enhancing the natural habitat, and (3) transforming the built 
environment. The Congress and the American people are committed to this 
project. Over $1,300,000,000 has been appropriated to date; however, 
and the public deserves to know how much this project will truly cost. 
This information should be submitted to the House and Senate Committees 
on Appropriations no later than February 1, 2000, and should be updated 
biennially.
    The $7.8 billion figure cited in the report language represents the 
estimated costs to construct project features associated with the 
implementation--over the next 20 years or so--of the Army Corps of 
Engineers' Central and Southern Florida Project Review Study (Restudy). 
The Restudy, now known as the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration 
Plan, or Comprehensive Plan, was submitted to the Congress on July 1, 
1999 and is integral to achieving two of the three goals of the 
restoration: (1) ``getting the water right'' to restore more natural 
water flows to the ecosystem, while guaranteeing regional water 
supplies and flood control; and (2) restoring and enhancing the natural 
system. Because congressional authorization is required for the 
Comprehensive Plan's proposed project features, and individual project 
features must undergo additional site specific studies and analyses, 
the Department believes that the overall cost to implement this 
significant and important component of the restoration effort could be 
lower or higher depending upon future analyses and site specific 
studies. Nothing in this report changes the present estimate of $7.8 
billion to complete the Comprehensive Plan, for which the State of 
Florida will provide half, or $3.9 billion, of the cost.
    To develop the total cost estimate, the Department included the 
cost of the Comprehensive Plan, as well as certain on-going programs 
that pre-date the emphasis on ecosystem restoration that developed 
since the establishment of the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task 
Force in 1993. This includes several projects authorized prior to and 
independent of the Comprehensive Plan. For example, the Congress and 
the State of Florida have enacted legislation requiring the appropriate 
agencies to take certain steps toward restoration. The Department has 
included the costs for these measures because they actively promote 
overall restoration goals and establish baseline conditions for the 
Comprehensive Plan. An example of this type of cost is the Everglades 
Construction Project, authorized by the State of Florida's 1994 
Everglades Forever Act and undertaken by the South Florida Water 
Management District as a direct result of a judicially enforceable 
consent decree settling water quality litigation brought by the United 
States against the South Florida Water Management District in 1988. The 
Everglades Construction Project is designed to significantly improve 
overall regional water quality through the construction of stormwater 
treatment areas.
    The Department has excluded certain ``agency mission'' costs, which 
are generally recurring in nature, including the operation and 
maintenance costs for the Central and Southern Florida Project, and 
operational costs for national parks and national wildlife refuges 
because the Department believes that these costs would occur without 
any additional emphasis on ecosystem restoration.
    In response to the Committee's request, the Department submits the 
enclosed report with its best estimate for the total costs to restore 
the South Florida ecosystem. As noted in the report, the Department's 
total cost estimate is $14.8 billion, of which $8.4 billion are solely 
the responsibility of the State of Florida and $6.4 billion are Federal 
costs. This total cost estimate represents state and Federal costs to 
date for major on-going programs that advance the goals of the 
restoration effort, as well as future estimated costs associated with 
planned or proposed activities that require congressional authorization 
or are in the preliminary planning stages. Of the Federal costs 
included in this report, $1.3 billion is estimated to be Department of 
the Interior funding supporting Goals 1 and 2; of which $907 million 
represents funding through fiscal year 2000, and $405 million is 
estimated as the balance to complete, subject to the availability of 
future appropriations. A tabular display, by goal, of this cost 
estimate follows on the next page:
    As noted in Part V of this report, the Department has limited 
information concerning state programs affecting Goal 3, ``transforming 
the built environment.'' The state programs affecting Goal 3 are under 
review at this time in response to recent state proposals to manage 
growth and--may be slightly revised, thus the Department is including 
information on Federal programs that it believes support this goal. 
Updated information concerning Goal 3 will be included in the Strategic 
Plan due this July, and a revised cost estimate for Goal 3 will be 
provided at that time.
    The Department appreciates the significant support and funding that 
this Committee has provided for the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration 
Initiative. The Department notes that the State of Florida has recently 
committed to fund its share of the Comprehensive Plan and the 
Department looks forward to working with the Committee to secure the 
necessary funding and legislative authorization that will be required 
to continue our important work in this effort, protect the Federal 
investments made to date in national parks and national wildlife 
refuges, and most importantly, save America's Everglades. The 
Department would be pleased to discuss this report and its contents 
with you further. Similar letters have been sent to the Honorable 
Norman Dicks, Ranking Minority Member; the Honorable Slade Gorton and 
the Honorable Robert C. Byrd, Chairman and Ranking Minority Member 
respectively, of the Subcommittee on the Department of the Interior and 
Related Agencies, Committee on Appropriations, U.S. Senate.
            Sincerely,
    John Berry, Assistant Secretary Policy, Management and 
                                                    Budget.
                                 ______
                                 
I. Introduction
    The Conference Committee Report language the Department of the 
Interior and Related Agencies Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2000, 
Public Law 106-113, requested that the Department submit information. 
to be updated biennially, on the total cost of the effort to restore 
the South Florida ecosystem In relevant part, the report language 
states:
    It would be useful to have a complete estimate of the total costs 
to restore the South Florida ecosystem. The House and Senate Committees 
on Appropriations believe that this new estimate will exceed the 
$7,800,000,000 estimate that has been used over the last 5 years. This 
recalculated estimate should include all three goals of this 
initiative, namely. (1) getting the water right, (2) restoring and 
enhancing the natural habitat, and (3) transforming the built 
environment. The Congress and the American people are committed to this 
project. Over $1,300,000,000 has been appropriated to date; however, 
and the public deserves to know how much this project will truly cost. 
This information should be submitted to the House and Senate Committees 
on Appropriations no later than February 1, 2000, and should be updated 
biennially.
    The purpose of this report is to provide the House and Senate 
Appropriations Committees with the Department's best estimate for the 
total costs to restore the South Florida ecosystem. The estimate 
provided in Part V of this report reflects state and Federal costs to 
date for major ongoing programs that advance the goals of the 
restoration effort, as well as future estimated costs to complete this 
work or associated with planned or proposed activities that are not yet 
underway. The estimate exceeds the $7.8 billion figure representing the 
costs to construct project features associated with the implementation 
of the Army Corps of Engineers' Central and Southern Florida Project 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan presented to Congress on July 
1, 1999. The Department believes that the actual costs to construct the 
Comprehensive Plan may be lower or higher depending upon a variety of 
factors, such as congressional authorization for project features that 
will undergo further site specific studies and analyses prior to 
initiating construction. The Department will update this report 
biennially to reflect any future changes.
    Although some of the activities included in the Department's total 
cost estimate began well before the emphasis in the last decade on 
ecosystem restoration (e.g. state land preservation efforts, the 
Modified Water Deliveries Project for Everglades National Park, the 
State of Florida's Everglades Construction Project), and may well have 
occurred without such increased emphasis, the Department is including 
the non-recurring costs for these activities as their completion is 
integral to the overall success of the restoration of the South Florida 
ecosystem. Not included in the Department's estimate, however, are the 
normal recurring operating costs--or ``agency mission'' costs--for 
state and Federal agencies. For example, National Park Service costs to 
operate and maintain Everglades National Park, Fish and Wildlife 
Service costs to provide for Endangered Species Act consultation, and 
South Florida Water Management District costs to operate and maintain 
its water delivery infrastructure are not included. Although the 
Department has cited such figures in the past, as included in the Task 
Force's annual cross-cut budget, to describe its total funding in 
support of the South Florida ecosystem restoration effort, the 
Department believes that it is proper to exclude these agency mission 
costs and focus primarily on the increased funding denoted to this 
effort that occurred or is planned to occur due to specific restoration 
needs or goals.
    To provide context for the total cost estimate, Part II of this 
report provides a brief background on the South Florida ecosystem; Part 
III summarizes major on-going state and Federal efforts key to the 
restoration that preceded the establishment of the South Florida 
Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (Task Force) and the 1992 
congressional authorization and direction for the Army Corps of 
Engineers to complete its Restudy for the Central and Southern Florida 
Project; Part IV briefly describes future efforts; and Part V provides 
the Department's best estimate to date for the total costs to restore 
the South Florida ecosystem. The programs and associated costs included 
in Part V are arranged according to the three goals for the restoration 
effort; Federal and state costs are noted accordingly. Federal costs 
are further subdivided according to individual agencies.
    In accordance with the Committee's directive, this report will be 
updated biennially as more information becomes available and current 
plans and cost estimates are updated in response to lessons learned and 
new information. The Department believes that expanding knowledge of 
ecosystem restoration requirements in South Florida and the process of 
adaptive management for implementation of the Comprehensive Plan will 
result in changes to the total cost estimate presented in Part V.
II. Background--South Florida Ecosystem
    In its natural state, the South Florida ecosystem was connected by 
the flow of water south from Lake Okeechobee through vast freshwater 
marshes--known as the Everglades--to Florida Bay and on to the coral 
reefs of the Florida Keys. The Everglades covered approximately 18,000 
square miles and were the heart of a unique and biologically productive 
region, supporting vast colonies of wading birds, a mixture of 
temperate and tropical plant and animal species, and teeming coastal 
fisheries.
    During the last century, efforts were made to drain the Everglades 
and make the region habitable. This culminated in the construction of 
the Central and Southern Florida Project, a flood control project 
jointly built and managed by the Army Corps of Engineers and the South 
Florida Water Management District. In response to periods of drought 
and extreme floods, which left 90 percent of South Florida under water, 
this project was authorized by Congress in 1948 and succeeded in 
draining half of the original Everglades, allowing for the expanded 
development of cities on the lower east coast of Florida and the 
farming area south of Lake Okeechobee known as the Everglades 
Agricultural Area (EAA). Although historically most rainwater soaked 
into the region's wetlands, the Central and Southern Florida Project 
canal system, comprised of over 1,800 miles of canals and levees and 
200 water control structures, now drains the water off the land such 
that an average of 1.7 billion gallons of water per day are discharged 
into the ocean.
    Additionally, phosphorus runoff from agricultural operations has 
polluted much of the remaining Everglades and Lake Okeechobee and 
caused fundamental, and negative, ecological change.
    As a result, not enough clean water is available for the 
environment, resulting in long-term problems for the Everglades and the 
communities in the region. Examples include (i) 90 percent reductions 
in wading bird populations, (ii) 68 species listed as endangered or 
threatened, (iii) reduced fisheries in Biscayne and Florida Bays; (iv) 
loss of over five feet of organic soil in the EAA, (v) degraded water 
quality in inland and coastal areas, (vi) infestation and spread of 
invasive exotic plant species on over 1.5 million acres; (vii) damaging 
fresh water releases into the St. Lucie, Caloosahatchee, and many other 
estuaries, (viii) loss of wetlands that provide important species 
habitat and ground water recharge; (ix) loss of tree islands and 
damaging ecological effects in the state managed water conservation 
areas. Without significant infrastructure modification, these problems 
have the potential only to get worse and water shortages are a 
certainty in future years as water demands continue to grow.
    Today, South Florida is home to 6.5 million people and the 
population is expected to double by 2050. The region receives over 37 
million tourists annually and supports a $200 billion economy 
Restoration is an imperative--not only for ensuring a sustainable South 
Florida economy to guarantee clean fresh water supplies for all future 
needs--but also to protect the ecological health of the Everglades that 
has been nationally and internationally recognized as like no other 
place on Earth.
III. Major On-Going State and Federal Efforts to Protect and Restore 
        the South Florida Ecosystem
    Over the last decade, and prior to the establishment of the South 
Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force in 1993, significant efforts 
have been made at both the Federal and state level to reverse the trend 
of environmental degradation in the Everglades. These efforts include: 
(i) improving water quality and reducing pollutants entering Lake 
Okeechobee and the Everglades from agricultural interests; (ii) 
restoring more natural hydropatterns in areas such as Everglades 
National Park and the Kissimmee River Basin; (iii) acquiring land for 
Federal and state conservation areas, regional water storage capacity, 
habitat and recreation; and (iv) management and protection of the coral 
reef through the trusteeship of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric 
Administration's (NOAA) Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. 
Although other activities are included in the total cost estimate, a 
brief summary of the most significant projects follows:
    Improving water quality: In the late 1970's, the State of Florida 
and the South Florida Water Management District began investigating 
ways to improve ecosystem water quality, including the Lake Okeechobee 
Works of the District, farm Best Management Practices, and a cattle 
buy-out program. By 1988, design had begun on the 3,700-acre Everglades 
Nutrient Removal Project in 1988, the Federal Government sued the State 
of Florida for its failure to enforce state water quality standards on 
pollution discharges from the EAA into the Everglades. This lawsuit was 
settled in 1991 and a judicially enforceable Consent decree ordered the 
state to take a series of remedial measures, the construction of 
stormwater treatment areas (STAs) on former farms in the EAA to help 
clean up farm runoff. The technical plan in the original Consent decree 
was expanded significantly after mediation with stakeholders. In 1994, 
the Florida legislature enacted the Everglades Forever Act, which 
codified proposed modifications to the consent decree as and provided 
for other measures to improve overall water quality, including funding 
mechanisms and construction timetable for a comprehensive program of 
six STAs, implementation of best management practices, additional 
research, establishing water quality criteria and implementation of 
advanced water quality treatment measures.
    Among the most important of these measures is the completion of the 
Everglades Construction Project, a series of six STAs presently under 
construction and located between the EAA and the natural areas to the 
south. Of the six STAB, five are funded by the State of Florida and the 
sixth. STA 1-E, is federally funded to improve water quality discharges 
into Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge. The Everglades Construction 
Project is expected to cost approximately $696 million in capital costs 
to complete, of which $505 million is being financed by the State of 
Florida and $190 million by the Federal Government (of which $46 
million was appropriated to the Department of the Interior in fiscal 
year 1998 for land acquisition within STA 1-E). Construction of the 
STAs are proposed to be complete in December 2006. Although that date-
has yet to be approved by the court, which retains jurisdiction over 
this matter, the projects called for by the Consent decree are 
implemented by the South Florida Water Management District.
    Additionally, as a result of the Everglades Forever Act, the South 
Florida Water Management District established the Everglades Stormwater 
Program, which includes two main components in the form of an EAA 
phosphorus reduction program and the Urban and Tributary Basins Program 
The EAA phosphorus reduction program includes regulatory programs 
developed to reduce phosphorus loads from the EAA by reducing 
phosphorus on the surrounding farms and other adjacent land prior to 
discharging offsite. Landowners in the EAA have implemented a series of 
best management practices that have effectively reduced the phosphorus 
loads to the Everglades. Over the last 3 years, the total cumulative 
loads attributable to the EAA have been reduced by 44 percent. The 
Urban and Tributary Basins Program was developed to ensure that all 
basins discharging into, from or within the Everglades, other than 
those included in the EAA, meet state water quality standards. Costs 
associated with this program are not included in this report at this 
time as additional strategies, in the form of regulatory changes and 
construction, are still being developed.
    Generally, the STAs and farm Best Management Practices are expected 
to reduce overall phosphorus levels to 50 parts per billion (ppb), thus 
improving water quality from EAA discharges and other sources compared 
to current levels. However, the Everglades Forever Act requires the 
state to adopt a numeric criterion for phosphorus by 2003 so that all 
discharges into the Everglades will meet Federal and state water 
quality standards by 2006. If the state does not adopt a numeric 
criterion, the Everglades Forever Act sets a default standard of 10 
ppb. It appears that additional measures will likely be needed to 
further enhance the performance of the STAs to meet these requirements; 
however, the costs to make such modifications are not known at this 
time The South Florida Water Management District is presently 
conducting research into advanced treatment technologies to enhance the 
performance of the STAs, and also are potentially applied to other 
tributaries of the Everglades. Although funding for the implementation 
of advanced treatment has not been appropriated, to date $10 million 
has been budgeted by the South Florida Water Management District toward 
that research. Once completed, these efforts are expected to 
significantly improve water quality for the region.
    As part of the effort to improve water quality in Lake Okeechobee, 
the South Florida Water Management District is conducting the Lake 
Okeechobee Sediment Removal Feasibility Study. The purpose of the study 
is to identify a feasible method of removing sediment that will reduce 
the internal phosphorus loading and balance the lake's nutrient 
assimilative capacity. Costs to implement this program are not known at 
this time.
    In addition to these measures, and in recognition of the critical 
role of water quality in maintaining coral reef natural resources, the 
Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and Protection Act of 1990 
required the Secretary of Commerce, the Environmental Protection 
Agency, and the State of Florida to develop a Water Quality Protection 
Program for the Sanctuary.
    Restoring more natural hydropatterns: More natural hydropatterns 
are presently being restored in Everglades National Park and the 
Kissimmee River Basin. In 1989, Congress enacted the Everglades 
National Park Protection and Expansion Act (Act) to expand Everglades 
National Park and to restore more natural sheet water flows to the park 
and Shark River Slough. To restore more natural sheet water flows to 
the park, the Act authorized the construction of the Modified Water 
Deliveries Project. That project is 100 percent federally funded by the 
Department of the Interior and is presently scheduled for completion in 
2003, depending upon the availability of Federal funding and completion 
of ongoing planning. The estimated total cost for this project is 
between $133.5 million and $212 million. The range of costs is based 
upon alternative design scenarios for certain project features that are 
presently undergoing supplemental National Environmental Policy Act 
(NEPA) compliance. The project is undergoing supplemental PAPA 
compliance because: (i) the original project authorization was amended 
in 1994, and (ii) completion of both the C-111 project design and the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan expanded agency knowledge 
that raised questions concerning the original 1992 design for the 8.5 
Square Mile Area flood mitigation component of the Modified Water 
Deliveries Project. This led to technical disagreements among the 
relevant agencies and stakeholders over the appropriate course of 
action and alternatives are being explored under the NEPA process. If a 
locally preferred option for the 8.5 Square Mile Area component of this 
project is chosen the project will be cost-shared between the Federal 
Government and the South Florida Water Management District. For the 
purposes of this report, a range of costs is presented for this 
project, although this does not indicate a decision by the Federal 
Government or the South Florida Water Management District to proceed 
with any of the alternatives presently being evaluated under NEPA.
    Authorized by Congress in 1992, the Kissimmee River Restoration 
project is intended to reverse the environmental devastation of earlier 
efforts to channel the once 103 mile free flowing river into a 56 mile 
canal, destroying nearly 43,000 acres of wetlands and important 
habitat. The project involves restoring about 40 square miles of the 
historic habitat in the Kissimmee river floodplain north of Lake 
Okeechobee, as well as restoring water-level fluctuations and seasonal 
discharges from Lakes Kissimmee and in the upper basin lakes. This 
project is estimated to cost approximately $18 million, is equally cost 
shared with the South Florida Water Management District, and is 
expected be complete in 2010.
    The C-111 project comprises modifications to the Central and 
Southern Florida Project to provide more natural hydrologic conditions 
in Taylor Slough and the panhandle of Everglades National Park and to 
minimize damaging flood releases to Barnes Sound and Manatee Bay. 
Restoring natural hydrologic conditions in Taylor Slough is integral to 
restoring fresh water flows to Florida Bay. The project was initially 
authorized by Congress in 1991 at a cost of $155 million, including 
land, and a completion date of 2001. Reauthorized by Congress in 1996, 
the Army Corps is directed to consider state water quality standards 
and incorporate the necessary features into the C-111 project 
implementation. The 1996 authorization states that all project costs, 
including land, are to be shared equally between the Army Corps and the 
South Florida Water Management District. A supplement to the 1994 C-111 
General Reevaluation Report will include actual land acquisition costs, 
a water quality strategy, redistribution of funding responsibilities 
and a revised, implementation timeline, all of which may result in a 
revised cost estimate.
    In addition to improving water quality, certain components of the 
Everglades Construction Project described above will restore more 
natural hydropatterns in the northern Everglades presently severed by 
the Central and Southern Florida Project. The STA 1-E/C-51W Project 
will provide flood control for the western C-51 basin and will restore 
a portion of the historic Everglades flows to Loxahatchee National 
Wildlife Refuge. The current project was reauthorized by Congress in 
1996; project construction is 15 percent cost shared with the South 
Florida Water Management District, with the District providing all 
lands, easements and rights-of-way, with the exception of those lands 
that are incorporated into STA 1-E, as discussed below, which is 100 
percent federally funded and for which the Department of the Interior 
provided $46 million, through a grant to the South Florida Water 
Management District, toward land acquisition costs. The Department has 
just learned that the costs to complete land acquisition for STA 1-E 
will be higher, but does not have a revised estimate at this time. It 
is estimated that the STA 1-E/C-51W project will cost $210 million when 
complete in 2003, although this number will change once final land 
acquisition costs are known.
    Land Acquisition: The Federal and state governments have expended 
significant funds to acquire and protect lands in the region. Land 
acquisition is a critical part of ecosystem restoration as acquired 
lands are needed to protect key Federal and state conservation areas, 
create and restore additional water storage capacity and recharge areas 
to help increase overall water supplies and restore natural hydrology, 
and for habitat protection and enhancement and for recreation. As 
described above, some lands are also used to improve overall water 
Quality (em. STAs).
    Significant actions taken to protect South Florida's natural 
resources since the establishment of Everglades National Park in 1947 
and its expansion in 1989 (together protecting 1.4 million acres of the 
remaining Everglades) include (i) Florida's 1972 Land Conservation Act, 
1981 Save Our Rivers Program, 1990 Preservation 2000 Act, and the 
Florida Forever Act that dedicate state funding for land acquisition at 
state parks and preserves in the ecosystem, (ii) the 1996 Federal 
Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (Farm Bill) that provided the 
Department with $200 million for ecosystem restoration, including land 
acquisition; and (iii) numerous annual Interior Appropriations Acts 
that have funded land acquisition at parks and refuges in the region, 
as well as additional state land acquisition assistance funds. The 
state assistance funds provided by the Department of the Interior have, 
for the most part, been targeted toward acquisition of lands that 
create additional opportunities for water storage and are generally 
expected to be incorporated into a Comprehensive Plan project feature.
    Through these efforts, it is estimated that $1.6 billion has been 
spent to date (of which $1.6 billion is state funding and $0.5 billion 
is Federal) for the acquisition of 4.7 million acres. It is estimated 
that about 638,000 non-Federal acres remain to be acquired in South 
Florida at an estimated cost of $2.2 billion. These figures do not 
include the 220,000 acres of lands needed for the Comprehensive Plan 
implementation, which are included in the overall cost estimate for the 
Comprehensive Plan.
    Critical Restoration Projects: Pursuant to the Water Resources 
Development Act of 1996, the Army Corps and the South Florida Water 
Management District have entered into agreements to undertake nine 
critical restoration projects that will provide immediate and 
substantial benefits for the ecosystem. The Corps and the Seminole 
Tribe have entered into a similar agreement for one critical project. 
The ten projects have a total cost of $150 million, half of which will 
be paid for by the Federal Government. These projects, although small 
and including such features as improving flows under the Tamiami Trail, 
have immediate environmental benefits that will assist in achieving the 
goals of the restoration.
    Exotic Species Control: Commensurate with land acquisition is 
proper land management and efforts to eradicate and prevent the spread 
of invasive exotic plant species. More than 200 species of exotic plant 
species have invaded the Everglades. The majority of these species 
occur in limited areas, and do not pose a direct threat to native plant 
communities. However, plants like melaleuca, Brazilian pepper, 
Australian pine, and Old World climbing fern, are causing widespread 
damage throughout the South Florida ecosystem, and are considered 
species of primary concern. The South Florida Water Management 
District, state, and Federal Government are all directing resources to 
combat this problem. While areal coverage for some species will 
decrease with vigilant management efforts--which has been the case with 
melaleuca--new species could invade without additional management 
initiatives. The history of this problem indicates that management 
efforts will only intensify with time and should be considered a 
perpetual management requirement in the Everglades region.
IV. Proposed Future Everglades Restoration Efforts
    Despite the on-going efforts described above, it is widely 
recognized that full restoration of the South Florida would require an 
overhaul of the 1948 Central and Southern Florida Project To this end, 
in the 1992 and 1996 Water Resources Development Acts. Congress 
directed the Army Corps of Engineers to conduct a comprehensive review 
study (now known as the Comprehensive Plan) of the entire project with 
a focus on making changes that would restore, preserve and protect the 
environment while also providing clean and adequate fresh water 
supplies and flood protection to communities. Completion of the 
Comprehensive Plan was an interagency and intergovernmental effort 
consisting of an inclusive and open process with opportunity for input 
from all stakeholders.
    The Comprehensive Plan was submitted to Congress on July 1, 1999. 
Comprised of over 60 structural and operational elements, the 
Comprehensive Plan proposes a conceptual framework to store water for 
critical uses; manage water to improve the quality, quantity, timing 
and distribution of flows to the Everglades; improve wildlife habitat; 
and create wetlands to filter runoff. The estimated non-recurring 
capital cost, including real estate acquisition and construction of 
project features, for the Comprehensive Plan is $7.8 billion, of which 
50 percent is proposed to be provided by the state, with the remainder 
provided by the Federal Government Operating costs, or those costs that 
recur on an annual basis, are estimated at $172 million per year at 
full build out and are not included in the total cost estimate as they 
resemble agency mission costs that were excluded for other programs. 
The Administration shortly expects to submit its authorization proposal 
for an initial suite of projects to implement the Comprehensive Plan. 
It is expected that the Comprehensive Plan will take more than 20 years 
to complete, with the Army Corps of Engineers providing nearly all of 
the Federal funding. Its completion is integral to achieving two of the 
three goals of the restoration effort, discussed further below, and it 
is the single largest cost component of the restoration effort.
    Also in 1996, in an effort to encourage appropriate Federal and 
state agencies to work more closely together, the Congress established 
the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (Task Force), 
chaired by the Secretary of the Interior, with the mandate to guide the 
restoration of the South Florida ecosystem. To this end, the Task Force 
established three goals: (1) getting the water right: that is, to 
restore a more natural water flow to the region while providing 
adequate water supplies, water quality and flood control; (2) restore 
and enhance the natural system, protecting natural habitats and 
reestablishing threatened and endangered species; and (3) transform the 
built environment to develop lifestyles and economies that do not 
degrade the natural environment and improve the quality of life in 
urban areas.
    The Task Force is presently developing a Strategic Plan, to be 
submitted to Congress by July 31, 2000, that will integrate on-going 
efforts with future proposed actions like the Comprehensive Plan. The 
Strategic Plan will outline how the overall restoration of the South 
Florida ecosystem will occur, identify the resources needed to 
accomplish restoration objectives, assign accountability for 
accomplishing actions, and link the goals established by the Task Force 
to outcome-oriented goals. At this time, and based upon input from 
State of Florida stakeholders, the state is reviewing Goal 3, 
``transforming the built environment,'' including state proposals for 
managing growth. Because implementation of Goal 3 is largely viewed as 
a state responsibility and the State of Florida is considering how to 
address this issue, the Department is including only estimated Federal 
costs in support of the present goal. The Department expects that the 
completion of the Strategic Plan will result in an improved ability to 
report on costs to implement this goal.
V. Estimated Total Costs for the Restoration of the South Florida 
        Ecosystem
    This section presents the Department's best estimate for the total 
costs for South Florida ecosystem restoration. As noted earlier, these 
costs are comprised of: (1) major on-going programs; and (2) future 
planned activities that may change, based uponsite specific designs and 
new information, or may require future Federal and/or state legislative 
authorization.
    Finally, this report may not have captured all of the costs that 
could be categorized by some as meeting the goals of Everglades 
restoration. A sustainable environment will also need a diverse and 
balanced economy. The regional economy should continue to support 
traditional industries such as agriculture, tourism, development, 
fishing and manufacturing. It must ensure that these resource-dependent 
industries are compatible with restoration goals and will maintain or 
enhance the quality of life in built areas. It is difficult to quantify 
the costs of responsible development that would include such 
characteristics as redeveloping declining urban areas, roads, 
utilities, services, and light rail, to name a few.
    Managing growth and development problems cannot be solved by each 
local government acting alone. Roads do not stop at city and county 
boundaries. Our major natural resources and ecosystems frequently 
encompass parts of many local jurisdictions. A decision by one local 
government to construct a major public facility or permit private 
development can have a significant impact on an entire region, and the 
collective decisions of all local governments affect the entire state.
    Among its recommendations to Congress in July 1999, the 
Comprehensive Plan recommended a feasibility study to identify the 
dominant water and environmental resource issues in southwest Florida 
in view of robust population growth in the region and to develop 
potential solutions to any problems that may be identified. The 
Southwest Florida Study is being conducted by the Army Corps and the 
South Florida Water Management District. The study area includes all of 
Lee County, most of Collier and Hendry Counties, and portions of 
Charlotte, Glades and Monroe Counties. It encompasses approximately 
4.300 square miles and includes two major drainage basins. It is likely 
that this feasibility study could recommend programs and costs that 
would support any of the goals of the restoration effort. At this time, 
however, no costs are included as they are not yet known.
    In accordance with the Committee's direction, the Department 
expects to provide updates of this information on at least a biennial 
basis, or more frequently should it be desired, so that all parties 
involved are aware of the significant Federal, state and local 
investments that are being made In this important effort. Following are 
estimated total costs, arranged according to the ecosystem restoration 
goals:












    It points out that the $7.8 billion figure that we are 
talking about is the cost to complete the plan, which the Corps 
of Engineers has submitted.
    There are other costs that will be incurred by the Federal 
Government in the Everglades, whether we decided to go forward 
with this plan or not. We are operating a major national park 
in the midst of the Everglades. And there will be costs 
associated with that, that are unrelated to the restoration.
    It is those costs and other similar items that were added 
to the $7.8 billion, in order to arrive at the larger number 
that was suggested. I think the letter that I will submit will 
detail how those numbers were arrived at.
    In the testimony that the Governor gave on panel one, I 
thought he did an outstanding job of elaborating, as you have 
just done, Mr. Chairman, the theory behind what we are doing.
    I would only seek to add one item. And that is that we are 
about to embark on the largest environment restoration, 
certainly in the history of this country, and probably in the 
history of the world. It is not, by any means, the last major 
environmental restoration which this country will undertake.
    So part of the rationale for what we are doing and part of 
the rationale for some of the techniques that are going to be 
suggested is that this is a learning process which will be 
looked to as a laboratory for other restoration projects that 
America will be doing in the 21st century.
    I think that is an important part of the rationale for what 
we are doing, and an explanation for some of the techniques 
that are being used. We are going to learn more about the 
science of unique environmental systems, and we are going to 
learn more about the public administration for how to go about 
the governance and the financing and administration of these 
projects, as we go forward, and there will be great benefit 
from that.
    Mr. Chairman, as we start these hearings, again, I want to 
thank you for the tremendous personal commitment that you have 
made to understanding this complicated initiative and the 
leadership which you just indicated that you intend to provide.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Senator Graham.
    Senator Voinovich?
    Senator Voinovich. Thank you. It is interesting that the 
three of us were together in Florida. And it is almost a repeat 
of the visit that we had there. I, too, am pleased that so many 
people from Florida came here today for this hearing.
    Mr. Chairman, as you know, I am no stranger to the 
Everglades. When I was Governor of Ohio, in response to my 
interest in the Everglades and thanks to the courtesy of the 
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conversation Commission, I spent a 
day and a half observing the environmentally impacted area of 
the Everglades by helicopter and by airboat.
    In addition, my wife, Janet, and I have made many visits to 
Florida, including trips to the Locks Hatchery National 
Wildlife Refuge in Everglades National Park. I enjoyed fishing 
in the Florida Bay and fishing for snook in the Everglades.
    This past January, as I mentioned, we were all together in 
Florida, and had a wonderful opportunity to again see the 
Everglades and the problems that are connected with it.
    I mentioned all of this to emphasize that I have invested a 
lot of time in the Everglades and, in particular, the 
Comprehensive Restoration Plan, and intend to continue to do 
so. I am unequivocally committed to the fact that the 
Everglades are a national treasure that must be protected and 
restored.
    Having said that, my detailed review of the comprehensive 
plan has also convinced me that the Everglades Comprehensive 
Restoration Plan was rushed to this Congress for its 
consideration.
    At a cost of $1.1 billion, the plans for the 10 initial 
projects that Congress has been asked to authorize are only 
conceptual, and do not even begin to meet the standards that 
this Congress has set for project authorizations. I think 
Senator Warner, in his testimony this morning, made reference 
to the word ``act'' and the specificity that is required in 
terms of projects that this committee authorizes.
    There are some who will say that the Administration is only 
responding to what Congress requested, back in 1996, when it 
called for a comprehensive plan by July 1, 1999. However, the 
clear words of the 1996 act call for a feasibility report.
    Feasibility studies have not been completed on any portion 
of the comprehensive plan, and yet the Administration is 
seeking a $1.1 billion authorization, based on a conceptual 
plan that does not contain any meaningful level of details 
regarding costs, benefits, environmental analysis, design, 
engineering, or real estate.
    To authorize projects without this information would be a 
radical departure from the past oversight of the Corps. program 
by this committee, and would make it very difficult to enforce 
the historic standards of this committee for authorization of 
Corps. projects in future Water Resource Development Acts.
    This does not mean that we can not act on the Everglades 
Comprehensive Plan. I think we can and should act to advance 
the critical national issue of Everglades restoration.
    We can certainly endorse the comprehensive plan as a 
framework and guide for future action. We can authorize pilot 
projects to obtain the information we need to move forward.
    I am sure that under Chairman Smith's leadership, we can 
agree on some process that will advance the authorization of 
the initial projects, while assuring that Congress has an 
opportunity to review and approve feasibility level reports on 
these projects before they are implemented.
    Mr. Chairman, in addition to my service on the Environment 
and Public Works Committee, I also serve on the Government 
Affairs Committee, where we are concerned about the issues of 
Government efficiency, effectiveness, and coordinated activity.
    I can not leave the topic of the Everglades restoration 
without one observation. Homestead Air Force Base is located 
only eight miles from the Everglades National Park, one and-a-
half miles from Biscayne Bay, and just north of the Florida 
Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
    The Air Force is seeking to transfer property at Homestead 
Air Force Base, in accordance with the recommendations of the 
Base Realignment and Closure Commission. The Air Force has 
prepared a draft supplemental environmental impact statement 
that presents as a proposed action the reuse of the air base as 
a regional commercial airport.
    I am very concerned that the noise, air quality impacts, 
water quality impacts, and developmental pressures of 
commercial airport operations may not be compatible with the 
adjacent national parks and sanctuary.
    I believe it would be irresponsible for Federal Government 
to improve an investment of billions of dollars in restoration 
to the South Florida ecosystem, while at the same time 
approving a reuse plan for Homestead Air Force Base that is 
incompatible with such restoration objectives.
    I urge the Administration to pursue consistent objectives 
in South Florida's restoration, and assure that the actions of 
the Air Force and Federal Aviation Administration are 
coordinated with the Federal, State, tribal, and local agencies 
in groups making up the South Florida ecosystem restoration 
task force.
    Finally, I would like to touch on the Everglades 
restoration in the context of the total nationwide program of 
the Corps of Engineers. I mentioned earlier that we can not 
talk about the Everglades in a vacuum. We do have an enormous 
backlog, $30 billion worth of projects. The backlog includes 
$1.1 billion in Florida. And as I mentioned, the President's 
budget only includes $176 million for this project.
    The point I want to make, and I will make it very quickly, 
Mr. Chairman, is we have to be realistic about what we can or 
can not do.
    If we are going to be supportive of this project and other 
projects that are so important to the future of this Nation, 
then as a Congress, we need to reevaluate our priorities here, 
and do something about this $30 billion backlog. So the people 
that are here, the people that are anticipating that something 
is going to happen, know that it will occur; that the money 
will be there.
    If we do not do that, and we continue to provide $1.4 
billion every year, then it seems to me that we ought to look 
at what the Administration is proposing and say to the people 
in Florida, this is an important project, go forward with it, 
and work out some other kind of arrangement where they can be 
compensated for the Federal share, and get it over a period of 
time; but allow this project to move forward.
    Now that is going to be an enormous thing for this Congress 
to do, because traditionally, you move forward, based on the 
amount of money that is made available to you in the 
authorization bill.
    So this is something that, I think, Mr. Chairman, we need 
to talk about. It would be rather difficult, I think, to get it 
done, but it might be something that we ought to give 
consideration to. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Thank you.
    Senator Chafee, do you have an opening statement?

           OPENING STATEMENT OF HON. LINCOLN CHAFEE, 
          U.S. SENATOR FROM THE STATE OF RHODE ISLAND

    Senator Chafee. I would just like to thank the Chairman for 
convening the hearing, and your interest in the subject, your 
passion for it, and for former Governor and now Senator Graham, 
your leadership through the many years to restore the 
Everglades. And I look forward to the testimony.
    Senator Smith. Let me thank both witnesses for being here. 
Let me say, first of all, and it will apply to the remaining 
panels, as well, that all of your prepared statements, as you 
know, will be submitted for the record.
    Again, I want to repeat that as you can tell from the 
comments made here, we are far from being totally in accord on 
the project itself on the details. But, today, your testimony 
will be able to address the Administration's plan. This is a 
plan that has evolved, frankly. You can go all the way back to 
WRDA in 1996.
    It started with the Restudy in April 1999, and that was a 
consensus document. It then moved forward to the Chief's 
Report, which took some of the consensus and set it aside, and 
made changes that are not supported by all the parties.
    Then you have the current proposal, the WRDA proposal. New 
processes and roles are detailed for implementing the study, 
with an expanded role for the Department of the Interior.
    So each of you has 5 minutes to testify. And I would just 
encourage you to leave an impression with the committee on two 
issues: what do you like about the plan, and what do you not 
like about it? What specifically are you telling us that is 
just not acceptable to you and why? And if you can leave us 
with that, that would be very, very helpful as we deliberate on 
putting this together.
    So let me start with you, Ms. Power, welcome. I know you 
represent the Seminole Tribe, and we are glad to have you here.

  STATEMENT OF MS. PATRICIA POWER, ON BEHALF OF THE SEMINOLE 
                        TRIBE OF FLORIDA

    Ms. Power. Thank you. Good morning. My name is Patty Power. 
And it is an honor for me to be here today to talk with you on 
behalf of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. A previously scheduled 
tribal counsel meeting prevents both Chairman James Billy and 
Joint Counsel Jim Shore from being here with you this morning. 
The Seminole Tribe welcomes this opportunity to share its views 
on S. 2437 with the Environment and Public Works Committee.
    As you know, we participated in the committee's Naples 
field hearing on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan 
or CERP. While the Tribe is a strong supporter of the CERP, we 
oppose the approach proposed by the Administration, as embodied 
in 2437.
    The Seminole Tribe of Florida has been an active 
participant in the multi-faceted efforts to restore the South 
Florida ecosystem. As such, we have seen the value of our 
participation to the Tribe in being able to educate 
policymakers about the Tribe's concerns and needs.
    We have also found value in working with other stakeholders 
to formulate and refine policy positions. The Tribe applauds 
the committee's approach in developing its legislation by 
listening to the input of stakeholders in Florida, as well as 
the Federal policymakers.
    A program developed through consensus will earn the support 
of South Florida, and have an improved prospect for a 
successful restoration of the natural system and stability in 
flood control and water supply for South Floridians.
    The Tribe's great concern about Section 3 of S. 2437 is 
that it lacks the balance necessary for successful 
implementation. The environmental crisis in South Florida was 
brought about by the Central and Southern Florida project so 
efficiently achieving its congressionally mandated goals of 
providing flood protection and water supply to the farms and 
families of Florida, without fully appreciating the resulting 
impacts on the natural system.
    As the damage to the natural environment became evident, 
all entities began to recognize the interdependence of the 
natural system and the built environment.
    Congress, in directing the Corps of Engineers to complete 
the comprehensive plan, described the plan's purposes as 
protecting water quality and reducing loss of fresh water from 
the Everglades.
    Congress also noted in WRDA 1996 that the comprehensive 
plan ``provide for the water-related needs of the region, 
including flood control, the enhancement of water supplies, and 
other objectives served by the Central and Southern Florida 
project.''
    The Restudy, as developed with input from a wide array of 
stakeholders, recognized the importance of addressing the water 
needs in a balanced approach. Section 3 of S. 2437 abandoned 
the balanced approach and reverts to the myopic direction of 
the half century old project authorization by stating that the 
purpose of the CERP and the historic Central and Southern 
Florida project is solely for the protection of the natural 
system.
    We urge the committee to take a balanced approach to 
Section 3 by providing protection to the natural systems, the 
people, and the agricultural communities that share the South 
Florida ecosystem.
    The Tribe also has serious concerns about Section 3(i), 
regarding assuring of project benefits. The Tribe's water law 
is based upon a water rights Compact, codified in tribal, 
State, and Federal law, the implementation of which is based on 
Florida State water law.
    The approach contemplated in Section 3(i), attempting to 
Federalize water allocation decisions, blatantly disregards the 
existing body of Florida water law. With Florida water laws 
thrown into disarray by this approach, the implementation of 
the Tribe's Water Compact is jeopardized.
    The Tribe has proposed an alternative approach to Section 
3(i), and the Tribe also supports the approach taken in the 
recently passed Florida Everglades legislation.
    Shared adversity is a guiding principle of the Tribe's 
approach to water rights, and a basis of the Water Rights 
Compact. Consistently, in commenting throughout the development 
of the Restudy, the Tribe supported the application of shared 
adversity.
    While S. 2437 acknowledges that the rights of the existing 
user should be preserved, S. 2437 does not define existing use. 
Limiting existing use to the water being used today fails to 
take into account long term, permanent rights to water that may 
not be presently used.
    In comments on the lower East Coast Regional Water Supply 
Plan, the National Park Service defined ``existing use'' as 
that amount of water being used on April 13, or the day the 
plan is to be adopted. That interpretation, we believe, would 
lead to a moratorium on water use, including capping the use of 
permitted, but not currently used water, as well as future 
water use.
    The Tribe's economic development has been such that the 
Tribe is not yet using all of its entitlement water. The 
inability to use its water rights would stunt the Tribe's 
economic development.
    We urge the committee to ensure that S. 2437 incorporates 
the concept of shared adversity, and clearly define the 
existing use to prevent a water use moratorium in South 
Florida.
    Thank you for the opportunity to share the views of the 
Seminole Tribe with the committee. While the Tribe is a strong 
supporter of the restoration of the South Florida ecosystem, we 
will continue to be vigilant in our review of its 
implementation.
    We look forward to a continued partnership on a government-
to-government basis, in meeting the challenging effort to save 
the Everglades.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Ms. Power.
    Mr. Lehtinen, representing the Miccosukee Tribe, welcome, 
sir.

STATEMENT OF DEXTER LEHTINEN, ON BEHALF OF THE MICCOSUKEE TRIBE

    Mr. Lehtinen. Thank you. I am General Counsel for the 
Miccosukee Tribe. I serve on the Governor's Commission and the 
South Florida Task Force as former State Representative/State 
Senator and United States Attorney.
    The Miccosukee Indians are the only people who live within 
the Everglades, and have adopted federally approved Clean Water 
Act standards, which exceed all other standards. To understand 
our WRDA positions, you have to know that the Tribe believes 
that the Everglades restoration is in trouble, due to misplaced 
priorities, subordination of fundamental Democratic values, and 
Federal bureaucratic intransigents.
    There are two examples that suffice. First, the Central and 
Tribal Everglades is given second class status, despite 
specific legal protections and the fact that the Central 
Everglades is the largest remaining fresh water Everglades. It 
is a gross misconception, encouraged by the park, that the 
Everglades is the same as Everglades National Park.
    Second, the 1989 modified water delivery project is stalled 
by bureaucratic selfishness, causing destruction of the Central 
Everglades. Agencies spend their time trying to seize the homes 
of the politically weak minority residents, who were guaranteed 
protection in 1989.
    It is curious that the Tribe stands up for these minorities 
more than Government. Undoubtedly, that is because Indians who 
have been targets of land grabs themselves recognize it when 
they see it. If Government can take their land, then it can 
take the Tribe's land, and it can take your land, too.
    Specifically on WRDA, first, the bill would implement the 
July Chief's Report, rather than the April Restudy, which was 
the product of the consensus process. The Chief's Report makes 
new and contradictory commitments, behind closed doors, 
including the 245,000 additional acre fee, even though the 
Restudy specifically rejected this proposal known as D13R4, as 
destructive of other parts of the Everglades.
    This is an outstanding example of politicization by 
Washington's civil interference, with the process to bend to 
placate groups with which the Administration is close.
    The Administration denials of this ring hollow, in light of 
recent documents: for example, e-mails from Assistant Secretary 
Davis stating that, ``The Chief's Report captures the Restudy 
plan, plus the substantial subsequent commitments,'' and also 
cautioning, ``Please keep close hold, and do not distribute 
outside your agency.''
    There was a Corps' e-mail that said, ``We need to keep 
these groups on board,'' but it then goes on and says, ``We are 
uneasy about changing what is in the report.'' There was a DOI 
letter sent to the Corps stating, ``We appreciate the following 
additional commitments, additional water.'' And there was an e-
mail I just reviewed from the Corps that states that we want to 
include some of the commitments we made after the Restudy was 
completed, including additional water.
    Second, the bill gives the Interior Department a veto on 
water deliveries, essentially Federalizing water laws, the 
Seminoles say. DOI is one land owner among others, including 
the State, the tribes, and private citizens, and nobody should 
have a veto.
    Corps. policy processes can certainly protect Federal 
interests. And if the DOI does not trust the Corps. then why 
should the Miccosukee Tribe or the State or private citizens?
    Third, the proposal abandons the balance approach, giving 
the natural system, as the Seminoles mentioned, a higher 
priority. That is just plain wrong. It is not necessary. It 
destroys public support, and it breaks prior legal commitments.
    Even the April Restudy report says that flood control 
models were inadequate and that, ``For those areas that are 
expected to be adversely impacted, further studies are 
recommended.''
    Fourth, the proposal grants broad programmatic authority 
for no real reason, other than to avoid congressional scrutiny. 
While some programmatic authority in pilot projects might be 
appropriate, the other programmatic authority is excessive: 
$100 million for adaptive monitoring, with no actual plan; $250 
million for other program authority, when no projects specified 
at all. These are just cash cows.
    The Restudy admits to a ``high level of technical and 
implementable uncertainties.'' Besides flood control, erroneous 
assumptions of the natural system model are admitted in the 
Restudy. ``Discrepancies in topographic data,'' if consistent 
topographic assumptions were used, target depths would be 
shallower and less water would be needed. We just need to know 
these before we go forward.
    Fifth is a proposal on environmental justice. It should 
prohibit discrimination and disparate impacts on minorities. 
The League of United Latin American Citizens has already found 
minority discrimination in the modified waters project, where 
DOI is trying to forcibly remove more than 300 largely Hispanic 
residents.
    Let me just say what is not in WRDA in one sentence. It 
shortchanges tribal roles. The Tribe needs to be mentioned in 
all parts. It need to go forward and protect the entire 
Everglades with an equal protection clause for the whole 
Everglades. It needs to require implementation of mod. water 
deliveries. It needs to protect private property rights by 
continuing flood protection that is not reduced, and it needs 
to protect equal assurances.
    In conclusion, the Tribe does generally agree with the 
comments of Senator Voinovich in his letter to GAO. It 
generally agrees with the comments of Senator Warner, if we 
interpret those as being that he is committed, but just wants 
good feasibility reports. And we do, however, point out that 
you have got to save the entire Everglades and have equal 
balance. I would not endorse, perhaps, those other remarks of 
Senator Warner.
    In conclusion, what the Tribe really wants is fairness, 
nondiscrimination, and sound planning, and it does want quality 
control in Everglades restoration.
    Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Mr. Lehtinen.
    Let me just suggest to the members, and there are only four 
of us here, I think we should feel free to interject a 
question, if we wish, and not necessarily have too rigid a rule 
here among members. So if you are so inclined to ask a question 
or followup any particular point, please feel free to do it.
    Senator Graham, did you wish to start? Do you have any 
questions?
    Senator Graham. I guess a baseline question, you both 
raised a series of concerns about the plan. There is the 
fundamental option that is available to us, which is not to 
proceed with the Restoration Plan. What would be the 
consequences to the parties that you represent of a Federal 
policy of non-restoration of the Everglades?
    Mr. Lehtinen. Well, we want the Everglades restored.
    Senator Graham. The question was, would you outline what 
would be the consequences to the parties that you represent of 
the Federal Government not participating in this restoration 
effort?
    Mr. Lehtinen. Well, I am assuming you mean ever 
participating, and not Senator Voinovich's comment that we 
could do something this year, and we can endorse restoration, 
but we do not have to do certain projects.
    If you are talking about it at the macro level, the problem 
today is that mod. water deliveries, which is not part of this 
plan, which was an 1989 act, if you do not implement that and 
other elements of the plan, you end up destroying, through 
water quality damage and through misdelivery of water, water 
conservation area 3(A), which is virtually as large a fresh 
water Everglades as the fresh water parts of the park, 
excluding things worth saving, the Florida Bay, which is salt 
water and the salt water estuaries, the transition zones.
    So Everglades restoration is important to the Tribe. I will 
say, however, that Everglades restoration has to be done right. 
If modified water deliveries, which are not part of this named 
Restoration Plan; it is a precursor, C1-11, and the quality 
aspects of the Everglades Forever Act up around the EAA, the 
Everglades construction project, would be implemented, it is 
important that these add-on projects in this plan not be done 
wrong.
    What the Tribe needs is restoration done right. But if it 
is done prematurely, and water is delivered incorrectly, you 
will do damage. In other words, I guess what I am saying is 
this. It is not simply the case that anything we do will help. 
We want this plan implemented, but we want it implemented 
slowly with feasibility reports. Because if it is implemented 
wrong, it will do more damage than we currently have.
    In summary, we need restoration because of water quality 
and because of misdeliveries. It is essential that Congress 
participate in this program, one way or the other. But we tend 
to believe that it does not require the macro programmatic 
authority that you could pass very substantial bills on this 
without that.
    Senator Smith. Do both of you still support the negotiated 
language in the April 1999 agreement?
    Ms. Power. Yes.
    Senator Smith. You do, Ms. Power?
    Do you, Mr. Lehtinen?
    Mr. Lehtinen. Yes, we generally support that.
    Ms. Power. Senator Graham, if I could address your 
question, I think the State and the tribal and local 
governments would continue with their projects to improve the 
environment in the Everglades.
    However, if the Federal Government does not step up to its 
role, it will slow the whole process down, possibly to the 
point of causing irreversible damage.
    Mr. Lehtinen. Could I add, Senator Smith, one thing about 
the April report, we support that report. We still support that 
report strongly.
    We were always told, however, that certain editorial 
comments in the report about how this would be implemented were 
going to be up to Congress, meaning we wanted the components of 
the April report, and so forth. But we never intended to 
endorse any editorial comments that said, we will go and get 
programmatic authority.
    We are very afraid of this adaptive programmatic 
management, which really means that you can do whatever you 
want, mess it up, come back and say, well, that is all right, 
because we did not have a plan. That is why we endorse April 
1999, but we think it requires the planning of each of those 
components, rather than very, very broad programmatic 
approaches.
    Senator Voinovich. Mr. Chairman?
    Senator Smith. Sure, go ahead.
    Senator Voinovich. Mr. Lehtinen, on April 6, is that what 
you are talking about, the Corps of Engineers general 
reevaluation report and environmental impact statement on 
alternatives for providing flood mitigation to the 8.5 square 
mile area, in conjunction with implementing the modified water 
deliveries project. Is that what you are referencing to?
    Mr. Lehtinen. No, I am referring to the April 1999 Restudy, 
seven or eight volumes.
    Senator Voinovich. The question that I have got is in 
regard to the testimony, that the modified water deliveries 
project is essential to the Everglades restoration. And I guess 
that has been mired in controversy.
    As you mentioned in your testimony, the modified water 
delivery project is essential to the Miccosukee's interest in 
Central Everglades restoration. Besides the authorized general 
design memorandum plan for flood mitigation, which is opposed 
by the Department of Interior environmentalists, is there any 
plan which at least partially would address the concern of 
property owners and be acceptable to the Department of Interior 
and the environmental interests? Is there any way that this can 
be worked out?
    Mr. Lehtinen. I think the Department of Interior is using 
the mantle of restoration to achieve buffer zones in national 
parks around the county.
    I think the Department of Interior's goal, when the Corps 
of Engineers constantly says, in this 100 percent federally 
funded plan, that there is no substantial difference among any 
alternatives in the restoration of the slew, and they must have 
said that four times a week and a half ago, in their oral 
presentation, and they say it in their last EIS, I think the 
Department of Interior is just holding the money hostage. I do 
not think they have got an environmental reason.
    Now when Dante Fascell passed the bill, the Congressman, 
with the help of the Senate and President Bush, signed it, that 
added 107,000 acres to the park, and sought to protect a mere 
6,000 acres that were higher than Miami International Airport 
in ground elevation. Granted, if you now go in and condemn 
those people's land, you get 6,400 more acres, so that is the 
way they are analyzing it now. They agreed to the boundary line 
then, and now they want the boundary line changed.
    I do not know of any compromises that would make a whole 
lot of sense there, in that high ground area. The law was 
passed to protect 6,000 acres, in return for turning over 
107,000 acres to the park, and it is only mired in controversy 
in the Department of the Interior.
    Senator Voinovich. Ms. Power, do you have language that you 
think would deal with your problem, that you would like to have 
the committee recognize or receive?
    Ms. Power. We submitted language in our written testimony 
to address the assurances provisions in the bill. And our 
concerns with the approach taken by the Administration in 
Subsection I on assuring project benefits is that it would not 
result in a supportable balanced approach on water allocations.
    There are actually two different positions that the Tribe 
could support. The one that we outlined in our testimony would 
require the Task Force to prepare a report and recommendations 
to Congress, the Florida legislature, and both tribal counsels, 
to recommend policy decisions on how to allocate water that is 
created by the project features in the CERP. Those 
recommendations would then be acted on by each of the separate 
legislative bodies, and enacted into law.
    The other approach would be that taken in the recently 
passed State legislation, which would use the PIR process 
outlined in the Restudy to identify the increase in water 
created by the new project features, and then use the existing 
State Florida water law to determine how the allocation of that 
new water should be determined.
    Senator Voinovich. Would that take care of it, Mr. 
Lehtinen? Would you feel comfortable with what Ms. Power just 
made reference to?
    Mr. Lehtinen. I think the general approach, I mean, the 
devil is in the details in the writing of that. But we think 
that there are ways to protect everybody's interest that she 
has alluded to.
    Senator Voinovich. Well, what I have heard is that the 
Florida legislature tackled this, and came back with what you 
consider to be some reasonable language. And I suspect they are 
giving this a lot more attention than maybe we possibly could. 
And what I would like to know is that if we were able to adopt 
that language, would you be satisfied?
    Mr. Lehtinen. We generally support, as did the Seminoles, 
the Florida legislation.
    Ms. Power. The other benefit of using the Florida approach 
is that there would be consistency between the State and 
Federal law, which would avoid confusion in implementation and 
potential lawsuits, which would result in delays, as that law 
is interpreted.
    Senator Voinovich. Thank you. There is just one more 
question for me, and if you could both respond to this, on the 
assurances language.
    Are you opposed to the DOI/Army Corps. issuing regulations, 
based on the violation of a tribal water compact only, or do 
you have other objections to this, in terms of the reach of the 
Federal Government into the regulations? Could you clarify that 
for us, as to what your position is on that?
    Ms. Power. Clearly, our concerns are over the strength of 
the Compact, which has been in place for 13 years, and 
functioning without any issues. That would be our primary 
concern, although we would have general concerns about 
Federalizing water allocation decisions in Florida, whether it 
be the Corps. doing it or Interior and the Corps.
    Senator Voinovich. Is that your position, Mr. Lehtinen?
    Mr. Lehtinen. Well, the Miccosukees do not have a Water 
Compact. They rejected it because of elements that they were 
opposed to.
    Our position is that the Department of the Interior and 
national parks, as important as they are, are not more 
important than Federal trust tribal land. They are not more 
important than State land. And in all honesty, in this country, 
they are not more important than private property of private 
landowners.
    This is not the kind of country that says, if the Fed. 
holds title to a piece of property, that that is supposed to 
somehow, under our 14th Amendment, Equal Protection Clause, be 
greater of property value than the other landowners.
    What we believe is that you can protect everybody's rights, 
and should protect everybody's rights. But if you give the 
Department of Interior a veto, then what you do is, in terms of 
systems analysis and theory, you simply remove any duty or any 
motivation to make the water right for everybody by saying, 
well, we are supposed to try to make it right for everybody. 
But if we satisfy one interest, that is enough. You have to 
have a goal in terms of satisfying all needs, or else you 
immediately subordinate and disregard the other goal.
    Now Interior, they are important, but they are a landowner. 
And as a landowner, they will act strictly with regard to their 
land, and they should. We should be happy, because Federal 
Indian trust land is supposed to be guarded by Interior. But if 
you talk to probably 500 tribes, and you are not going to find 
that Interior pays much attention to Federal Indian trust land.
    Interestingly enough right here, it is Federal Indian trust 
land, 500,000 acres of Federal Indian Country, that is historic 
fresh water Everglades. The Marjorie Stoleman Douglas is equal 
in size to the park.
    Their whole program is to save the 500,000 of fresh water 
acres in the park, and the tribal fresh water Everglades can go 
to pot. So we do not trust any process that gives one landowner 
a veto, no matter what id card they carry. Now we do not want 
the State to have a veto, or the Tribe. But we think the Corps 
of Engineers should issue regulations, taking input from 
everybody.
    So it is not just tribal water compacts or anything like. 
It is really a fundamental principle of equality among all 
citizens of the United States, including Indian citizens.
    Senator Smith. Does anyone else have a further question of 
this panel?
    [No response.]
    Senator Smith. I might just ask you to just recap for me, 
two or three points.
    One, what are the two issues that you object to most, from 
the transition or the evolution from the April 1999 agreement 
to where we are today, with what we are hearing, and what we 
are debating this morning.
    Mr. Lehtinen. The two most in the Chief's Report?
    Senator Smith. Right.
    Mr. Lehtinen. That is risky, but it is a 245,000 additional 
acre feet that is not properly studied, and will actually do 
positive damage to most of the Everglades, especially when the 
NSM topographic data is admitted in the same report to be 
inadequate.
    Senator Smith. OK.
    Mr. Lehtinen. No. 2, it is the reduction of water supply 
and flood control to ``as is practicable.'' And in that 
context, you can solve both of these with specific language in 
a bill, but it also illustrates why a broad programmatic system 
is subject to abuse, even by good people.
    Most of the people who legitimized this process in the 
Chief's Report did so out of good faith efforts. And perhaps 
they would not be serving their client's interests if they had 
not taken advantage of their special inside clout.
    If there was a different Administration and I had the 
clout, I ought not be able to use it in that fashion, either. 
We need a neutral process.
    Senator Smith. Thank you.
    Ms. Power, do you agree with those two top points?
    Ms. Power. I do not think those would be the ones that I 
would select.
    The first one would be, as I spoke about earlier, restoring 
the balance to protection to the natural systems, the people, 
and the agricultural communities. And the second would be to 
create a better approach to assuring project benefits.
    Senator Smith. I am sorry, would you repeat that last one.
    Ms. Power. To create a different and better approach to 
assuring projects, and also to restore balance in that area.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much. I appreciate you both 
being here today. I know you traveled a long distance, and I 
thank you for that.
    We are in the Senate, and we have another recorded vote. So 
I apologize to the next witness of panel three, but we will 
take a 5 or 10 minute break, just so I can run down and vote. I 
will be right back. So we will recess for 10 minutes.
    [Recess.]
    Senator Smith. The hearing will come to order, please.
    I am pleased to welcome Captain Mike Collins, the chairman 
of the South Florida Water Management District. It is nice to 
see you again, Captain Collins.
    Captain Collins. It is a pleasure, also.
    Senator Smith. I liked that term ``Captain'' when it 
applies to a fishing vessel. That is my kind of captain.
    Let me say the same thing I said before. I would like you 
to outline for, after your remarks or in your remarks, which 
are made a part of the permanent record, whatever views you 
have on the plan, as it has evolved, as to where you support it 
and where you do not; or, if you support it all, then so 
indicate.
    I have read through your testimony. And that will be made a 
part of the permanent record. I apologize for the delay. You 
may proceed.

  STATEMENT OF CAPTAIN MIKE COLLINS, CHAIRMAN, SOUTH FLORIDA 
                   WATER MANAGEMENT DISTRICT

    Captain Collins. Mr. Chairman, thank you; it is a pleasure 
to be here. And it is a pleasure to hear your continued support 
for our ambitious program to save the Everglades.
    I am going to skip the remarks about the history. You have 
heard all of that. And I want to just sort of point out that 
the process that we entered into, on the Governor's Commission 
and on the Federal Task Force was to develop a comprehensive 
plan to reserve, preserve, and protect the ecosystem.
    Under Congress' direction, that plan was supposed to 
include features necessary to provide for all the water-related 
needs of the region, including flood control, enhancement of 
water supplies, and other objectives.
    We are never going to be able to protect the natural system 
if we do not deal with the issues related to other competition 
for that system.
    The plan submitted to you in July 1999 is that plan. Is it 
comprehensive to answer all the problems? No, it is 
comprehensive because it was developed by a consensus process 
among all the competition users, and in recognition of the 
interconnectedness that we all have in that system.
    Overlying the dynamic of the interest with scientific 
complexities associated with getting the water right, you begin 
to understand how hard it was to build that consensus. As a 
member of the Governor's Commission that works hard on 
developing that consensus, I still stand behind that original 
plan.
    As the head of an agency who will serve as the local 
sponsor for the State's portion of that plan, I can tell you 
that the Agency still stands behind that Plan.
    We believe very strongly that attempts to alter, after that 
deal was cut, any significant portion of that dynamic balance 
stands a very serious risk of destroying the support that we 
have been able to build, and that the Governor has provided the 
leadership to move through our legislature. That support is 
still unanimous.
    I can not address the issues that may exist for the sugar 
industry. I can only tell you one thing. I share your concern. 
And I have an agreement that I struck with Stewart Strall, who 
is the President of the Florida Autobahn, who is also a member 
of the Governor's Commission; and Malcolm Wade, who is 
Executive Vice President under U.S. Sugar, and myself, to go to 
the editorial boards of the South Florida newspapers, within 
the next 2 weeks, to reiterate our support for that plan.
    In their support, they have raised issues at various times. 
They did it in the Governor's Commission. But I think, like 
you, it is important now that the people who struck those deals 
originally stand up and stand behind the plan that has been 
submitted to Congress, so that at least you know where we 
stand. And I am going to try to help you with that.
    The South Florida Management District still supports this 
plan and the process that we used for developing this. It is 
the best opportunity for solving the regions' environmental and 
water resource problems.
    We believe this plan provides a successful road map for 
providing adequate water, for a healthy sustainable Everglades 
system, as well as maintaining urban and agricultural use.
    Is it perfect? No, it is not perfect. The adaptive and 
controversial adaptive management section of this is an 
admission that over the 20 year period of this, we do not know 
enough to know exactly what is going to happen. Is it a solid 
enough framework for us to proceed? Yes, I believe it is.
    In April, I submitted some testimony that sort of touched 
on our desire for the cost of operating and maintaining the 
comprehensive plan to be shared by the Federal Government. The 
Administration's bill calls for a 60/40 split. I urge you to 
stick to the 50/50 that we originally discussed.
    You can invent all sorts of formulas that allocate certain 
portions of the water to the Federal side or the State side. I 
think all you are doing is setting the ground for future 
arguments. The basic thing that I believe in the strongest is 
that we are partners.
    If we are going to be successful partners, 50/50 is the 
only way that is really going to work. It should be just as 
true of the O&M, as it is of the plan and the funding for that 
portion of it, too.
    I think it eliminates the possibility for a whole lot of 
future arguments, based on shifts in whatever formula we may 
try to draw up. It just makes sense to me.
    And, again, just in closing, I would like to State that we 
have provided, I believe, evidence that we have the expertise. 
We have been the partners of the Federal Government, and the 
agency I represent, for 50 years. Whatever mistakes were made, 
we have made in concert. The effort to improve this, we have 
made in concert.
    I believe we have demonstrated our commitment, in terms of 
funding. And I believe that the Governor of Florida showing up 
here, and then the remarks he made, reiterated every forum 
where he has been presented the opportunity to provide his 
leadership on this issue.
    I would urge you very strongly to continue to support this, 
and pass a bill that gets this moving.
    Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Thank very much, Captain Collins. I 
appreciate it. You indicated in your statement that the plan 
submitted to you in July, 1999, was comprehensive, but it does 
not provide all the answers to all the problems.
    Mr. Collins. No, sir.
    Senator Smith. And I think it is good to go back, and it 
was not sitting at the table, of course, but I think it is fair 
to say that in coming to that agreement, that people probably 
did not get everything they wanted, but it was viewed as a 
compromise plan; is that correct?
    Captain Collins. I do not know any one of the 43 or 44 
people that sat at that table on the Governor's Commission, or 
any of the people that I witnessed on the Federal Task Force 
that left with the impression that they had gotten every single 
thing they wanted.
    It is very hard to describe how many years we took in 
reaching that consensus. It was very difficult for people like 
the Florida Autobahn and U.S. Sugar, you know, to reach 
agreement. So it was very hard for fisherman, who had been 
fighting to save estuaries to reach agreement with Ag. people.
    It was a realization over a period of years, that if we 
were going to survive, we were going to have to do it together; 
that is if we were going to survive, we were going to have to 
recognize each other's needs. I believe that is in that plan.
    I also believe very strongly that it is in Florida water 
law. And to relate some of the comments that Senator Voinovich 
made, we believe that should be the foundation for whatever 
level of what is currently described as assurances takes place.
    I believe Florida water law, and particularly the minimum 
flows and levels section of that, provide better natural system 
assurances than anything that currently exists in Federal law.
    Senator Smith. Is there any one of any of the stakeholders 
that you are personally aware of, other than the obvious one, 
which is EPA or the Administration, whose plan is considerably 
different than the original plan?
    Captain Collins. Yes, sir.
    Senator Smith. Is there any other stakeholder that you are 
aware of who has taken a position now of moving away from the 
plan, as originally agreed to in 1999?
    Captain Collins. It depends on how you describe 
stakeholders. You know, we did not have every single individual 
at the table. We had representatives of agriculture. We had 
representatives of the environmental community.
    A lot of the background noise that I have had to deal with 
in my position, since the plan came out, has been from people 
who are representatives, perhaps of those communities, who were 
not at the table. You know, there were national environmental 
organizations that were not part of the consensus process, that 
have problems with it.
    I am not aware of people that were at the table that we sat 
at, when we drew it up. There has been a certain amount of 
slippage. The Chief's letter was tremendously destructive, in 
terms of trust. There were reasons why it was done. It was done 
in good faith. But I am going to tell you that I have spent a 
lot of time, and had to make a lot of public pronouncements 
because of the lack of trust that created.
    I think we can heal that. People have slipped a little bit, 
yes. I am going to start trying to pull some of the people that 
I worked with back together, and make them stand up in public 
and make some commitments.
    Senator Smith. You, very aggressively in your statement, 
support the 50/50 O&M, operation and management, split on the 
project. You are aware that this is contentious, because of the 
fact that normally the O&M portion is a non-Federal 
responsibility.
    What in your view makes this different than other water 
resources development projects in the past, where traditionally 
we have gone without the 50/50 split, but rather the total non-
Federal participation?
    Captain Collins. I think the 50/50 cost share and 
everything else creates a certain atmosphere. I think the fact 
that what we are dealing with here are massive Federal 
investments and massive State investments in a natural system 
creates an atmosphere that just sitting as the Chairman of the 
Water Management District, I can just tell you that right now, 
when issues come up, there is a certain amount of parochial 
latitude that these are State interests; these are Federal 
interests.
    You know, the law sort of keeps us on line as far as 
protecting both of them equally. Florida water law does.
    I think you set the stage, at least. And in doing this, and 
I have been at it for many years, when I leave, I want to have 
the feeling that we have not set the stage for future battles.
    There are going to be demands made by Federal family 
members, Department of Interior, in particular, on the 
operations of the system. I think it is basically only fair.
    I mean, there are going to be differences of opinion. You 
build a very weak foundation for some of them, if they are not 
paying any of the costs of operation and maintenance. Those are 
significant. They create, I think, just an atmosphere that will 
lead to disputes in the future.
    You build a better case for the idea. And also, like the 
Governor, I believe in an absolute sense that this needs to be 
a partnership to succeed.
    Senator Smith. Captain Collins, the South Florida Water 
Management District is expected, as I understand it, and 
correct me if I am wrong, to provide about $100 million from 
the State, and $100 million from the South Florida Water 
Management District.
    Can you tell me, at this point, what the plans are for 
coming up with that share, and where we are on that part?
    Captain Collins. Yes, that has been a lot of fun. We went 
back and did a basic probably not a zero line budget, but as 
close to it as any agency of our kind ever has.
    We have identified a significant portion of it. You know, 
how much of it, I can not really say until we get through the 
budget process.
    In the process, what we discovered was, there were a large 
number of local projects that are being done by the counties, 
and some of them with State money, that we were not really 
getting credit for, because they were not captured within that 
process. The State spent $78 million or something like that on 
those projects. A number of them are going to be caught up in 
that.
    It would be hard to say that we have got a full $100 
million, but we are very, very close right now. And we have a 
process that is ongoing, through our budget process, that we 
will do between now and September to identify the rest of it. I 
am pretty confident that we are going to get there.
    Senator Smith. I have just a couple more questions. When 
does your board intend to announce the preferred alternative 
for the modified waters project?
    Captain Collins. We will be voting at the next general 
board meeting which, I believe, is June 15. It is the second 
Thursday in June.
    Senator Smith. Do you expect a final decision there?
    Captain Collins. Yes.
    Senator Smith. Is there anything right now in the plan that 
we are now hearing on, the Administration plan, that is an 
absolute deal breaker for you? And you can hedge on that a 
little bit, if you want to.
    Captain Collins. I think if there is no role, I think if it 
continues to state that this will be Federal decisions on 
disputes, I think it will be very, very difficult for any 
governing board of the Water Management District to proceed on 
the investment of State taxpayers money without some kind of a 
guarantee that some role for those taxpayers would be 
guaranteed in disputes. I think that is a deal killer.
    Senator Smith. What about the Department of Interior 
portion on regulating the water?
    Captain Collins. Well, I am going to tell you that I went 
on record as having stated that the money that was encumbered 
with the last language that Congressman Regula submitted would 
prevent us from accepting that money. So I can not speak for 
the board.
    I can tell you personally that it is my opinion that if we 
had accepted it, it would have been very difficult for us to 
comply with Florida's constitution regarding the way we are 
supposed to balance water.
    You know, you are creating a whole new statutory world. We 
are used to being partners with the Army Corps of Engineers, 
and having to consult and consider the Department of Interior. 
I think we would be very hesitant to get ourselves in a 
position where the Department of Interior had veto authority 
over water supply for the people of South Florida.
    Senator Smith. Well, I want to thank you for coming again 
to testify, and adding to the testimony that you gave to us in 
South Florida a few months ago. We appreciate you coming.
    Captain Collins. Thank you, sir.
    Senator Smith. And we anticipate, as I said before, getting 
to the point where we can markup an Everglades restoration 
bill, hopefully within the next 30 or 40 days. It is a tough 
challenge, but if you guys could get together on a plan, we 
should be able to get together as a committee.
    I am going to leave the record open only until tomorrow 
afternoon at 5. Members had plenty of notice to be here. And so 
if they have questions that they want to submit for the record, 
we will close that out at 5 tomorrow for questions. So if any 
of the witnesses, yourself or any others, Captain Collins, get 
any questions, if you would just respond to them as quickly as 
possible, for the record.
    Captain Collins. We will do that. Thank you, sir.
    Senator Smith. Thank you.
    Let me just state for the benefit of those watching and 
listening that we will reconvene this hearing at 2 this 
afternoon.
    At that time, the panels will be the Honorable Joseph 
Westphal, the Assistant Secretary for the Army (Civil Works) 
U.S. Army Corps.; the Honorable Gary Guzy, General Counsel of 
the U.S. EPA; Ms. Mary Doyle, the Acting Assistant Secretary of 
the Office of Water and Science, and the Chair of the South 
Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force from the Department of 
Interior; Mr. Ken Keck, Director of Legislative and Regulatory 
Affairs, Florida Citrus Mutual; and Dr. David Guggenheim, 
President, the Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Co-
Chair of the Everglades Coalition.
    So we will start again at 2. The hearing is recessed.
    [Whereupon, at 12:04 p.m., the committee was recessed, to 
reconvene at 2:00 p.m. the same day.]


                         EVERGLADES RESTORATION

                              ----------                              


               THURSDAY, MAY 11, 2000--AFTERNOON SESSION

    The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 2:00 p.m. in room 
406, Senate Dirksen Building, Hon. Bob Smith (chairman of the 
committee) presiding.
    Senator Smith. The hearing will come to order. I welcome 
all of the witnesses. This is the second half of the hearing. 
And it actually kind of works a little better that way, to get 
a 2-hour break for lunch. It gives everybody a chance to catch 
their breath.
    I want to welcome the three panelists this morning: the 
Honorable Joseph Westphal, the Assistant Secretary of the Army 
for Civil Works, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; the Honorable 
Gary Guzy, General Counsel of the United States Environmental 
Protection Agency; and Ms. Mary Doyle, the Acting Assistant 
Secretary of the Office of Water and Science, and the Chair of 
the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force from the 
Department of Interior.
    We are glad you are here. As you know, your statements are 
all part of the record formally. And if you could give an 
overview of those in 5 minutes or so, it would be appreciated.
    I just want to make a couple of comments regarding this 
morning, and try to bring it into focus a little bit, if we 
could. We heard from the Florida State and tribal governments 
this morning. And this afternoon, we kind of shift the focus to 
the Federal Government, to two important stakeholders, both the 
agricultural and the environmental community, as well as the 
Department of Interior.
    There were several criticisms that the morning witnesses 
raised about the Administration proposal, specifically, the 
proper role for the Department of Interior in managing the 
Restudy; concern about the additional commitments in the so-
called Chief's Report, that is, the additional 245,000 acre 
feet of water, that it might upset the balance achieved in the 
Restudy on how the water would be distributed.
    Also, there was concern that the initial authorization of 
10 projects prior to completion of the project implementation 
reports could be a concern, and the amount of Federal 
contribution to operations and maintenance.
    All these were raised by the first panel. And I think it 
would be good if in your oral testimony you could address 
those. I think it would be fair of the Administration witnesses 
here today to ask how the Administration's plan to restore the 
Everglades evolved and changed. I mean, I think this, as you 
could tell this morning, was a bit of a controversy, and I 
think it is something that we are going to have to come to 
grips with.
    First came the Restudy, and the April 1999 consensus 
document approved unanimously by the South Florida Task Force 
and the Governor's Commission. Then came the Chief's Report in 
July 1999 that made changes to the Restudy plan that are not 
supported by all the parties that agreed to that original 
Restudy.
    Now there is the WRDA proposal, the Water Resources 
Development Act proposal, which includes its Everglades 
proposal, which specifies new processes and roles for 
implementing the Restudy, with an expanded role for the 
Department of Interior now.
    As I indicated, I am trying to keep an open mind on this, 
and to work this through. But I think we are going to have to 
clarify some of these issues. We did hear a fair amount of 
concern. I do not know if the words, ``broke the deal'' was 
used. But certainly there was a lot of concern about the change 
in the plan.
    Perhaps you might say that the changes are merely 
technical. But the fact is that the Administration substituted 
an alternative that was rejected by the Restudy team when it 
added the 245,000 feet of water. I am not taking any position 
on that, one way or the other, other than the fact that it was 
a change in the Restudy.
    So we would like to hear from the Administration on these 
changes. It would be helpful, if you can, to focus specifically 
on them in your oral testimony.
    Senator Baucus, did you have any opening remarks?
    Senator Baucus. No, I am fine. I would just like to hear 
the witnesses.
    Senator Smith. Let us start with you, Dr. Westphal.

 STATEMENT OF HON. JOSEPH WESTPHAL, ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE 
        ARMY (CIVIL WORKS), U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS

    Mr. Westphal. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Senator Baucus. I 
am delighted to be here before your committee, again. I am very 
excited about talking with you about this comprehensive plan.
    As you know, Mr. Chairman, on July 1999, as you mentioned, 
on behalf of the Administration and in a partnership with the 
State of Florida, we submitted to Congress a comprehensive plan 
to restore the South Florida ecosystem by modifying the 
existing Central and Southern Florida project.
    The plan, which we expect to be implemented over the next 
25 years will, we believe, improve the health of over 2.4 
million acres of South Florida ecosystem, including the 
Everglades National Park. It would improve the health of Lake 
Okeechobee.
    It will virtually eliminate damaging fresh water releases 
to the estuaries, improve water deliveries to Florida and 
Biscayne Bay, improve water quality, enhance water supply, and 
maintain flood protection.
    On April 10, 2000, on behalf of the President, I submitted 
to Congress a comprehensive legislation proposal that would 
allow the implementation of the comprehensive plan.
    This legislation, if enacted, will accomplish a number of 
important objectives to include: one, a congressional 
endorsement of the importance of restoring the Everglades, and 
that such a restoration is a national priority; two, a 
congressional endorsement of the CERP, the comprehensive plan, 
as a technical sound blueprint for the Everglades restoration; 
third, an authorization of an initial package of projects, 
including four pilot projects and 10 of 68 project features; 
fourth, the authorization of a program authority to allow the 
expeditious implementation of smaller project features; fifth, 
language that would ensure that project benefits are achieved 
and maintained for as long as the project is authorized; and 
sixth, provisions that recognize the importance of outreach to 
socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and 
business owners in the South Florida ecosystem.
    It is important that Everglades restoration becomes a 
priority, and that the Nation recognizes that a national 
treasure, the American Everglades, is at great risk.
    Our legislation would allow the Congress to declare, like 
the Administration, the importance of this unprecedented 
national resource. Our legislation would have Congress affirm 
that the comprehensive plan is a technically sound blueprint 
for restoring the Everglades.
    With its extensive public involvement and adaptive 
assessment approach, the plan would lead to a healthy and 
sustainable ecosystem.
    It is important that the comprehensive nature of the plan 
be maintained, and that the temptation to pick and choose 
various parts and features be avoided. The 68 plan features 
work together, and each provides an important benefit to the 
ecosystem.
    Prior to full scale implementation of the plans, six pilot 
projects will be built to address uncertainties for some of the 
planned features. These pilot projects include aquifer storage 
and recovery, in ground reservoir technology in the lake belt 
region, levy seepage management technology, and advanced waste 
water treatment technology to determine the feasibility of 
using re-use water for ecological restoration.
    Ten projects totaling $1.1 billion are recommended for 
initial authorization. These projects were selected for initial 
authorization based on the following four criteria: first, the 
ability to provide immediate water quality and flow 
distribution benefits to the ecosystem; second, the ability to 
utilize lands already purchased; third, the linkage to ongoing 
restoration projects; and fourth, maximizing the benefits of 
Federal investment already undertaken.
    For example, if authorized, we will update the ongoing 
modified water deliveries project to make it more consistent 
with the CERP, by taking immediate steps to improve flow 
distribution through the Tamiami Trail. In addition, the South 
Florida Water Management District and the U.S. Department of 
Interior have already purchased lands such as the Talisman 
lands for a number of CERP components.
    Authorization of projects that use lands already purchased 
will ensure that these lands are utilized for restoration as 
soon as possible.
    To expedite the completion of certain smaller features, an 
authorization is being sought similar to the critical projects 
authority in Section 528(b)(3) of the Water Resources Act of 
1996. These projects will produce independent, immediate, and 
substantial restoration, preservation, and protection benefits, 
and expedite some of the components of the CERP, as well.
    The programmatic authority will be limited to those 
individual components of the CERP that have a total project 
cost of $70 million or less, with a maximum Federal share of 
$35 million per project.
    Our legislation makes it clear that Congress will be asked 
to authorize the remaining components with the CERP in 
subsequent water bills. At a cost of approximately $6.2 
billion, these 26 remaining features will undergo additional 
studies and analysis before authorization is sought from 
Congress.
    Before any construction starts on any of the 68 features of 
the comprehensive plan, detailed design, engineering, and 
environmental review will be completed. Specifically, prior to 
implementing any authorized project feature, a project 
implementation report for each project will be completed to 
address its cost effectiveness, engineering feasibility, and 
potential environmental impacts.
    These project implementation reports will include public 
review and comment that will bridge the gap between the 
programmatic level design contained in the comprehensive plan 
that you have before you, and the detailed design necessary to 
proceed to construction.
    These project implementation reports will not be different 
from the feasibility reports that this committee receives on 
other water resource projects. That is, you will receive the 
same level of information that you traditionally receive on 
every other project.
    Both the natural and human environment benefits 
substantially from the implementation of the comprehensive 
plan. Ensuring that these benefits are achieved and maintained 
is an important part of our legislation.
    Further, our legislation ensures that existing legal users 
are not harmed, and that the overall authorized levels of flood 
protection are maintained and enhanced.
    Specifically, our legislation provides that the primary and 
overarching purpose of the plan is to restore, preserve, and 
protect the natural system within the South Florida ecosystem, 
and directs that the plan be implemented in such a way as to 
ensure that the benefits of the natural system and the human 
environment, in the form of proper deliveries of clean, fresh 
water, at the proper time, in distribution are achieved and 
maintained for as long as Central and Southern Florida is 
authorized.
    To meet our assurances objectives, our legislation creates 
a four-part tiered approach. The first part is the legislation 
itself, which makes it clear that Congress intends for the 
benefits to be achieved and maintained.
    The second part involves the development of a programmatic 
regulation to identify, in greater detail, the amount of water 
to be dedicated and managed for the natural system and the 
human environment. This regulation would serve as a bridge 
between the legislation, the project implementation reports, 
and the project specific operating regulations.
    We believe that this will help maximize the unnecessary 
debates 10 to 20 year from now, when the projects are being 
completed.
    The third part or tier is the detail design, engineering, 
and environmental work that would be completed for each feature 
before construction starts. This will also give the public, 
interest groups, the State, and the tribes substantial 
opportunities to influence the final characteristics of each 
feature.
    The final part of our approach is the project-specific 
regulations that will be developed for each feature. These 
regulations will be developed based on public review and 
comment, and in consultation with other Federal agencies, the 
tribes, and the State. These regulations will prescribe in 
greater detail how each feature will provide its intended 
benefits.
    Restoring the Everglades will require a large investment on 
the part of the Nation's taxpayers. We believe that it is 
important to disclose fully how the restoration is going over 
the next 30 years.
    In this regard, we have developed a reporting program. 
Specifically beginning in October of 2005, the Secretaries of 
the Army and Interior, in consultation with other agencies and 
the State, will jointly submit a report to Congress that 
describes the implementation of the comprehensive plan.
    The report will include a determination of the benefits to 
the natural system and the human environment that have been 
achieved as of the date of the report.
    In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to say that this 
is a true partnership with the State and the tribes. We very 
much believe that the State has done a tremendous job in not 
only helping in participating and preparing the plan itself, 
but in their role in delivering the plan to you, and in their 
role in hopefully subsequently getting this plan approved 
through Congress.
    I, personally, commend the Governor for his efforts in the 
State, through the legislature, and his efforts to secure the 
funding; but also to give the appropriate support that he has 
given to the plan, and I thank him for it.
    I would also like to mention, Mr. Chairman, if I could, 
that this past Monday, May 8, the Restudy team, which consisted 
of maybe 100 people in all the Federal agencies in the State, 
the South Florida Water Management District, and others, 
received a very prestigious award from the American Association 
of Engineering Sciences and the Autobahn Society, a joint award 
called the Palladium Award, for their work in bringing together 
both the engineering sciences and the environmental sciences 
toward this environmental restoration project.
    I know that Stu Applebaum is here sitting behind me. Stu, 
raise your hand. He is one of the study team leaders. And Tom 
Teets received an award for everybody else. And I just wanted 
to congratulate them for that efforts. And thanks for allowing 
me to take time to do that, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Certainly, and thank you, Dr. Westphal.
    Let us move to you, Mr. Guzy.

      STATEMENT OF HON. GARY GUZY, GENERAL COUNSEL, U.S. 
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, ACCOMPANIED BY RICHARD HARVEY, 
              DIRECTOR OF EPA SOUTH FLORIDA OFFICE

    Mr. Guzy. Good afternoon, Mr. Chairman, Senator Baucus, 
Senator Graham. I am Gary Guzy, General Counsel of the U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency. I greatly appreciate the 
invitation to appear here today, along with my colleague and on 
behalf of the Administration, to present the Clinton/Gore 
Administration's proposed legislation to authorization 
restoration of the Everglades.
    This bill represents an historic effort, in part, because 
of the ambition of the proposed endeavor, and the vastness of 
the replumbing effort; in part, because of the significance, 
and in once sense, the sheer humility of the change we are 
seeking--recognizing that the natural Everglades are dying, 
that they are critical to our Nation's future; and that based 
on what we now know, we got it wrong. Our past intensive 
management of the Everglades must be fundamentally re-thought 
and re-ordered for the good of everyone.
    We recognize that we must reinstill a balance to what 
remains of this ecosystem, and have based this work on an 
unprecedented, inclusive process that garnered widespread 
support for this effort.
    The Administration's proposal and the challenge now before 
this committee represents a culmination of sorts. It is a 
recognition--slow perhaps in coming--that the Everglades is a 
national, biological treasure to be cherished, on a par with 
the great mountains or the deep canyons of our land, and that 
it is, in fact, America's Everglades.
    Without this effort, the natural system could well 
collapse. It is choked by cattails and polluted water. It is 
inhospitable to its own natural inhabitants. It is unable to 
store or filter water the way it used to.
    In so collapsing, it could take with it, as well, much of 
South Florida's human potential, from drinking water supplies 
to tourism to fisheries.
    I, personally, have been fortunate enough to witness first 
hand, over the years, several key steps that have brought all 
of us to this new recognition.
    I remember vividly sitting in a courtroom in Florida 10 
years ago, then as part of the Justice Department's Everglades 
litigation team, witnessing the courage of Governor Chiles, who 
despite years of hard-fought and costly litigation, despite 
being surrounded by lawyers with, as he put it, ``a battlefield 
that was littered with swords and the work of swords.''
    He conceded that the Everglades were, in fact, polluted, 
and that we should be about bringing the State and the Federal 
Government together, to work toward a real and lasting 
solution.
    I recall being in Everglades National Park in 1996, when 
the Vice President, joined by Senator Graham and many others, 
set forth the Clinton/Gore Administration's framework for 
Everglades restoration.
    That called for three critical elements: first, developing 
the replumbing plan so that the heart of the Everglades would 
once again pulse with fresh, clean water; second, acquiring 
critical lands for water storage and restoration; and third, 
providing enhanced funding to accomplish this work.
    The Administration, working with Congress, has delivered on 
each of these commitments to the Everglades, submitting to you 
a science-based comprehensive plan that is at once bold and yet 
obvious, acquiring the Talisman Tract, nearly tripling our 
funding for Everglades restoration.
    I think of the most recent instance, when I accompanied 
Administrator Browner to the January field hearing in Naples, 
where Chairman Smith made it abundantly clear that he would 
continue former Chairman Chafee's strong bipartisan leadership 
on behalf of Everglades restoration.
    Each of these acts required looking beyond the horizon and 
exercising leadership. We now ask Congress to take this next 
step with the Administration and with the State of Florida. 
From EPA's perspective, there are several critical elements of 
the approach the Administration is forwarding.
    First, we urge this committee promptly to move forward and 
have Congress pass the Administration's proposal, to authorize 
the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan as a blueprint 
for Everglades preservation and restoration, to ensure that the 
Everglades has clean, abundant water to supply and sustain 
environmental, as well as human needs.
    By recapturing the vast amount of water now lost, that 
water can be managed for the benefit of everyone, and re-
approximate natural flows, including the quantity and quality, 
timing and distribution within the remaining natural system.
    That must be the test for what Congress authorizes; whether 
it will accomplish that change. And this is precisely what 
Congress asked the Corps of Engineers to do in WRDA 1996, in 
developing that plan.
    Second, EPA, as the keeper of our Nation's Clean Water Law, 
and as an entity charged with the whole ecosystem perspective 
and, I might point out, working in an area in South Florida 
that is truly defined by its water, EPA is committed to working 
to ensure that the critical goal of protecting water quality is 
fully integrated into each step of the restoration effort.
    While the State continues to bear important 
responsibilities to meet water quality standards from polluted 
agricultural run-off into the Everglades under a separate 
Federal court degree and under existing State law, we must also 
more broadly assure that getting the water right, as part of 
the comprehensive plan, includes making sure it is clean.
    Ee believe EPA's unique perspective should be formalized in 
the legislation for an independent role in evaluating the 
continuing success of this effort.
    Third, we must ensure that the very purpose of the Central 
and South Florida project is reflected in this new legislation, 
and that it reflects our new collective understanding of the 
importance of the natural system, and we must eliminate forever 
the risk that attention to the natural system will simply be 
placed at the end of the pipe, and that the natural system will 
be provided only what remains, regardless of how much, how 
clean, when or where that water might be. And this is 
fundamental and critical for Congress to clarify this change in 
the project.
    We also believe that this change can be accomplished while 
respecting current urban and agricultural water users. But this 
new purpose should be assured through clearly defined 
principles of shared adversity for all users. Congress and the 
public deserve the assurance that the anticipated benefits to 
the natural system and the human environment are achieved and 
maintained.
    Fourth, we believe that WRDA should provide for 
implementing the comprehensive plan in its totality. While the 
many individual projects will be phased in over time, and they 
ultimately will reflect what we learn along the way, WRDA 2000 
should include a framework that guarantees continuity, because 
each part of this is highly interdependent.
    Our joint efforts in the Everglades represent an 
unprecedented, holistic, science-based approach to ecosystem 
restoration, and we should commit, at the outset, to make this 
entire plan a success. Last, the Everglades have waited simply 
too long and their current condition is too dire.
    The Administration's proposal sets forth several critical 
projects that should go forward in this authorization cycle, 
particularly the acquisition and engineering of critical lands 
such as the Talisman tradelands, for water quality restoration 
and water flow management. These are essential to starting the 
recovery effort off on a sound footing.
    Mr. Chairman, that concludes my statement on behalf of 
Administrator Browner. I thank you and Senator Baucus, as well 
as Senators Graham and Mack, again, for your leadership on 
these issues. We look forward to working with you on these 
matters, as well as on finding a long-term reliable source of 
funding for the Everglades--another critical issue.
    With me today is Mr. Richard Harvey, Director of EPA South 
Florida Office. We would be pleased to answer any questions 
that the committee may have. Thank you.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Guzy.
    Ms. Doyle?

  STATEMENT OF MARY DOYLE, ACTING ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF THE 
  OFFICE OF WATER AND SCIENCE; CHAIR, SOUTH FLORIDA ECOSYSTEM 
    RESTORATION TASK FORCE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR

    Ms. Doyle. Mr. Chairman, Senator Baucus, thank you for the 
opportunity to address this hearing, and thank you for holding 
this hearing. And Mr. Chairman, thanks for agreeing to come to 
the Everglades Task Force meeting tomorrow.
    I would like to begin by displaying for you this map, the 
upper map there, which is a map of South Florida, on which are 
marked the Federal parks, wildlife refuges, and sanctuaries 
located in the South Florida ecosystem.
    There are three national parks and 16 national wildlife 
refuges in the area, along with Big Cypress Natural Preserve 
and the Florida Keys Natural Marine Sanctuary.
    The total of federally owned and managed land and waters 
stands at about 5.7 million acres or about 40 percent of the 
remaining Everglades ecosystem. As you may know, Everglades 
National Park is the largest park in the lower 48 States. It is 
the largest remaining subtropical wilderness in the United 
States, and it receives ever year over a million visitors from 
all over the world.
    This park and the other Federal assets pictured on the map 
are national treasures of incalculable value. And as you well 
know, these treasures of our Nation are threatened as the 
entire ecosystem is threatened by environmental harm that is 
being experienced at increasingly rapid rates. You know the 
gory details of the environmental harm, so I will skip over 
those.
    This comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, developed 
over several years by the Army Corps. working closely together 
with the South Florida Management District, the Interior, EPA, 
and the tribes is a detailed, long-term ecosystem-wide plan to 
restore America's Everglades. The Department endorses the plan 
and believes that it adopts a practical and effective approach 
to ensuring long term restoration.
    Someone asked me the other day to define restoration. 
Restoration means recovery. The defining characteristic of a 
restored natural system is the re-emergence of what is now 
lacking; the return of the waiting birds as the food chain is 
rebuilt through restoring more natural waterflows, the 
redemption of species now threatened or endangered, the 
reduction of invasive exotics, and proliferation of natural 
vegetation once more, rebounding fisheries and returning 
wetlands. All these aspects of recovery are within our grasp 
today.
    Now Mr. Chairman, you started by asking us to address some 
of the issues that were raised this morning, so I thought I 
would depart from my text and go right to those issues. And in 
particular, you raised the question about the role of the 
Department of Interior in the Administration's bill. And I 
would like to add to that the related issue of the role of the 
State of Florida or the Governor of Florida in the 
implementation of the project.
    As you may know, the bill provides for the establishment of 
what we have termed ``programmatic regulations'' by the 
Department of the Army. And the bill provides that these 
programmatic regulations are to be adopted with the concurrence 
of the Secretary of the Interior.
    I would just like to tell you what our concept was in 
providing for these programmatic regulations. This is a 
provision for a process to quantify the amount of water needed 
to restore and preserve the natural system. And here I am 
talking not just about the federally managed natural system, 
but the tribally and State managed aspects of the interrelated 
ecosystem.
    Although the programmatic regulations are intended to 
provide a process for this quantification, a process that would 
include all stakeholders, it would use rainfall driven modeling 
to develop a set of ranges for the delivery of water to the 
various portions of the natural system in dry, normal, and wet 
years.
    The idea is to lay down at the beginning of the 
implementation a notion of overall what quantities of water 
need to be delivered to the natural system, Federal, State, and 
tribal, so that when all these elements, these 68 project 
features, come on line over a period of 20 years, we can look 
back and see that the sum of the parts adds up to delivering 
the benefits promised.
    The way our bill reads, the regulations that establish the 
detail design features for each of the 68 projects would be 
adopted by the Secretary of the Army, in consultation with the 
Department of Interior, but the concurrence rule would not be 
present there. The idea is that the project specific feature 
regs would have to be shown to be consistent with the 
programmatic regs that set aside the quantities of water for 
the natural system.
    I do not want to go into too much detail here. I would be 
very happy to answer questions. But ideally, we would like to 
see the State using its water statute, which is a very 
progressive one, and adopt essentially a mirror set of 
regulations that by State law made the same set-aside with what 
we had determined.
    The rule of the Secretary of the Interior in concurring on 
these basic set-aside regulation seems to us appropriate for 
several reasons. One is that the Interior Department, the Fish 
and Wildlife Service and the Park Service are one of, if not 
the major, environmental clients of this project, and need to 
be closely consulted, therefore, on the basic fundamental set-
aside decision.
    No. 2, the Federal investment in this project is justified 
by the preservation of these Federal assets. And No. 3, the 
Department has, over this century, developed expertise and 
experience to bring to bear in making this kind of decision.
    We do not view it as a veto role for the Secretary of the 
Interior, but rather a close collaboration in the establishment 
of this basic set of regulations to quantify the amount of 
water to the natural system.
    Finally, on the role of the State or the Governor in 
developing regulations that implement this project, and I think 
Dr. Westphal stated this, and I think all of us agree with 
Governor Bush and his statement this morning, that this is a 
work of a partnership. And it, in fact, is an unprecedented 
work of a Federal/State partnership. It has been, up until now.
    We want to commend the State on not only promising, but 
actually delivering on their promise for financial support for 
the project.
    The Federal Government has enjoyed excellent relationships 
with the Governors of Florida, at least going as far back as 
when Senator Graham was Governor, and I am sure before that, 
too. And we enjoy a very good working relationship with 
Governor Bush at this time.
    We have had a number of discussions with the State on the 
question of the role of the State in crafting the regulations 
for this project. Time ran out on us before we were able to 
nail down the issue.
    Our lawyers have advised us that there are some 
constitutional issues raised by giving the Governor of the 
State a concurrence role in a Federal statute. The lawyers in 
the Justice Department are working through this issue right 
now.
    I want to pledge to you that we want to continue 
negotiations with the State, because I personally believe we 
can find a way to arrive at language that passes muster 
legally, and expresses this unique partnership that is the 
basis of this project.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Thank you very much, Ms. Doyle.
    Let me just comment, since you just had a brief comment or 
two on programmatic regulations. I am trying to understand your 
reasoning here, without getting into a judgment, one way or the 
other, but just to understand it.
    It seems to me that in the adaptive assessment or adaptive 
management approach that we are trying to place into this, that 
when you suggest a one time regulation, only 2 years after the 
date of enactment of a plan, then you take away the flexibility 
of the Corps., and you take away the flexibility of the entire 
adaptive management process for a system that may not be fully 
functioning over perhaps as early as 20 or 30 years.
    So I do not understand the logic there, if you could just 
explain that to me.
    Ms. Doyle. Yes, I would be happy to try. It was never our 
contemplation that the programmatic regs would be inviolate or 
not susceptible to alteration as we gain scientific knowledge, 
which is the essence of adaptive management.
    We felt very strongly that as you go to begin the design of 
the individual components of the project, you have to have some 
sort of benchmark or notion of how much water, in the present 
state of scientific knowledge, that we need to deliver to the 
natural areas in order to achieve the restoration. Otherwise, 
you just start piecemealing it, without reference to sort of a 
baseline.
    Florida has a similar system now in its statutes. It does a 
water supply plan before it decides how many permits it is 
going to issue for what quantity of water, and it does that by 
assessing how much water is available. And this would be 
something along that line.
    Senator Smith. But how do you accomplish that with a one-
time regulation? You can not be that specific.
    Ms. Doyle. No, it would be established, I would hope, 
fairly soon, like in a couple of years, and then it would be 
susceptible to being modified. It would also come through in a 
set of ranges. We are applying these rainfall-driven models to 
establish a set of ranges for the delivery of water.
    Senator Smith. If each one of you could respond to just 
this question, then I will be happy to yield to my colleagues.
    The language in WRDA 1996 says, ``The Secretary shall 
develop a plan for the purpose of restoring, preserving, and 
protecting the South Florida ecosystem.'' That was the language 
that was agreed to, again, without passing any judgment on the 
proposed change, which is how I understand it.
    Now the new language in the Administration plan says, ``The 
overarching purpose of the plan is to protect, preserve and 
restore the natural system.''
    I think this is different language. It does have different 
ramifications. And I guess I need to understand the purpose of 
moving from the language that everyone agreed to, and then 
changing that language to take on a different perspective here. 
What is the rationale behind that? And let me just ask you, 
first, Dr. Westphal, and just go right down the table.
    Mr. Westphal. Well, remember, the comprehensive plan that 
you have before you has been the subject of a considerable 
amount of study and reevaluation since 1996, since you passed 
the WRDA bill.
    The work of the Task Force and the work of the scientists 
in developing the plan simply resulted in a much more 
comprehensive view of what needed to be done, both in terms of 
what the State wanted to do, as well as what the Federal 
Government and its entities wanted to do.
    So I think that is why you are seeing some variation in the 
theme. The theme is still there, that was presented in 1996 and 
mandated by Congress. What we have done is, we have just 
amassed so much research and so much study and so much 
evaluation. And we have come up with so many different 
opportunities to protect and to save and enhance and restore 
the natural environment, that it results in this comprehensive 
plan.
    Senator Smith. But if you allow your position to evolve, 
then you have to allow the other stakeholder's positions to 
evolve, as well, do you not? Is that reasonable?
    Mr. Westphal. I think so. And, again, the adaptive part of 
this plan and the fact that every single project, whether you 
are talking about the programmatic authority, that you were 
talking about a minute ago, or whether you are talking about 
other features of the plan, everything has got to go through a 
feasibility study.
    Everything is going to have to have a cost sharing 
agreement between the State and Federal Government. Everybody 
is going to have a chance to veto, to check, to modify, to 
evaluate and reassess where we are going.
    What we are presenting you is a blueprint; a blueprint that 
is based on a lot of research and a lot of work. We have a 
programmatic feasibility study for the whole piece. What we are 
saying to you is, we have given you a blueprint from which you 
can decide today. But you will be deciding every year from now 
on, as we present new reports to you.
    Senator Smith. Well, I am going to ask for your response, 
Mr. Guzy. I would just say, again, the difficulty that it 
places on the committee and on all of us who are trying to 
draft the bill is that there may very well be justification for 
your position.
    There may be justification for others. But we have now 
removed ourselves from an original agreement, for whatever 
reason. It may be a good reason. But we have done that, and 
that complicates things, in the sense that we have got to go 
back to all stakeholders and get them to reagree, if you will, 
which makes it very complicated.
    Mr. Guzy, is your position the same?
    Mr. Guzy. Well, just very quickly, Mr. Chairman, we believe 
that the heart of the 1996 legislation was a direction to the 
Administration to develop a plan that would ensure that, in 
fact, the Everglades would once again pulse with clean water; 
water that would be provided when needed, where needed, at the 
times and places where it was needed.
    So that understanding, that when you talk about providing a 
plan for restoring the Everglades, you are talking about, as 
its central feature, as its critical component, a plan that 
provides a means for restoring the natural system.
    We do not think that there is any fair debate about what 
the committee and, ultimately Congress, asked the 
Administration and the Corps. specifically to do in developing 
this plan.
    I think the challenge comes only if one believes that you 
can not do that; in other words, respect the natural system. At 
the same time, you also can respect the needs of agriculture 
and the needs of the urban water users in the area.
    Our belief is the fundamental feature of this plan is 
recapturing water that is now lost. And it provides, in fact, 
far more water than currently is available to the system. The 
result of that means that, in fact, there is the ability to 
satisfy the needs of the natural system, as well as existing 
users and the potential that they would have for growth in 
their needs, also.
    So we believe that, in fact, this seeming conflict can be 
reconciled, and this is completely consistent with the approach 
that Congress took in 1996.
    Senator Smith. Would you like to comment, Ms. Doyle?
    Ms. Doyle. Yes, please, Senator Smith, just to followup on 
Mr. Guzy's last point, I think it is a false dichotomy, serving 
the environment versus the needs of water users for secure 
water supply and flood protection.
    This plan calls for building a tremendous amount of 
flexibility into the system, and a tremendous amount of storage 
that is not there now, which is going to ultimately rebound not 
only to the benefit of the natural system, but to those people 
at risk of flood. And it is going to secure water supplies for 
urban users in ways that have not, heretofore, been possible.
    Senator Smith. Senator Baucus?
    Senator Baucus. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I would like to 
ask Dr. Westphal a question. And that is just to clarify 
whether the list of 27 projects contained in the Chief's Report 
is the total universe of programmatic authority projects; are 
there more or are there fewer? Are others going to come along, 
or is 27 it, under the programmatic authority?
    Mr. Westphal. Under the programmatic authorities, what we 
have studied to date and we think are feasible today, we can 
not predict the future. There may be a need to do other things 
in the future. There may be a need not to do some of those 
things in the future. But I think that that is what our best 
guess is today, based on all the study and research, that those 
27 are what flies.
    Senator Baucus. Will you come back and ask for more 
programmatic authority; more than 27?
    Mr. Westphal. We have no intention to do that today.
    Senator Baucus. What is the likelihood?
    Mr. Westphal. I really can not predict that. I really can 
not tell you what the likelihood of that is. I can not answer 
that question, today.
    Senator Baucus. With respect to the project implementation 
report, will each of the projects under the programmatic 
authority also have the full scope and review of the project 
implementation report like other components of the plan?
    Mr. Westphal. Right, they will.
    Senator Baucus. They will?
    Mr. Westphal. There will be a feasibility study. We are 
calling it something different, because of the nature of this 
particular set of projects. But they are, essentially, 
feasibility studies.
    Senator Baucus. Well, how will they differ from the project 
limitation reports?
    Mr. Westphal. They do not differ. They are the same thing. 
They are feasibility studies, just like for any other project. 
And they go through the same level of analysis and work that we 
do on any other project.
    Senator Baucus. You know, I want to tell everybody, I am 
for restoring the Everglades. I do not know anybody who really 
is not.
    This is a huge project, here. And so far, I am a little 
uneasy, and I will tell you why. First, in 38 years, I do not 
know of a single defense system that takes that long, from 
beginning to end. I am worried about cost overruns, 
particularly over 38 years. And particularly, when I hear the 
words ``tremendous amount of flexibility'' that goes all kinds 
of different directions.
    I worry about seeing on the evening news, a year or two or 
three from now, the ``fleecing of America'' or ``it is your 
money'' or something like that, which certainly does not help 
the Everglades. It does not help our goal, here.
    I am also concerned, frankly, because of the testimony I 
have heard thus far, it is all just kind of plans and reports 
and so forth.
    I have seen nobody, Mr. Chairman, here who can stand up and 
say, well, here is what is going on in the Everglades, here are 
the basic ideas, and here are some of the things that we think 
are going to work, and here are some of the problems that we 
have not yet solved, and just be kind of honest about it. I 
have not seen that.
    I have this funny feeling that I might be buying something 
that sounds good, but on down the road, I am going to leave to 
my successors here a huge, huge problem. And the problem is, my 
gosh, we have spent all this money of the Federal taxpayers' 
dollars on the Everglades. And my gosh, it is not working like 
it was supposed to work.
    Well, we have gone this far. Gee, it is like a Vietnamese 
War, in a sense. We have just got to keep on pouring more money 
in it, because we have gone this far. And what is our exit 
strategy?
    I am not saying that is going to happen. I hope it does not 
happen. But my very strong view, based upon what I have seen 
thus far, is that you have not made a sufficient case. And I 
may be just one person, one Senator, who is not sufficiently 
familiar and has not studied this nearly as much as have 
others.
    I am a Senator who is sitting on this committee, and I only 
know what I know. And what I know is the testimony I hear, the 
words I hear.
    Nobody here yet so far, and maybe they have down in 
Florida, Mr. Chairman, when you had your hearing down there, 
but nobody here in Washington at a hearing where I have heard, 
has really provided a compelling case that this plan is going 
to work. I have not seen it. And I would like you to dissuade 
me of my views, if you could, please.
    Mr. Westphal. Well, let me start with just a couple of 
points. First of all, there is ongoing work. Second of all, the 
pilot projects that we are proposing in this plan are 
essentially to test some of the assumptions about which we are 
basing the longer term solutions to the problems, aquifer 
storage, sheet flow kinds of studies and work to be done to 
determine whether or not the things that we are proposing, in 
fact, will work.
    Those pilot projects are critical. We authorized two last 
year. We are asking for authorization for an additional four 
this year.
    So there is ongoing work. There are ongoing activities now. 
We have tested some of these assumptions. We are proposing to 
test others.
    Senator Baucus. If I might ask, what are the cutoff points 
here? That is, is there a period during which, you know, 
Congress spends this money, hundreds of millions of dollars, 
but which there is sort of a self-contained set of projects, 
where this is all the further we can go, and it will not 
jeopardize what has been spent and the projects that have 
received dollars thus far? Are there discrete parts of this, is 
what I am asking, or is it all necessarily tied together? And 
frankly, either answer is fraught with problems, as you well 
know.
    Mr. Westphal. Right.
    Senator Baucus. But I am trying to get a sense of what is 
going on here.
    Mr. Westphal. Well, to some extent, it is all very much 
interrelated. That is why it is a comprehensive plan, because 
we believe all these elements are tied together and, to some 
extent, depend on each other.
    Mr. Guzy. Senator Baucus, if I may try and address your 
broader question, I think we all share the sense of frustration 
that this is a plan that takes so long and that costs so much 
money. In part, that reflects really the scale of human 
intervention that has occurred up to now in the Everglades.
    Senator Baucus. No doubt; I agree.
    Mr. Guzy. You know, when you look at a plan that involves 
removing 200 miles of canals, that involves altering interstate 
highways over a 20 mile stretch to allow waterflows, that 
involves capturing 1.7 billion gallons of water that is now 
just shunted out to the ocean, I think it is fair to say that 
the essential elements of the plan that you need to recapture 
and store the water that is now lost so that it can, in fact, 
be provided to the system.
    You need to have flexibility in how that water can get 
distributed, so that it can approximate the natural system much 
more in terms of the timing, where it is, when it is there, the 
levels of water--so that you can begin to recreate that natural 
system; and then also can provide for the growing needs of the 
urban water users, such as flood control needs and agriculture.
    Those essential elements do not seem to be particularly in 
dispute that that is what is needed for this system. What we 
would invite in the long years over which this carried out is 
constant scientific scrutiny. And we have proposed setting up a 
premier peer review process that will help to guarantee the 
accuracy of this complex ecosystem, as well as extensive 
congressional oversight to ensure that, in fact, this money is 
being spent wisely and appropriately.
    Senator Baucus. In a certain sense, you are putting 
Congress in a box by saying it is all or nothing. It is 7.8 or 
it is zero, or at least that is how I hear it, thus far.
    Why not first, stage one, $2 billion? And that is a 
discrete, separate set of projects which, if there are no 
further funds, does help to some degree address the problem.
    Then if you want to go farther, you can let another 
Congress and let them decide at a later point to put another 
couple billion dollars in. So if the first stage seems to be 
working, and then we have better science, and the gaps in the 
science are filled. Then we can address the next part.
    I am just very, very nervous to buy everything, at this 
point, when I do not feel good enough about this. Again, you 
know, you all know a lot more about this than I do. I am just 
telling you my gut sense.
    Ms. Doyle. Senator, what we are asking Congress to 
authorize is an initial suite of projects. My understanding is 
they are mainly water storage projects. The site of these 
projects, the location of them has been identified. The 
neighborhood where they need to be located has been identified 
in the plan.
    They will help immediately the system, which now has no 
storage capability, except for Lake Okeechobee. And when these 
initial suite of projects are up and running, we will have to 
come back to you for authorization of the next phase of the 
project. So I think what is contemplated here is quite 
consistent.
    Senator Baucus. So are you asking for 7.8?
    Ms. Doyle. No.
    Mr. Guzy. No.
    Senator Baucus. Oh, how much are you asking for?
    Ms. Doyle. 1.2.
    Senator Baucus. I see, OK.
    Mr. Guzy. Senator, I would just add that the Administration 
has approached this by trying to really reconcile the fact that 
you want to have a set of limited, clearly defined approaches 
in the short term, and not ask Congress for authorization for 
every single thing that might happen way out, 30 years into the 
future.
    It makes little sense to do that, unless there is the kind 
of broad vision; unless there is a framework for how those 
individual projects will fit into accomplishing the ultimate 
goals; unless there is accountability and a test for what you 
hope to achieve. It makes little sense to go down this road 
unless you have an ultimate vision of where the road is going.
    That understanding, that the natural system can work in 
harmony with the built system and the needs of the people of 
South Florida, is really what is represented in the plan.
    Senator Baucus. Well, do not misunderstand. I want this to 
work. And I am just asking tough questions with the view of 
hoping to make it work. So far, it does not totally pass the 
``smell test'' if you want the honest truth. There are parts of 
this that just do not click in and lock in the way I like it to 
feel, at this point.
    Ms. Doyle. Senator, we would be happy to provide you a more 
detailed briefing in a helicopter, if you would like to.
    Senator Baucus. Well, I am sure you would, and I am sure I 
would like to do that. But there are only so many hours in a 
day and days in the week. And I am right here, this is the 
hearing on this subject, and this is what I have, thus far.
    Mr. Westphal. Well, again, this is a large blueprint that 
incorporates a lot of different features. And what we are 
saying to you is, give us your commitment to work toward the 
accomplishment of the overall objective through these series of 
steps.
    Again, every year the appropriators will have to 
appropriate the money. We are asking for an appropriation of 
over $1 billion, but that is over a number of years. As these 
projects come on line, we expect that operation and maintenance 
requirements are not really going to kick in for another 15 
years or so, until some of these projects come to completion.
    So we have got a lot of steps in the process. But we have 
looked at this in a very broad fashion with the State. And the 
State is putting up 50 percent of the money. So they are 
committed to this.
    Senator Baucus. That is not O&M?
    Mr. Westphal. No, they are putting up 50 percent of the 
cost on everything. Well, on the O&M, it is 60 percent, but on 
the construction part it is 50 percent.
    Senator Baucus. Which is contrary to the rule.
    Mr. Westphal. Right.
    Senator Baucus. Well, this comes down to trust, both ways. 
And I just think we need to work on that.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Senator Graham, would you mind if I made a 
comment in response to this? I apologize for interrupting you.
    First of all, I think all three of the witnesses responded 
very well to your points, Senator Baucus. And I think it is 
important that we understand here, we are not authorizing $7.8 
billion. We are not even authorizing even $1.1 billion, if we 
pass this proposal anywhere along the lines we are talking 
about.
    We are talking about perhaps $100 million this fiscal year, 
or the fiscal year that it passes in. The $1.1 billion for the 
10 projects discussed here are over a 14 year period.
    The truth of the matter is, we can not sit here and say, 
with 100 percent accuracy, that everything we do is going to 
work, because we have destroyed an ecosystem that we have to 
restore.
    So the point is, through the policy that is laid out in the 
overall plan here of adaptive assessment or adaptive 
management, we will be able to have the flexibility on almost a 
year by year basis to look at what we are doing and make 
adjustments.
    For example, the Army Corps. can not do one project beyond 
a 20 percent increase in what we think the cost would be 
without coming to us. So there is tremendous control there. And 
so, again, it is a long process. And it is very unique and 
unusual in the sense that it is 34 or 35 years.
    This is an ecosystem that we can not predict how long it is 
going to take. I wish we could say that it could be done for 
``x'' number of dollars over 15 years. But, again, we are not 
committing to anything, other than a step-by-step process, 
which is laid out in the plan.
    So I think it is important to point that out. Your 
questions and your points are valid points. But I really feel 
strongly that whatever form the plan takes, I think, as the 
witnesses have very well stated, we are not accepting an 
overall dollar amount here.
    We are accepting a concept that says that we think we can 
do this. And if it turns out 2 years from now or 3 years or 4 
years or 10 years from now, that what we are doing is not 
right, we can make adjustments. And that is, I think, the 
uniqueness of the plan.
    Senator Graham?
    Senator Graham. I have been listening to the very good 
questions that my colleagues, and particularly Senator Baucus, 
have been raising. And it reminds me that this year we are 
celebrating the 200 anniversary of the movement of the Capital 
of the United States to Washington, D.C.
    That was a bold action. The Capital was functioning 
perfectly well in New York. It was a large city. People were 
comfortable there. But they recognized that the Nation, a new 
Nation less than a dozen years old, was faced with some almost 
intractable problems, which were likely to force it to fly 
apart.
    One of those is that the southern States did not feel 
comfortable in New York. They wanted a site that was closer to 
home. The other was that the northern States were burdened with 
the State debts that had been taken on to fight and win the 
Revolutionary War.
    Well, that is the stuff of a political compromise. The 
compromise was the Federal Government took on the debts, and 
the capital moved from New York to the banks of the Potomac. 
And that political compromise probably saved the Nation from 
disintegration over those disputes. It was a leap of faith, 
that coming here in 1800, that would save the Nation.
    I think most people today would say, given what the likely 
alternative, to have not moved to Washington, D.C. was, it was 
a good decision.
    I think in some ways we are at that point with the 
Everglades. We can predict with a great deal more certainty 
what the consequences of inaction will be than what the 
consequences of action will be.
    The consequences of inaction will be a continued 
disintegration of one of the great international environmental 
system; one of the few which, for instance, the United Nations 
has placed on its list of world treasures. It will probably 
lead to the first de-certification of a national park in the 
history of the country, and to adverse effects on a large and 
important geographic and population area of America.
    Are there risks to going forward? Of course, there are. One 
of the things that is unique about the Everglades is, it is 
unique. Marjorie Stoleman Douglas, in her great book ``Rivers 
of Grass'' said that there is only one Everglades.
    You can look around the world, and maybe the Pontanole in 
Brazil is somewhat analogous to the Everglades, but not quite. 
Maybe there are places in Africa that are similar to the 
Everglades, but not quite.
    We are dealing with a unique system. That means that we can 
not look to other places in the world and say, how did they 
deal with the same problems that we are trying to deal with, to 
restore a sick and broken unique system? We are going to be on 
a rapid curve of increased knowledge, as we get into this 
process.
    Frankly, if there are not changes in this plan over the 
next 38 years, it is a statement of our ineptitude. If we do 
not learn something engaging in this, over the next three or 
four decades, that is not going to be a stamp of our 
intelligence or ingenuity.
    The Senator asked a very good question about what are some 
of the things that are going to give us confidence that this is 
going to work. One, I happen to have a lot of confidence in the 
Corps of Engineers. I think it is a phenomenally effective 
organization, and has done great things for this Nation.
    If you walk down a few blocks and look at the Library of 
Congress, it was designed and built and the interior 
constructed by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. That is a fairly 
phenomenal structure. I think it is the most beautiful 
building; a product of the Corps of Engineers.
    We also have got a State partner, which is going to be 
looking over our shoulder throughout this. And the State of 
Florida has an annual budget of approximately $50 billion to 
$60 billion. It is going to put up $200 million a year for this 
project. The Federal Government has an annual budget of about 
$1.8 trillion, and it is going to put up $200 million.
    So proportionately, the State has got a lot bigger share of 
its treasury that is going to be invested in this than the 
national government. And so it is going to be very concerned. 
And it is sitting there every day, watching what is happening. 
I suspect that if there is a feeling that this has gone 
offtrack, the cell phones, faxes, and e-mails will quickly 
alert us to those concerns.
    Next, the process is very similar to what the Senator was 
suggesting it should be. Today, we are being asked to look at 
first an overall road map of how to get to this goal of a 
renewed Everglades that will protect the natural system, taking 
into account the human systems, as well.
    The implementation will be in a series of short bursts, 
starting with 10 out of 68 to be authorized in this 
legislation; many of those 10 projects taking themselves a 
number of years to complete, starting with land acquisition, 
more detailed design, and then actual construction.
    I anticipate that for the foreseeable future, every 2 or 4 
years, we are going to be asked to evaluate how well the Corps. 
is doing on the set of projects that we sanctioned in the past, 
and to take on another set of projects, as the first groups are 
moved to completion.
    Finally, I believe that we need to recognize that what we 
are doing here is not only going to be beneficial to the 
Everglades, but we are going to learn a lot about the public 
administration, the organization and the financing, as well as 
the science of environmental restoration.
    I mentioned the Pontanole in Brazil. I can tell you from a 
recent visit to Brazil that they are very interested in what we 
are doing in the Everglades, and hope that they will be able to 
take advantage of some of our learning.
    A year ago, I was in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio 
Grande River, which is an environmental system that has got a 
lot of problems. And the people in New Mexico were looking to 
what is happening in the Everglades as maybe a model of how to 
deal with the issues of the headwaters of the Rio Grande.
    So we are going to be making contributions on a national 
and even global basis, as we go through this process. That is 
the end of my editorial.
    Senator Baucus. Thank you.
    Senator Graham. And also, we do hope that you will come and 
look at it from a helicopter.
    Senator Baucus. Not from a helicopter; I want to see it 
from the ground.
    Senator Graham. We have all forms of transportation: 
ground, aquatic, air.
    Senator Smith. And if he does not support it, we will leave 
him down there.
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Graham. There will be one happy alligator down 
there.
    [Laughter.]
    Senator Graham. Now I am moving from the editorial page to 
the front page.
    About a third of the questions that have been asked thus 
far have related to this issue of, is the planning for the 
first 10 projects that were being asked, is it at a level of 
maturity that is appropriate for us to authorize, or should we 
wait until there has been further engineering done of those 
projects?
    I wonder, Dr. Westphal, if you might respond as to why the 
Corps. feels that these 10 projects are at a point that they 
are ready to be authorized by the Congress.
    Mr. Westphal. Well, we feel very strongly that we have done 
the necessary work for you to authorize these projects. They 
are integral to starting us down this path of enhancing the 
overall quality of the environment. We believe the science is 
firmly behind the work we have done to get to that level.
    We picked these 10 projects because I think they provide a 
tremendous amount of enhancement to investments we have already 
made, both in the purchasing of land, as well as testing 
features of the overall set of projects that are critical to 
doing now, and not waiting until later.
    So we believe it is both essential, from a timing 
standpoint, as well as a resource investment standpoint, that 
we go forward with these, that we are confident that we have 
got the science and the research and the study done, that gives 
us confidence that you can be assured that we are embarking on 
the right path here.
    Senator Graham. Ms. Doyle or Mr. Guzy, did you have 
anything to add to what Dr. Westphal has just said?
    Ms. Doyle. Well, only to reinforce a point he made, there 
were hundreds of scientists involved in the development of the 
plan and the designation of the initial suite of features; 
scientists from the State agencies and from all the Federal 
agencies. The science was subject to peer review. And I think 
everybody I have talked to is very confident in the results.
    Mr. Guzy. I would just add, Senator Graham, that 
considering the pace of environmental degradation in the 
Everglades, we look to be opportunistic in the best sense of 
the word, to find places where relatively rapid action could be 
taken, where you could capitalize on those resources that the 
Federal Government or the State Government had already 
established, and you could take some very early steps and 
achieve significant results. And that is what really those 10 
projects represent.
    Mr. Westphal. One more point, Senator, is we have got to 
remember that the State has also made some great investments 
here. And for us to delay going forward really is an affront to 
that investment that the State has made, as well as the Federal 
Government. We have got almost two-thirds of the land already 
purchased for these projects, so we are well under way.
    Senator Graham. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Senator Graham.
    I just want to make a couple of comments, and then let me 
ask one final question. I guess it would be for you, Dr. 
Westphal, before I make a couple of comments.
    On these 10 projects, do you feel very confident, 
relatively confident, or extremely confident that we can expect 
these project implementation reports to be completed on time, 
which I assume is in a 12 to 18 month period? Is that about 
right?
    Mr. Westphal. Do you see any heads nodding behind me here?
    Senator Smith. Let me see some heads nodding.
    [Laughter.]
    Mr. Westphal. Are they nodding? They are the guys that have 
to do this.
    Senator Smith. What is the answer back there?
    Mr. Westphal. The answer better be yes.
    Senator Smith. All right.
    [Laughter.]
    Mr. Westphal. And the adjective is extremely confident.
    Senator Smith. I want to make a couple more points 
regarding some of the questions that were raised by Senator 
Baucus and some of the comments that were made this morning.
    We all know that this is not exact in terms of dollars. I 
think anybody who would say that would be wrong, and it would 
be misleading to the public.
    I do not think there is anybody in the Senate, and maybe 
there is, but I have not met him or her yet, who is more 
conservative than I am with the taxpayer dollars. I do not want 
to waste a penny of it, because they all belong to all of us.
    I think it is important to understand here that this 
project is worth the risk. It is worth the risk perhaps more 
than many other projects in various other aspects of the budget 
that we fund.
    I want to go on record as saying that I am willing to take 
that risk. And if it comes back 50 years from now that Senator 
Graham and I sat here, and we were wrong, because we did not do 
enough and the Everglades failed, we can at least say or at 
least our grandchildren can say, they tried. And we have to 
try.
    It is simply wrong to try to exact this thing down to the 
last dollar, before we begin the implementation of the plan. We 
have the flexibility to make adjustments so if we get to the 
point where we say, this is hopeless; we are going to lose the 
Everglades, we do not have to spend the rest of the money.
    On the other hand, if it starts working, and we can begin 
to make assessments and adaptations to the process, then we can 
do that. And perhaps we will save money, and maybe it will cost 
a few million more.
    Let me just point out, we are being asked to authorize 
about $28 million in 2001, and about $47 million, or rounded 
off, say, $50 million in 2002, in addition to the $1.4 billion 
over that 14 year period for those projects, half of which is 
paid for by the State of Florida.
    Let us look at why we are doing this. You have got a 
situation in this ecosystem where 90 to 95 percent of the 
wading bird population in this ecosystem is gone. That is 90 to 
95 percent.
    Second, the Everglades covers less than half, and that is 
the ecosystem, not the park, of the area it did 50 years ago. A 
billion and a half or a billion, seven gallons of water a day 
are pumped out to sea, critically disrupting the estuaries, the 
health of those estuaries. And 68, at last count, animal and 
plant species are on the endangered list, including the Florida 
panther, which is probably the most prominent one.
    So it is worth the risk. And I am simply not going to allow 
a situation where we are going to get down and we are going to 
have to say that right down to the last penny of every dollar 
that we spend here has got to be accounted for before we embark 
on one of these projects.
    We have the flexibility. And I am going to encourage 
members to read the plan, so that they understand that there is 
the flexibility and the adaptive responses here to make changes 
as we go.
    That is what I like about it. It is not exact. And we need 
to understand that. And if anybody says that they want this to 
be exact, then I guess they should not be for the restoration 
of the Everglades, and they can live with that, maybe. I could 
not live with it.
    So we are going to be proceeding on this in concept, but 
also looking at those dollars where we can. But even if we 
fail, and I hope we do not, and I pray that we do not, we have 
to fail trying.
    It is worth the risk. And I believe that based on all of 
the science that I have seen and the people that I have talked 
to, and many people shared a lot of information, including some 
of the people here, that it looks pretty good that we can make 
a positive impact on that system.
    Now we do have differences. And that concerns me very much. 
I would just conclude on this, and if you want to respond to 
it, fine.
    I am concerned that these changes were made, not because 
some of them may not be good, because some of them, I am sure, 
are. But now we have got to go back and reopen this. If we take 
the Administration plan as it is presented, we have to reopen 
the whole situation, because other people, other entities and 
stakeholders are going to want to be reassessed, as well.
    We had an agreement. Now we do not have an agreement, if we 
adopt this plan. And I would just say to you, look, if we go 
back to the original assessment agreement that we had in July 
1999, we can say, if we adopt that, and I am not necessarily 
taking that position at this point, but I am saying if we did, 
we still have the flexibility to adapt to make some of the 
suggestions that you have all talked about, if we want to. So 
let us not forget that.
    I hope we do not get hung up in a big argument over 
specific proposals that we want to place in, that some of us 
want to place in. That is why I am concerned. And I think I 
want to complement all three of you, because you have done a 
great job in defending not only the plan, but the system and 
the project, in general.
    I do not mean to imply anything else, other than to say, I 
think it is regrettable that we now have to reopen the can and 
start all over again. It is going to make our job very 
difficult. And I hope it does not just die the death of other 
WRDA projects.
    This is not just another Water Resources Development Act 
project. It is not. If we are to throw it in there with, and I 
do not want to pick out anything specifically, but we all know 
how many of these there are.
    I have 100 projects and a number of letters from other 
Senators who want their project in a Water Resources 
Development Act bill. And I am prepared, if I have to, to pull 
this one out of there, and run it through separately, as a 
separate proposal, and let the Congress make a judgment.
    So the American people and those who support the 
Everglades, and I think that is a vast majority of the American 
people, will have the opportunity to know who is for it and who 
is not. Because if I have my way about it, there will be a 
vote.
    I do not care where the party lines fall. I do not think it 
is a party line issue, as you can see from the debate here 
today.
    We will have a vote, if I have anything to say about it, on 
a proposal of some kind, to restore the Everglades. And I think 
the American people deserve that, and I think the American 
people deserve to know who is for it, and who is not, and who 
is willing to take the risk and who is not.
    Does anybody here have a comment before we go to the next 
panel; yes?
    Mr. Westphal. Mr. Chairman, I do not know on the changes if 
you are referring, for example, to the addition of water for 
the environment.
    Senator Smith. That is what, 245?
    Mr. Westphal. Yes.
    Senator Smith. That is one.
    Mr. Westphal. On that point, please remember that the 
report from the district that went to the Chief of Engineers 
including that feature is calling for a study of that.
    All we are proposing to do is to study the ability to get 
that additional amount of water, without having any impact on 
the 20 percent of the water that goes to municipal and 
industrial uses. So we are not advancing a proposal to do it. 
We are advancing a proposal to study the feasibility of doing 
that.
    The other point that I would make is that, you know, we 
have talked a lot about partnerships with the State, the 
tribes, and each other here. But we really have a partnership 
with Congress with this. Because the American people have to 
vote on every feature of this plan down the road and on all the 
appropriations.
    Senator Smith. It is step by step.
    Mr. Westphal. So, really, our requirement will be to really 
link up with you, your committee, and the rest of the members 
here and in the House to make sure that we give you the best 
and all of the information required for you to make judicious 
decisions for the American people.
    Senator Smith. Senator Baucus' point on trust is a good 
point. It does involve trust. And we are going to have to, I 
think, demonstrate to the American people that we can work that 
way; that you can bring this project to us, and you can say, 
here is where we are and here is why we can not approve it yet, 
or here is the reason we can approve it.
    Mr. Westphal. Absolutely.
    Senator Smith. I think that is going to take a lot of work 
together, and I believe we can do that.
    Mr. Westphal. Mr. Chairman, I am confident that whatever 
Administration follows the Clinton/Gore Administration, they 
will sit together here, and they will tell you the same things 
we are telling you, commitment to it and support for it and 
willingness to work with you.
    Mr. Guzy. Mr. Chairman, we really respect and appreciate 
your commitment to move this process forward. And, obviously, 
the Administration will work with you anyway that we can to 
accomplish the appropriate authorization.
    Senator Smith. I do not know if you were in the room when I 
made the comment to the first panel this morning, but let me 
just repeat it.
    The process after we finish this hearing would be to work 
together with the Administration and the Corps. and the 
Department of Interior, as well as Senator Graham and Senator 
Mack and the committee members, Senator Baucus and Senator 
Voinovich, of course, who chairs the subcommittee, to try to 
come up with a some kind of a compromise, if you will, or 
legislation in the next weeks, so that we can get it on the 
Floor before the end of the summer. That is the goal.
    Senator Smith. Thank you all.
    Ms. Doyle. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Senator Graham?
    Senator Graham. Senator Smith, there are a couple of 
letters, one from Dr. Westphal, and another from General 
Ballard, which attempt to clarify this issue of the 245,000. 
And I would like to ask if those could be submitted for the 
record.
    Senator Smith. Certainly, without objection.
    [The referenced documents follow:]
                                               U.S. Senate,
                                     Washington, DC, July 30, 1999.

Lt. Gen. Joe N. Ballard,
Chief of Engineers,
Department of the Army,
Washington, DC 20314.

Dear General Ballard: We are writing to you regarding the Restudy which 
you released to Congress on July 1, 1999. We appreciate all the hard 
work by the Army Corps in developing this comprehensive plan for 
restoration of the Everglades and in ensuring that it was unanimously 
supported by the stakeholders in Florida.
    The Restudy submission capped a lengthy process of coordination 
among many stakeholders with vital interests in the future of the 
Everglades watershed. The draft Restudy was subjected to extensive 
review and comment--a factor that we believe contributed to the 
remarkable coalition assembled in support of its authorization.
    We have received some questions regarding the transmittal letter 
accompanying the Restudy. This letter contained some significant new 
recommendations that were not reflected in the Restudy itself. For 
example, your letter included a commitment to deliver 245,000 acre feet 
of water beyond that recommended in the Restudy to the Everglades 
National Park and Biscayne Bay National Park. We understand that this 
recommendation did not go through the same rigorous public review and 
comment as did the Restudy itself.
    We know that the inclusion of a transmittal letter from the Army 
Corps with this type of report to Congress is standard practice. This 
letter reflects the views of the Secretary as they relate to the 
project recommendations and technical analysis contained in the Chief's 
report. These views are taken into account by Congress as it considers 
proposals for project authorization. In every case, the final decision 
on the content of the authorization is determined by Congress, normally 
through a Water Resources Development Act.
    We appreciate the comments in the transmittal letter and will 
consider them as we move to authorize the Restudy. Please clarify in 
writing that the transmittal letter for the Restudy will function in 
the same manner as all other transmittal letters, as recommendations 
for consideration by Congress.
    Again, we appreciate your hard work on the Restudy, and we look 
forward to hearing from you.
            Sincerely,
                                  Connie Mack, U.S. Senate.
                                   Bob Graham, U.S. Senate.
                                 ______
                                 
                                    Department of the Army,
                          Office of the Chief of Engineers,
     Planning Division, Eastern Planning Management Branch,
                                Washington, DC, September 27, 1999.

Honorable Connie Mack,
U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC 20510.

Dear Senator Mack: This is in response to your letter dated July 30, 
1999, which was cosigned by the Honorable Bob Graham, U.S. Senate, 
concerning the Central and Southern Florida Project Comprehensive 
Review Study (``Restudy'') submitted to Congress by the Assistant 
Secretary of the Army for Civil Works on July 1, 1999.
    As you know, over a 6-year period involving over 30 Federal, State, 
and local agencies, tribal leaders, stakeholders, other interested 
parties, and the general public and through extensive coordination with 
the Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida and the South 
Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force, a Comprehensive Plan for 
restoring the Everglades and south Florida ecosystem has been 
developed. Due to the magnitude and complexity of the project, the 
level of multi-agency involvement, political and public interest, and 
the comprehensive nature of the Plan, a decision was made during the 
final policy review at the Washington level that the draft Chief of 
Engineers report released for State and agency review in April 1999 
needed to be expanded to include the findings, conclusions, and 
recommendations of the Restudy efforts. Though the report is lengthy 
and includes extensive information, it does present the complete and 
the latest information on refinements to the Comprehensive Plan and its 
implementation strategy for consideration by the Administration and the 
Congress.
    In furtherance of the Comprehensive Plan, numerous commitments were 
made by the restoration team during public review of the Comprehensive 
Plan, subsequent coordination with other Federal, State, and local 
agencies, and the South Florida Water Management District to 
significantly improve the implementation plan. Many of these 
commitments, like the Corps decision to complete the additional 
analysis to evaluate the proposal to provide an additional 245,000 
acre-feet of water that may be required to southern Everglades and 
Biscayne Bay are reflected in the Jacksonville District's Final 
Comprehensive Restudy. Other commitments stemmed from the public review 
period on the draft Comprehensive Plan and implementation plan in 
October 1998 and January 1999, respectively and the numerous meetings, 
correspondence, and intense coordination efforts during finalization of 
the Comprehensive Plan.
    The Corps is committed to implementing the final plan in a manner 
that provides more water for the Everglades National Park (ENP) and 
Biscayne Bay. Up to about 245,000 acre-feet of additional water may be 
available from urban sources. Assuming this water can be treated to 
acceptable standards and does not result in unacceptable adverse 
impacts to other areas of the natural system, this water may be used to 
enhance overland flow and ecological conditions in ENP and Biscayne 
Bay. As a matter of clarification, the Corps has only committed to 
completing the evaluation on the additional 245,000 acre-feet of water 
that may be required for southern Everglades and Biscayne Bay. The 
ultimate amount of additional water recaptured, its distribution, and 
resolution of water quality issues, requires much more detailed study, 
analysis, coordination, and public review before any recommendation is 
finalized and a report submitted to Congress for authorization. The 
development of the Comprehensive Plan involved a historic partnership 
among Federal, State, local governments, interested groups and the 
general public, and therefore, I determined that including the Restudy 
team's commitments was necessary to provide the Administration and the 
Congress with all the information that helped shape the Comprehensive 
Plan and the complexity of restoring this significant natural resource.
    Thank you for your continued interest in this project. I will 
continue to keep you advised on the progress of this project as we 
proceed with implementation of the Comprehensive Plan.
            Sincerely,
                        Joe N. Ballard, Lieutenant General,
                                      U.S. Army Chief of Engineers.
                                 ______
                                 
                                               U.S. Senate,
                                  Washington, DC, November 9, 1999.

Dr. Joseph Westphal, Assistant Secretary,
Department of the Army (Civil Works),
The Pentagon,
Washington, DC 20310-0108.

Dear Dr. Westphal: We are writing to you to followup on some 
correspondence we exchanged with Lieutenant General Joe Ballard 
regarding the Restudy which you released to Congress on July 1, 1999. 
In this exchange, we requested clarification that the transmittal leper 
that accompanied the Restudy would function as a recommendation for 
consideration by Congress.
    We know the inclusion of a transmittal letter from the Army Corps 
with this type of report to Congress is standard practice. This letter 
reflects the views of the Secretary as they relate to the project 
recommendations and technical analysis contained in the Chiefs report. 
These views are taken into account by Congress as it considers 
proposals for project authorization. In every case, the final decision 
on the content of the authorization is determined by Congress, 
nominally through a Water Resources Development Act.
    In Lieutenant General Ballard's response of September 27, 1999, he 
indicates that, ``numerous commitments were made by the restoration 
team during public review of the Comprehensive Plan, subsequent 
coordination with other Federal, State, and local agencies, and the 
South Florida Water Management District to significantly improve the 
implementation plan. Many of these commitments, like the Corps decision 
to complete the additional analysis to evaluate the proposal to provide 
an additional 245,000 acre-feet of water that may be required to 
southern Everglades and Biscayne Bay are reflected in the Jacksonville 
District's Final Comprehensive Restudy.''
    He goes on to say that, ``. . . the Corps has only committed to 
completing the evaluation on the additional 245,000 acre-feet of water 
that may be required for southern Everglades and Biscayne Bay.''
    Please clarify the following points:
    1) Were commitments made by the Restudy team to provide a full 
additional 245,000 acre-feet of water to the natural system? If so, 
through what process?
    2) Does the transmittal letter indicate a commitment by the Corps 
to provide this water or a commitment to evaluate the potential to 
provide this water?
    We appreciate your hard work on the Restudy and look forward to 
working together on its authorization. However, we believe that the 
interpretation of the intent of the transmittal letter is a lingering 
issue that we wish to resolve before the end of calendar year 1999.
    We look forward to your response.
            Sincerely,
                         Bob Graham, United States Senator.
                        Connie Mack, United States Senator.
                                 ______
                                 
                                    Department of the Army,
                   Office of the Secretary for Civil Works,
                      Washington, DC, 20310-0108, January 24, 2000.

Honorable Bob Graham,
U.S. Senate,
Washington, DC 20510.

Dear Senator Graham: Thank you for your letter of November 9, 1999, co-
signed by Senator Connie Mack, regarding the Chief of Engineers Report 
on the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). Specifically, 
you asked me to clarify the Chief's Report provision concerning the 
additional 245,000 acre-feet of water that may be required for 
Everglades National Park (ENP) and Biscayne Bay.
    First, let me state that our commitment is to completing the 
evaluation that is necessary to determine how much of the 245,000 acre 
feet is necessary to restore ENP and Biscayne Bay. This evaluation will 
include more detailed studies, an Environmental Impact Statement, and 
full public review. Once this has been completed, a final executive 
branch decision will be made and a proposal will be forwarded to 
Congress for consideration in a Water Resources Development Act of 
2004. Congress would then have the opportunity to discuss and debate 
the proposal. In short, construction will not start on this proposal 
until it as been studied fully and congressional authorization is 
obtained.
    In regard to the process that led to the Chief's Report provision 
on the 245,000 acre-feet, let me offer the following history. In 
response to the October 1998, draft of the CERP, Department of the 
Interior and other scientists suggested that additional water was 
needed to ensure restoration of the ENP and Biscayne Bay. The 
interagency technical team that developed the CERP evaluated several 
options and concluded that an additional 245,000 acre-feet of water is 
available, that it would provide important benefits to the ENP and 
Biscayne Bay and that it is conceptually feasible to deliver the water 
to the ENP. The principal questions were how to deliver the water to 
the ENP without impacting other parts of the ecosystem (e.g., WCAs and 
farmland) and how much the water would have to be cleaned before it 
could be discharged into the ENP. Contrary to some reports, this was 
discussed in general terms in the final CERP released in April 1999. 
Further, letters clarifying this issue were part of the public record 
that was available for review last April.
    While we believe that restoration of the greater South Florida 
ecosystem is our principle objective, ensuring effective restoration of 
the ENP is also very important. We are confidant that the CERP in 
general, and the 245,000 acre-feet provision in particular, were 
developed with the health of the overall ecosystem, including the human 
environment, in mind. We are very much aware of the need to look beyond 
the ENP boundary to ensure that other important parts of the ecosystem 
like the estuaries and the WCAs are protected and restored.
    I appreciate your leadership on this important national issue--
restoration of America's Everglades. I look forward to working with you 
this year to obtain authorization of the CERP.
            Sincerely,
                                        Joseph W. Westphal,
                     Assistant Secretary of the Army (Civil Works).
    Senator Smith. We thank the panel.
    The next panel is Mr. Ken Keck, who is the Director of 
Legislative and Regulatory Affairs of the Florida Citrus 
Mutual; and Dr. David Guggenheim, the President of the 
Conservancy of Southwest Florida, and the Co-Chair of the 
Everglades Coalition.
    Welcome, gentlemen, and I appreciate you being here. I 
think you two also traveled a long distance to be here, and we 
appreciate it.
    We do try to take the hearings out of town once in a while, 
and we did have one down there. But the hearing, as you know, 
in Florida, was specifically on the issue itself, and this is 
on the Administration proposal or legislation, so it is a 
little bit different.
    Mr. Keck, we will start with you. I appreciate your being 
here. Again, as I indicated before, your entire testimony is 
part of the record, both of you. If you could summarize in 5 
minutes or so, and also kind of indicate to me where your 
problems are with the plan, as opposed to the agreement that 
you had initially, that helps me to focus a little bit on 
trying to build some type of coalition of support.
    Mr. Keck?

 STATEMENT OF KEN KECK, DIRECTOR OF LEGISLATIVE AND REGULATORY 
                 AFFAIRS, FLORIDA CITRUS MUTUAL

    Mr. Keck. Thank you, Chairman Smith, and Senator Graham, 
thank you very much.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, my name is Ken 
Keck. I am employed by Florida Citrus Mutual as the Director of 
Legislative and Regulatory Affairs. Florida Citrus Mutual, as 
you may know, Senator Graham, is a voluntary grower association 
of about 11,500 growers throughout Central and South Florida.
    While historically we raised citrus more in the central 
part of the State, because of the freeze events in the 1980's, 
fully half of the citrus grown in Florida now is within the 
boundaries of the Restudy.
    Let me let the committee know that in preparing our 
testimony, and I say ``our'' in the sense of a broad coalition 
of ag groups in South Florida, I will, if I could, submit for 
the record, Mr. Chairman, the list of groups who do support our 
testimony, today.
    Senator Smith. That will be made a part of the record.
    [The referenced document follows:]
                                 ______
                                 
                Attachment to the Testimony of Ken Keck
    These organizations have endorsed the attached statement of 
concerns with the Administration's legislative proposal relating to 
Everglades Restoration (Section 3 of S. 2437) as of May 9, 2000.

    Florida Farm Bureau
    Florida Citrus Mutual
    Gulf Citrus Growers Association
    Sunshine State Milk Producers
    Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association
    Florida Fertilizer and Agri-Chemical Association
    Florida Sugar Cane League, Inc.
    Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida
    Miami-Dade County Farm Bureau
    Palm Beach County Farm Bureau
    Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau
    Lake Worth Drainage District
                                 ______
                                 
Florida Agriculture's Concerns with Administration's WRDA 2000 Proposal
    This paper summarizes eight fundamental problems with the 
Administration's proposal based on the concepts, authorities and 
processes that would shape future water management in South Florida 
under this draft legislation. We are not, at this time, listing all of 
the specific problems we have with many of the provisions. In all 
cases, specific legislative language can be suggested.
    1. Problem:--The bill modifies the balanced purposes for the 
existing C&S Florida Project and, by amending the balanced purposes 
that were re-affirmed in WRDA 96, eliminates this balance for the 
future of this entire project.
    Fix:--The balanced purposes for both the existing and modified C&SF 
Project should be reaffirmed while providing that the primary purpose 
of the Comprehensive Plan is ecosystem restoration, preservation and 
protection.
    2. Problem:--The assurance provisions preempt Florida law governing 
water allocations and reservations and preclude comprehensive water 
management by the local sponsor. They fundamentally alter current 
Federal policy. These provisions establish unprecedented Federal 
authority and control of water quality and quantity.
    Fix:--Assurances can be provided by utilizing the Project 
Implementation Reports for each project component under the Plan which 
can, by agreement of the Secretary and local sponsor, and consistent 
with State law: (1) allocate and reserve the new water supply made 
available, (2) otherwise provide for the allocation of any other 
benefits and (3) establish the component's operating criteria necessary 
to provide the allocations and other benefits.
    3. Problem:--The bill's provisions regarding Project Implementation 
Reports have much less content and are inconsistent with descriptions 
of those Reports in the Comprehensive Plan. These provisions are also 
inconsistent with representations from the Restudy team that these 
Reports will contain all the information needed for a full feasibility 
report and more. These Reports provide an opportunity to address 
assurance issues with a more complete decisionmaking document.
    Fix:--These Reports should meet the requirements of the U.S Water 
Resources Council's Principles and Guidelines and provide all 
information needed to support congressional authorization, approval 
under state law, and answer all questions regarding the allocation of 
benefits and achievement of Project and Comp Plan purposes.
    4. Problem:--The bill authorizes specific project components and 
undefined other components ``consistent with the plan.'' These are all 
project components whose value, cost-effectiveness and benefits have 
not been demonstrated by feasibility level engineering, economic and 
environmental studies. There are no reliable cost estimates on which to 
base authorization for appropriations.
    Fix:--Authorize project modifications after Congress has been able 
to review a completed and fully coordinated feasibility or Project 
Implementation Report.
    5. Problem:--The bill references the Chief's Report of June 22,1999 
that includes additional commitments that were not part of the Plan 
reviewed in consultation with the State and were included without 
notice or opportunity for public comment. If implemented, these 
conditions would have substantial adverse impacts on State interests 
and substantially increase on project costs.
    Fix:--All references to the Chief's Report should be deleted from 
the Bill, confirming that the Plan is based on the Recommended Plan in 
the document of April 1999.
    6. Problem:--The way the Bill approves the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan.
    Fix:--Approve the Comprehensive Plan as a guide and framework for a 
continuing planning process to answer remaining environmental and 
technical questions, requiring periodic updates at the time further 
congressional authorizations are requested.
    7. Problem:--The bill acknowledges the need for but does not 
provide a full and equal partnership between the State and Federal 
Governments.
    Fix:--In addition to deleting provisions by which Federal 
allocation of water preempts state law, the bill should provide for (1) 
equal cost sharing of the C&S Florida project including construction of 
project components and operations and maintenance and (2) equal 
decisionmaking for operating protocols in PIR agreements.
    8. Problem:--Compliance with water quality requirements is not 
ensured.
    Fix:--Require that, prior to authorization, project components 
include features necessary to ensure that all discharges meet 
applicable water quality standards and water quality permitting 
requirements.
    Mr. Keck. Please allow me to name these, just knowing in 
the first panel this morning, there was some question: Florida 
Farm Bureau, Gulf Citrus Growers Association, Sunshine State 
Milk Producers, Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association; 
Florida Fertilizer and Agri-Chemical Association, Florida Sugar 
Cane League, Inc., Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida, 
Miami-Dade County Farm Bureau, Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, 
Western Palm Beach County Farm Bureau, and Lake Worth Drainage 
District.
    We responded to Senator Graham and Senator Mack's staff who 
asked for a response to the Administration's proposal. Through 
a series of meetings, phone calls, faxes, e-mails, we came up 
with our core eight concerns with the Administration's bill.
    Let me start by saying that all of the groups do support 
the plan; that is, the plan that was submitted to Congress in 
April 1999. However, the implementation of that plan, which of 
course was not subject to review by the groups is what we 
primarily have the difference with.
    Florida ag participated extensively in that Federal/State 
Restudy process that produced that plan, and we expect to 
continue to participate in that process, just to make that 
clear to the committee. We are prepared to support major 
improvements to the water management system.
    However, we believe that the importance of the Everglades 
restoration and the other vital project purposes demand that 
project modifications be based on, and this is no secret, sound 
science, be the product of objective analysis, and be 
implemented in an orderly way. All of this is hopefully to 
ensure that the needs of our growers, landowners, and 
businesses are met.
    Because of the precedent setting nature, the policy issues 
raised by S. 2437 should be the concern of every member, 
obviously, of this committee, as well as the Congress. Because 
the plan is the first large Federal water project with 
ecosystem restoration as its primary objective, we see this 
being modeled perhaps throughout the country, in other areas of 
environmental distress.
    Our profound disappointment with the Administration's bill 
makes us hope that the committee can start with a fresh 
beginning, and that the committee does not feel bound or tied 
to the Administration's approach.
    We see the problems in the Administration continually at 
this table, seeking to insist on the projects with no 
feasibility studies, and ultimately, the Administration 
attempts to undo the balanced purposes of the existing CS&F 
project.
    Moving on to our top three specifics, the bill eliminates 
the balanced purposes of the existing modified CS&F project 
that were affirmed in the WRDA 1996. So to have that Section 
528 of WRDA 1996 reinserted into this committee's product would 
be a real high priority for us.
    We think the balanced purposes that tie into the assurances 
language in that we advocate that the Feds enter into 
agreements with the State, as to what benefits will 
specifically come out of out each project; what water 
quantities will specifically come out of each project; and 
where those will be channeled. We think that these balanced 
purposes can get reflected, or I should say, would subsume the 
assurances issue.
    Second, we really have concerns about this committee giving 
blanket authorizations, and not project-by-project 
authorizations. I think ultimately your constituencies and 
taxpayers who will look for things like flood protection 
ultimately will not favor such a process that has a blanket 
authorization.
    And, of course, my written testimony lists some of the 
other concerns, but I point out those as priorities. Thank you, 
Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Thank you, Mr. Keck.
    Mr. Guggenheim?

 STATEMENT OF DR. DAVID GUGGENHEIM, PRESIDENT, THE CONSERVANCY 
    OF SOUTHWEST FLORIDA, CO-CHAIR, THE EVERGLADES COALITION

    Mr. Guggenheim. Thank you, Mr. Chairman, good afternoon. I 
am David Guggenheim, the Florida Co-Chair of the Everglades 
Coalition, and President and CEO of the Conservancy of 
Southwest Florida in Naples.
    I am representing the Everglades Coalition, which is 40 
national, State, and local organizations, working together on 
behalf of protecting and restoring the Everglades.
    I first want to acknowledge, Mr. Chairman, your leadership 
and your very eloquent remarks following the previous panel. It 
is very much appreciated. And Senator Graham, of course, your 
ongoing leadership on this issue is also very much appreciated.
    Today, America's Everglades are this Nation's most 
endangered ecosystem. Our lack of foresight over the past 
century has resulted in a devastated ecosystem, threatening not 
only the wildlife that lives within it, but also a way of life 
for millions in South Florida, who call South Florida and will 
call South Florida their home.
    Today, the status quo represents the greatest risk to the 
Everglades ecosystem and to taxpayers. We are pushing the 
ecosystem and the endangered species that live there to the 
brink with unknown consequences. With every passing day, 
restoration becomes more uncertain and more expensive.
    Severe habitat loss and fragmentation of that habitat 
throughout South Florida continues at a very rapid pace, 
threatening 68 species, including the Florida panther, the wood 
stork, the Cape Sable seaside sparrow, among many others. And 
these species continue to decline.
    We have disrupted fresh waterflows, which has led to too 
little fresh water in some cases, and too much fresh water in 
others. And it is a profoundly tragic irony that in a system 
that is often terribly thirsty for water, we have also managed 
to make fresh water a pollutant.
    Just earlier this week, Lee County has filed an injunction, 
or has moved forward to file an injunction, against the Water 
Management District concerning excessive fresh waterflows down 
the Caloosahatchee, as an attempt to reduce water levels in 
Lake Okeechobee. And I think that just very dramatically 
illustrates how the system is being operated under emergency 
conditions. And we are trading impacts in one part of an 
ecosystem for impacts in another on a regular basis.
    I think, Mr. Chairman, as you stated earlier today, we do 
need to act this year. This is the year of the Everglades. And 
like you, the Coalition strongly believes that Congress should 
move forward this year to enact legislation that truly results 
in the restoration of America's Everglades.
    We believe that the Restoration Plan submitted by the 
Corps. clearly contains numerous strong points. For example, 
the legislation appropriately establishes the priority of 
restoring the ecosystem first, with water supply and flood 
protection goals concurrent but subsidiary.
    The legislation also includes initial authorization of 10 
projects that will provide critical benefits for the natural 
system. However, the coalition believes that the legislation 
should be improved in a number of areas to ensure that it 
achieves its intent of restoring the Everglades.
    We have a couple of overarching comments, and then eight 
very specific and brief comments about the legislation.
    First, as I mentioned, the legislation contains 10 specific 
projects for authorization. The Everglades Coalition believes 
approval of all 10 of these is absolutely essential. These 
projects were specifically chosen for their ability in concert 
to provide significant restoration benefits within the first 
decade of this restoration effort.
    Included in that list of 10 projects is the Talisman Water 
Storage Reservoir. This project represents one of the highest 
priorities, in our opinion, because it begins the process of 
recapturing water and seasonally storing water that is 
currently wasted.
    It will provide immediate relief from the current crisis 
conditions by giving water managers the very badly needed 
flexibility to manage that water. And this directly relates to 
the issue with Lee County.
    We also have eight specific and brief comments on the 
legislation. First and foremost, this effort is about restoring 
the ecosystem. The principal goal is to restore the natural 
functioning of the greater Everglades ecosystem. And this 
project also has secondary benefits of flood control and water 
supply, which must be compatible with the principal goal.
    No. 2, the Department of Interior and the Corps. must be 
co-equal partners in developing the design, plan, and 
regulations for at least those new project features that are 
intended to provide benefits for federally managed lands.
    No. 3, the authorization should institutionalize the peer 
review process led by the National Academy of Sciences, to 
review and provide recommendations to the agencies on a 
restoration process for its entire duration.
    Such a body would also provide Congress with an independent 
source of expertise, and enable it to better evaluate the 
progress of restoration and its associated activities. And that 
also includes the development of performance measures.
    No. 4, the authorization should include a process that will 
ensure the coordination of other Federal actions in and around 
the Everglades ecosystem with regard to the restoration effort. 
It is counter-productive to have other Federal agencies working 
at odds with each other. And I think such a provision could 
have avoided the conflict that we are now experiencing with 
regard to the Homestead Air Force Base.
    No. 5, there should be no irreversible or irretrievable 
commitments of resources to the project that rely upon pilot 
projects for their justification. For example, the development 
of land in the L-31N project area should not proceed until the 
completion of the pilot project in that critical project 
feature.
    No. 6, the authorization should be crystal clear about what 
benefits it intends to provide for America's Everglades. This 
will ensure that this bill to restore the Everglades actually 
will restore the Everglades.
    No. 7, the authorization should provide a process to 
expeditiously purchase lands necessary for wildlife habitat and 
projects that are under extreme development pressure in and 
around the ecosystem.
    Finally, the authorization should require agency reports to 
Congress concerning the progress of the restoration every 2 
years, not every 5 years, as currently proposed. The 2-year 
report requirement would be consistent with the WRDA cycle, and 
enable more engaged and effective review by Congress and the 
National Academy of Sciences.
    Summer camp gets under way at the Conservancy in about 2 
weeks. It is a time when I reflect on education. And, Mr. 
Chairman, as you mentioned earlier, this is very much about the 
next generation.
    Many of these kids are rather disturbed to hear that when I 
was their age, the Everglades were in trouble, and that they 
are still in trouble today. And I think it is a commitment that 
we owe them and their children.
    We have a tremendous opportunity before us. We stand at the 
brink of a point in time where we can truly restore America's 
Everglades. And our success depends on swift and decisive 
action this year.
    On behalf of the Everglades Coalition, thank you for the 
opportunity to speak, and thank you again for your leadership 
on this issue.
    Senator Smith. Thank you for your testimony, Dr. 
Guggenheim.
    Senator Graham, you may go ahead, if you have some 
questions.
    Senator Graham. Well, I come back to the continuing issue 
of whether there is a sufficient amount of detail in the Corps. 
plan to justify moving forward this year.
    Mr. Keck, there are 10 specific projects that are being 
recommended for authorization to proceed. Are there any of 
those 10 projects that you think are mature enough to justify 
going forward?
    Mr. Keck. Senator, yes, but in many cases, and this is the 
problem with blanket authorization, many of the feasibility 
studies have not even begun, as of today.
    So if I am looking to plan investments or capital as a 
citrus grower, then I might be concerned if I picked up my 
paper and saw that there could be something happening in a 
certain area, for instance, land purchases for reservoirs, et 
cetera. It might damage or not help my planning process as a 
businessman.
    Senator Graham. Well, there are 10 specific projects 
outlined in the legislation, the first of which is the C-44 
basin storage reservoir. And as Ms. Doyle indicated, most of 
the 10, or at least a majority of the 10, are similar to that, 
in that they are water storage purposes.
    I am not certain whether it was you or Dr. Guggenheim that 
mentioned that there may well be a suit now by Lee County 
against the South Florida Water Management District. As I 
understand it, the basis of that suit is that the Water 
Management District had so much water stored in Lake Okeechobee 
that it was having an adverse effect on the habitat of the lake 
and the fish in the lake.
    And, therefore, they released water out of Lake Okeechobee. 
Under the current options, they had a limited number of places 
to release it.
    One of those is down the Caloosahatchee River. It ends up 
in Lee County. As it has done many times in the past, it caused 
environmental damage by having that surge of fresh water hit 
the salt water. Bad things have happened, and it may now end up 
in more litigation.
    So there are 10 of these projects, of which several, 
including that first one, have as their specific objective to 
try to avoid those kind of surge releases. So there is some 
sense of urgency to get on with those projects so we do not 
have more examples in Lee County, on the Gulf Coast, and around 
the Steward area on the East Coast being affected by these 
surge releases.
    So I guess the question is, taking that first one, the C-44 
basin storage reserve or reservoir, do you feel that one is 
mature enough that the Congress could proceed in 2000 to 
authorize that project?
    Mr. Keck. As long as there was some provision, perhaps, to 
come back to the Congress when feasibility has been better 
explored or nailed down.
    Senator Graham. I wonder if you might suggest what you 
think would be a set of sort of gates that should be erected 
between authorization and actual proceeding to either purchase 
land or commence design or start construction that should be 
created. And on these 10 projects, if you could almost rate 
them as to which ones you think are closet to being mature, and 
those that are the furthest away from being ready to be 
authorized.
    Mr. Keck. And Senator, on that latter part of your 
question, I would ask to submit that for the record at a later 
point, just with more specificity.
    The Restudy submitted to the Congress back in April had a 
definition of PIRS that is very different from the bill that 
the Administration presents to this committee today. So in 
other words, I would ask this committee and the committee staff 
to go back to the Restudy, itself. Because we are very 
confident that that PIR system that we all agreed to would be 
ideal.
    Mr. Guggenheim. I think we are discussing two issues here. 
One deals with the process. And it is the view of the Coalition 
obviously, that there is extreme urgency to take action.
    We also respect the need for congressional oversight. And 
we would just ask, respectfully that however Congress decides 
to solve this issue, it not be an excuse to hold up 
authorization this year; that there is some sort of set of 
oversight that can be achieved to allow these projects to move 
forward.
    The other issue that is, I think, embedded in this 
discussion is the one of scientific uncertainty. You know, 
speaking as a scientist, I should be the one that says we 
should do more studying. But at the same time, there is a 
practical side of this. And I think we run the risk, quite 
literally, of studying the Everglades to death.
    We need to take action, which means that there is 
uncertainty in the Comprehensive Restoration Plan. The first 
thing is, how do we evaluate whether the plan is going to work? 
I heard Senator Baucus ask that question earlier.
    Well, in order to get a grasp on the success, the Corps. 
has simulated the behavior of the system under different 
strategies through computer modeling. And as a modeler, myself, 
that is something that I understand and appreciate.
    There are two fundamental questions that I ask, when I look 
at a computer model. The first question is, is this a robust 
system? In other words, as you tweak different variables in the 
system, will the whole house of cards fall apart?
    Well, the Corps. convinced me that this is a robust system; 
that it is not fragile in that sense, and would not fall apart 
immediately, if things did not turn out quite the way we 
planned.
    Second is, is the model flexible? Is the system being 
modeled flexibly? When we apply this in the real world, the 
real world is always somewhat different than the computer 
simulated world.
    Will the system provide flexibility, for example, to store 
more water in one location than in another, as we had 
originally assumed? And the answer is, yes. Those two 
components, the robustness and the flexibility, are underlying 
components. And that gives us some reassurance that as we deal 
with this uncertainty, that we can move forward.
    The real key is then in the role of the peer review panel. 
The peer review panel has a very important role. And that is to 
make sure that the goals of the restoration are translated into 
some meaningful performance targets for congressional 
oversight, so that we can evaluate where we are at each step of 
the way, and make sure that this project is, indeed, doing what 
it is supposed to do.
    I think they would be working closely with the Corps. and 
overseeing very closely what the Corps. does along those lines.
    Senator Smith. Mr. Guggenheim, this is a big assumption, 
but assuming the results of the waste water pilot project are 
good, do you favor putting this advance treated waste water 
into the natural system?
    Mr. Guggenheim. It is not an ideal solution. But I think we 
would have to look carefully at the water quality. That is 
ultimately what matters to the system. We are talking about an 
ecosystem that relies on exceptionally low levels of nutrients.
    We would prefer a means of getting water to the system that 
does not involve using waste water. But it could be conceivably 
acceptable. But I think we would need to look at that 
carefully.
    Senator Smith. You would need to take a look at it 
carefully, yes. I feel the same way.
    I want to ask you the same question I asked the previous 
panel. As you know, the Administration proposal changes or 
basically substitutes natural system for ecosystem. Well, let 
me just read it back for you, in case you did not hear it.
    Under WRDA 1996, ``The Secretary shall develop a plan for 
the purpose of restoring, preserving, and protecting the South 
Florida ecosystem.'' That was in the agreement that came to us 
in April or July 1999. And then the language is changed in the 
Administration proposal to say, ``The overarching purpose of 
the plan is to protect, preserve, and restore the natural 
system.''
    I would assume that you would probably prefer the later 
language. But is the first language acceptable to you, at least 
in terms of getting the project started? I know it was, 
initially, but have you changed your position?
    Mr. Guggenheim. I do not believe we have changed our 
position on that at all, no. If you are talking about the WRDA 
1996 language, then we are comfortable with that.
    Senator Smith. Because I think the Army Corps. or someone 
on the panel, when I asked that question, said, well, you know, 
things change. But I do not know that anything specific was 
brought up.
    I am not trying to entrap anybody here. I am just trying to 
get my own understanding, as we try to work this through, as to 
what the thought process was at the time.
    Mr. Keck, again, going back to the April Restudy, the 10 
initial projects that were authorized there, that is prior to 
the PIRs being completed. You know, agriculture was part of 
this, and it was a unanimous agreement. Do you still stand 
behind all of the agreement that was made in the April Restudy?
    Mr. Keck. I would just point out, Mr. Chairman, that 
agriculture did not have, nor did any other party have, a 
chance to agree on the chapter on implementation. So the 
overall plan, the concept, the theory, yes, agreement was 
there. But just keep that in mind as your committee goes 
forward.
    Senator Smith. OK, I am a little fuzzy on the details of 
the details of the condition of Talisman lease. Your testimony, 
Dr. Guggenheim, was excellent.
    I wish we could show it, for the benefit of those who are 
watching on camera. But the location of that area of the 
Talisman property, of course, just south of Okeechobee, is very 
important to the whole study, which is why that is the prime 
piece of property that is in dispute here.
    Mr. Guggenheim. Yes.
    Senator Smith. But Mr. Keck, do you know the details of 
that lease? In other words, can you tell me the agriculture 
interest in paying to lease the land; and what, if any, 
problems will occur if you are asked to vacate, in accordance 
with that lease agreement?
    Mr. Keck. Mr. Chairman, I do not know the details of that. 
I would not be able to speak to that. But certainly we would be 
able to provide from the record, from the ag groups.
    Senator Smith. All right, we will take that for the record. 
Of course, if the sugar industry were here to testify, they 
could answer that question, which is also regrettable.
    Mr. Keck. But I might point out, this militates perhaps a 
shored up EIR process, as is in the Restudy. Perhaps some of 
these things might be avoided at this point.
    Senator Smith. Does anyone else have any other comment that 
you wish to make, that we may have omitted or left out, or do 
you want to respond to anything else?
    Mr. Guggenheim. I would just add on that issue of the 
Talisman Tract that another element here that underscores the 
urgency of acting this year is the fact that there are some 
notification requirements in the contract for those lands that 
are currently leased by the agricultural interests. And those 
notification requirements are such that notification must be 
given by October, 2002.
    If not, then the lease would continue for another 3 years. 
And that would continue to delay the process of getting 
restoration under way and using those lands. So there is some 
very real, immediate pressure to move forward with the Talisman 
property.
    Senator Smith. As I understand it, that had ample public 
comment, correct?
    Mr. Guggenheim. I believe so.
    Senator Smith. I do not have any further questions.
    Do you have any further questions for this panel, Senator 
Graham?
    Senator Graham. No, Mr. Chairman.
    Senator Smith. Well, let me thank the panel very much for 
taking the time to come up here. We appreciate it.
    Mr. Guggenheim. Thank you very much.
    Senator Smith. At this point, I would just say that the 
record will be kept open until the end of business tomorrow for 
any Senators that might wish to ask questions of any witnesses. 
And if you could provide the information on the lease for the 
record, Mr. Keck, I would appreciate it.
    I want to thank everyone in the audience. At this point, 
the hearing is now adjourned.
    [Whereupon, at 3:57 p.m., the committee was adjourned, to 
reconvene at the call of the Chair.]
    [Additional statements submitted for the record follow:]
 Statement of Hon. John Warner, U.S. Senator from the Commonwealth of 
                                Virginia
    I join my colleagues in welcoming you to the Committee this 
morning. The restoration of the South Florida Ecosystem, and 
particularly the restoration of our national parks and wildlife refuges 
in the area, is an enormous job that will require a strong Federal, 
state local Government and private sector partnership.
    As I look at the magnitude of the Federal commitment the Congress 
is being asked to approve, I the issues in this way.
    First, we must be sure that the science fully supports the 
investment of Federal dollars. We must know that projects we build will 
work.
    Second, we must be sure that the Congress fully exercises its 
responsibilities to examine the technical, economic and environmental 
merits of each of the individual construction projects before they are 
authorized for construction.
    Third, we must be sure that Federal funds are used to restore the 
natural system, particularly our Federal projects, and not use limited 
Federal funds to accelerate growth and development in South Florida. 
Those are not Federal responsibilities.
    Fourth, we must develop a reasonable implementation schedule for 
the restoration plan, recognizing that there are many critical water 
resource needs across this nation ranging from navigation, lock and dam 
improvements which are critical to moving American's manufacturing 
goods and farm products to worldwide markets. The efficient 
transportation of these goods is essential if we are to compete in a 
one-world market.
                               __________
 Statement of Hon. Frank R. Lautenberg, U.S. Senator from the State of 
                               New Jersey
    Mr. Chairman, thank you for the opportunity to review the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.
    The Everglades are one of our nation's most important natural 
treasures and we have a responsibility as a nation to preserve them, 
just as we do the national parks in New Jersey and elsewhere.
    Senator Graham has done an outstanding job in bringing the 
Everglades to the attention of our Committee.
    The Everglades of today are not the same place that they were in 
1947. I think we can all agree that restoration of the Everglades is 
necessary. The current predicament of the Everglades is due in large 
part to mistakes that were made because we lacked the knowledge we have 
today about the harm that humans can impose on the natural environment.
    But we must be cautious not to compound one man-made problem with 
another.
    During the past 52 years Congress has selected choices for the 
Everglades based on the state of the science at the time. I am pleased 
to see that the Plan before us has sufficient flexibility to address 
new information obtained during the Implementation process. I just want 
to raise a few concerns.
    First, how do we assure that the so-called ``new'' water captured 
under the plan will be provided to the environment in a quantity 
sufficient to restore the Everglades and ensure that it thrives? I was 
astounded to learn that, on average, 1.7 billion gallons of water that 
once flowed through the ecosystem is wasted every day through 
discharges to the ocean and gulf.
    So I'm concerned that, as the demands for water increase in the 
future, we have protections in place to ensure that the needs of the 
plants and animals will continue to be met.
    Secondly, how can we justify the 40-60 cost sharing for Operation 
and Maintenance of this project? Usually, operations and maintenance 
costs are the sole responsibility of the non-Federal sponsor.
    In my state, the Port users and the State of New Jersey are paying 
100 percent of the costs of similar public works projects in good 
faith. I look forward to learning more about this funding arrangement.
    Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
                               __________
         Statement of Hon. Jeb Bush, Governor, State of Florida
    Chairman Smith, Senator Baucus, Senator Graham and members of the 
committee, thank you for this opportunity to speak about one of our 
true national treasures, America's Everglades. Thank you also to 
Senator Mack for making the special effort to join us. I would like to 
have my extended written statement included in the record.
    I am here to bring you some good news, some hard truths and a 
challenge. This year, together, we will begin the massive, yet 
necessary, undertaking of restoring the Everglades. Restoring America's 
Everglades builds on the very American ideal that there are unique 
landscapes that we as a nation believe are worth preserving. It is also 
an ideal that is now worthy of action.
    First, the good news. Last Friday, Florida concluded its annual 
legislative session. I can proudly report to the Congress that our 
commitment to the Everglades is solid. In fact, it is more than solid. 
As of next Tuesday, it will be the law. As part of our State budget, 
the Florida Legislature has appropriated an unprecedented level of 
funding to begin the implementation of the Restudy more than $136 
million in the first year alone. These dollars will be matched by local 
governments and the South Florida Water Management District for a total 
of $221 million to begin this important work.
    Next week, I will be joined in South Florida by Federal, State and 
local leaders to sign into law Florida's Everglades Restoration 
Investment Act--a measure that passed the Florida Senate and House of 
Representatives unanimously. With this new law, Florida will contribute 
over $2 billion to the Restudy project over the next 10 years. It will 
not only codify our long-term monetary commitment to the Everglades, 
but will create the Save Our Everglades Trust Fund that will enable 
Florida to save money for peak spending years on the horizon. No other 
State has made such a substantial financial commitment to a project yet 
to be authorized by the Federal Government.
    Second, the hard truths. This is not the first time Florida has 
``gone first.'' Since 1983, when then-Governor Bob Graham created the 
Save Our Everglades program, the State of Florida has spent over $2.3 
billion and acquired more than 1 million acres of land to avoid further 
destruction and degradation of the River of Grass. All of this is to 
say that the time has come for a legitimate and equal partnership with 
the Federal Government. I believe this project will require Washington 
to think anew. Too often in the past, partnerships of this nature 
between Federal and State governments have been anything but 
partnerships. At their worst, they have been master/servant 
arrangements. The Administration's bill that you are considering here 
today is a particularly egregious example of this. What had been a 
consensus plan among all the parties both State and Federal for 
restoring the Everglades would be recast. The Administration's bill 
seeks to redefine the project purpose; to establish Federal agencies as 
principal managers of South Florida's water resources; and to be the 
sole arbiter of differences. We must rebalance the relationship into a 
true and equal partnership.
    Water Resources Development Act projects typically require a 20 or 
30 percent financial commitment from the States. Yet Florida now stands 
ready to deliver with a 50 percent commitment. In exchange, we seek a 
new structure of governance. Because of the importance of this project 
and the enormity of the task ahead, Florida believes that it should be 
on equal footing with the Federal Government not only in terms of 
financing, but in managing, governing and operating this project.
    Working as equal partners not only makes business sense, but also 
makes for good public policy. Disputes will be resolved quickly and 
fairly. Opportunities for cost savings will be more readily identified 
and pursued. And both partners will reap the benefits of cooperation 
and consensus.
    Finally, the challenge. Florida needs your commitment. It is 
apparent that Americans across the country support restoring the 
America's Everglades the same way we have protected Yellowstone and the 
Grand Canyon. Foremost, we need to put Washington's financial 
commitment on the table. Congress should not delay in providing funding 
to match dollar for dollar Florida's commitment. Congress should also 
pass a stand-alone Everglades Bill, one that demonstrates your own 
dedication to this endeavor. And Congress should, in cooperation with 
the Administration and Florida, craft a project authorization that for 
the first time puts Florida and the Federal Government on equal 
footing.
    With this commitment from Washington, our Federal, State and local 
governments will protect 68 federally endangered species that call 
America's Everglades home. We will recapture the 1.7 billion gallons of 
water that are now channeled out to sea and use it to help restore 
natural systems. And we will, in the tradition of Theodore Roosevelt, 
continue America's legacy of stewardship.
    Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, let your own legacy be 
that of saving America's Everglades. All of the elements are in place. 
All that remains is your steadfast response. First through 
authorization, then through appropriation. We have done everything 
possible to make it easy for you to say yes. The State of Florida is 
now ready and willing to be your partner to restore America's 
Everglades.
    Thank you Chairman Smith for your leadership.
                                 ______
                                 
          Additional Statement Submitted by Governor Jeb Bush
                       federal resources at risk
    The Central and Southern Florida Project was authorized by the U.S. 
Congress over 50 years ago to provide flood protection and fresh water 
to south Florida. The Federal project:

      Encompasses 18,000 square miles;
      Covers 16 counties; and
      Includes 1,000 miles of canals, 720 miles of levees, and 
almost 200 water control structures.

    These alterations accomplished their intended purpose, but at 
tremendous ecological cost to America's Everglades.
    There are numerous Federal trust resources now at risk in the south 
Florida ecosystem because of the construction of the Central and 
Southern Florida Project, including:

      Everglades National Park;
      Biscayne Bay National Park;
      Big Cypress National Preserve;
      Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge;
      Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge;
      The Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge; and
      Sixty-eight endangered or threatened plant and animal 
species listed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including the 
Florida Panther and West Indian Manatee.

    These Federal interests are threatened because alterations to the 
natural system have resulted in the following:

      A reduction of approximately 70 percent less water 
flowing into the Everglades today than during the 1800's;
      High nutrients entering the ecosystem from the watersheds 
to the north;
      A disruption of the timing and duration of water in the 
natural Everglades, Lake Okeechobee and coastal estuaries; and
      A reduction or elimination of habitat.
             the comprehensive everglades restoration plan
    The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan provides the 
framework for restoring and protecting America's treasure the 
Everglades. The Restoration Plan will restore the natural hydroperiod 
of the south Florida ecosystem, disrupted by the Central and Southern 
Florida Project, by addressing four fundamental issues: the quantity, 
quality, timing, and distribution of water.
    The Restoration Plan now before Congress will result in the 
recovery of a healthy, sustainable Everglades ecosystem by restoring 
the major characteristics that defined the historic Everglades its 
large size and its interconnected water system. By removing many miles 
of levees and canals and capturing water currently funneled to sea, the 
Restoration Plan will reestablish the essential defining features of 
the historic Everglades over large portions of the remaining area.
    The basic approach of the Restoration Plan is to capture 1.7 
billion gallons of water per day that on average go to the ocean 
because of over-drainage by the Central and Southern Florida Project. 
The stored water will be used to the benefit of the natural system and 
other water-related needs of the regions. Some of the benefits are:

      Water will be stored in surface and underground storage 
areas until it is needed to supply the natural system as well as urban 
and agricultural needs.
      The timing and distribution of water to the ecosystem 
will be modified to more closely approximate pre-drainage patterns.
      Wetlands-based stormwater treatment areas will be built 
to improve the quality of water discharged into the natural system.
      Many miles of levees and canals will be removed to 
improve the connectivity of natural areas.

    The Restoration Plan is remarkably sound. It balances environmental 
restoration, water supply, and flood control.
                        benefits of restoration
    Implementation of the Restoration Plan will:

      Improve the health of over 2.4 million acres of the south 
Florida ecosystem, including Everglades National Park and other 
federally and State managed lands;
      Improve the health of Lake Okeechobee;
      Virtually eliminate damaging fresh water releases to the 
estuaries;
      Improve water deliveries to Florida and Biscayne Bays;
      Improve water quality;
      Enhance water supply and maintain flood protection; and
      Provide enough water for the ecosystem and urban and 
agricultural users by the year 2050.
                 florida's commitment to the everglades
    The State of Florida's long-standing commitment to the Everglades 
dates back to 1947 when the State donated the majority of the lands to 
the Federal Government for what is now Everglades National Park. Since 
that initial donation, Florida has:

      Spent $3.3 billion on land, restoration, and protection 
activities in the south Florida ecosystem;
      Acquired almost 3.4 million acres of conservation land in 
the Everglades ecosystem;
      Donated nearly 43,000 acres of land to the National Park 
Service in the Everglades National Park expansion area;
      Acquired and contributed or leased to the Federal 
Government:

  908,931 acres in Everglades National Park;
  237,287 acres in the Big Cypress National Preserve;
  144,842 acres in the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge;
  74,139 acres in Biscayne Bay National Park; and

      Acquired, for future transfer to the National Park 
Service, approximately 20 percent of the 146,117 acre Big Cypress 
National Preserve Expansion Area; and
      Established a 10-year funding plan that provides over $2 
billion of State and local sources to fund Florida's share of 
Everglades restoration costs.
                                summary
    In closing, the Restoration Plan has broad support from Federal, 
State, tribal and local governments, environmentalists, industry, 
public utilities, and the agriculture community. It is a comprehensive 
solution for ecosystem restoration, water supply, and flood control. 
The State of Florida is ready, willing and waiting to forge a new, 
complete partnership with the Federal Government to protect national 
interests by restoring America's Everglades.
                                 ______
                                 
  Responses by Governor Jeb Bush to Additional Questions from Senator 
                                 Smith
    Question 1. Can you please comment on the State's position 
regarding assurances language and what the State would alternatively 
propose as a mechanism to assure the natural system is the primary 
beneficiary of this plan?
    Response. The Administration's proposed language deviates from the 
primary purposes of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996 and is 
not consistent with the assurances language in the Comprehensive Plan. 
The assurances language as proposed by the Administration's bill 
provides only for the natural system and precludes the other water-
related needs of the region. The proposed language also fails to 
recognize that Florida water law provides full protection of natural 
systems through the establishment of minimum flows and levels and 
reservations. We believe that authorizing legislation should not 
undermine protective Florida water law. The State of Florida proposes 
language that clarifies the water for the natural system will be 
managed to meet the natural systems spatial and temporal needs, but 
does not limit dedication and management to just the natural system. 
The State's approach is to require the Project Implementation Reports 
(PIR) to identify new water made available from each project component 
for the natural system and other water uses and then implement water 
reservations for the natural system and allocations for other water 
uses in accordance with State law.

    Question 2. Are you supportive of the project component that would 
take advanced treated wastewater and return it to the natural system?
    Response. There are two project components that reclaim advanced 
treated wastewater for restoration purposes. The State of Florida is a 
leader nationally in the beneficial uses of reclaimed wastewater. 
However, any discharge of wastewater into surface waters will require 
advanced treatment and will be subject to rigorous regulatory 
requirements. The State will continue to work with the Army Corps of 
Engineers to investigate other sources of water for natural system 
restoration, but we still consider reuse water a viable option for 
restoration purposes.

    Question 3. Can you describe the Everglades funding measure that 
just passed the Florida State legislature?
    Response. The Legislature established a 10 year funding plan that 
provides over $2 billion of State and local sources of funds for the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The legislation also 
establishes a dedicated trust fund to invest funds for future peak 
funding years and to accrue interests that will be reinvested in the 
restoration effort. The Florida Legislature appropriated the first year 
contribution of $105 million. This is the first time a State has ever 
made such a commitment of this magnitude prior to Federal 
authorization.

    Question 4. On March 2 and 3, the Governor's Commission for a 
Sustainable South Florida unanimously approved the version of the Plan 
that became the April 1999 Restudy. Ken Keck of Florida Citrus Mutual 
testified that the members of the Governor's Commission did not have a 
vote on the implementation of the Plan. This is contrary to what 
Section 10 of the Restudy says, as well as what the minutes of the 
meeting document. Can you clarify?
    Response. The Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South Florida 
unanimously approved a report in support of the Implementation Plan and 
provided recommended assurances language to the Army Corps of Engineers 
with no dissenting votes (as documented by the Governor's Commission 
for a Sustainable South Florida meeting minutes dated March 3, 1999). 
Roll call votes were not taken during Governor's Commission for a 
Sustainable South Florida meetings. Instead, there was a call for 
dissenting votes.

    Question 5. As you know, it is the non-Federal sponsor's 
responsibility to purchase land. What would the impact be on the land 
acquisition process in Florida if the Federal Government did not 
authorize the initial suite of ten projects this year?
    Response. This is not a typical Water Resources Development Act 
project and we challenge the traditional Federal and non-Federal 
project responsibilities. The State of Florida seeks a true 50/50 
partnership that would allow for the Federal Government to share in the 
cost of lands and correspondingly allow the non-Federal project sponsor 
share in the design and construction of project components. Having said 
that, the State of Florida has already acquired large areas needed and 
has a plan that ensures that the State of Florida and South Florida 
Water Management District will continue to buy land for restoration 
purposes in South Florida. However, in order to meet the timetables set 
forth in the implementation plan, the local sponsor is expected to 
purchase $750 million worth of land in the first 3 years alone. Without 
an authorized project, this puts the local sponsor at great financial 
risk to invest this sum of money with no guarantee that there will be 
any Federal participation.

    Question 6. Are there other important reasons to move forward with 
authorization of this initial set of ten projects this year? Can you 
describe what the impacts of delay would mean for the ecosystem?
    Response. Performance measures developed to determine the 
effectiveness of the Comprehensive Plan indicate that implementation 
will provide phenomenal restoration results. Most areas of the 
remaining natural system will have their natural hydroperiods restored. 
The coastal estuaries will be protected from the frequent catastrophic 
releases of excess freshwater that currently occur about every 3 years. 
If authorization is delayed, there is a high probability that 
catastrophic harm will continue to Lake Okeechobee, the coastal 
estuaries, and the Everglades Protection Area.

    Question 7. Would you be supportive of a safeguard mechanism, 
perhaps comparable to the process Congress approved in the Water 
Resources Development Act of 1999 for the Challenge 21 program, which 
would allow these projects to be authorized, but give the Congress 
appropriate oversight?
    Response. The appropriations process will exert the ultimate 
authority regarding the level of the Federal Government's participation 
in Everglades restoration. Our hope is the Federal Government will 
remain a full partner from the beginning to the end of the entire 
restoration process. From a practical perspective, Project 
Implementation Reports (PIR) approved by the Secretary of the Army 
prior to construction will be a useful way for Congress to track and 
assess progress. However, we are receptive to appropriate congressional 
oversight of Federal agency participation as long as it does not cause 
delays in implementation.
                                 ______
                                 
  Responses by Governor Jeb Bush to Additional Questions from Senator 
                                 Crapo
    Question 1. Does the State of Florida consider any part of the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan as establishing new or 
additional Federal water rights or altering State water sovereignty? 
Does the State of Florida believe that the plan will result in 
increased Federal control of water in the State?
    Response. The Comprehensive Plan does not establish new or 
additional water rights or alter State water sovereignty; however, the 
proposed Administration's bill would. The Administration's proposal is 
unacceptable to the State. We have provided alternative ``assurances'' 
language to committee staff that recognizes Florida water law, which 
provides protection of natural systems through the establishment of 
minimum flows and levels and reservations. We strongly believe that 
authorizing legislation should not undermine protective Florida water 
law. The State of Florida's approach is to require the Project 
Implementation Reports (PIR) to identify new water made available from 
each project component for the natural system and other water uses and 
then implement water reservations for the natural system and 
allocations for other water uses in accordance with State law.

    Question 2. Should the State of Florida take the lead in 
coordinating and managing the plan to eliminate any potential conflicts 
or duplication of activities by State, Federal, local, and tribal 
authorities?
    Response. The State seeks to be a full and equal partner in 
implementation of the plan and will continue to work with the Army 
Corps of Engineers to improve cooperative project implementation. In a 
business sense, the State of Florida welcomes the opportunity to serve 
as the managing partner in the implementation of the Comprehensive 
Plan.

    Question 3. Can a restoration plan that does not infringe upon the 
agricultural community's future water allocation rights be successful? 
If yes, how can this be managed? If no, why not?
    Response. Yes. The Federal legislation should require the Secretary 
of the Army to ensure that the implementation of the Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan, including physical or operational 
modifications to the Central and Southern Florida Project, will not 
interfere with existing legal water uses and will not adversely impact 
existing levels of service for flood protection or water use. The plan 
can be implemented in a way that provides assurances to existing users 
that their existing water supply will not be eliminated or transferred 
from existing legal sources of water supply, including those for 
agricultural water supply, water for Everglades National Park and the 
preservation of fish and wildlife, until new sources of water supply of 
comparable quantity and quality are available to replace the water to 
be lost from existing sources.
                                 ______
                                 
  Responses by Governor Jeb Bush to Additional Questions from Senator 
                                 Graham
    Question 1. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystems if we move forward with this project?
    Response. The performance measures demonstrate that essentially 
every part of the natural system from Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay 
will show dramatic improvements. Conditions will be improved for the 
recovery of large wading bird populations. Populations of endangered 
species including the wood stork, snail kite, Cape Sable seaside 
sparrow, and American crocodile will benefit from the improved habitat 
as a result of the recommended plan. We also expect great improvements 
in water quality throughout the system.

    Question 2. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystems if we do not move forward with this project?
    Response. If we do not move forward, the evaluation tools used in 
the Restudy indicate that virtually every part of the natural system 
will decline and be imperiled in the year 2050. Without Plan 
implementation, there will be widespread water shortages throughout the 
entire South Florida region causing negative effects on the economy of 
Florida and the Nation.

    Question 3. Can you describe the Everglades funding bill, which you 
introduced and which passed the Florida legislature on Friday?
    Response. The Florida Legislature established a 10 year funding 
plan that provides over $2 billion of State and local sources of funds 
for the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. The legislation also 
establishes a dedicated trust fund to invest funds for future peak 
funding years and to accrue interests that will be reinvested in the 
restoration effort. The Florida Legislature appropriated the first year 
contribution of $105 million. This is the first time a State has ever 
made such a commitment of this magnitude prior to Federal 
authorization.

    Question 4. How will the Lake Okeechobee legislation that passed 
the Florida legislature last week impact the water quality in the Lake?
    Response. The Lake Okeechobee legislation commits the State to a 
long-term effort to construct new stormwater containment and treatment 
structures and to better control phosphorous at its source. The water 
containment and treatment structures are also project components of the 
Restudy. The legislation provides the State's funding for two of the 
treatment areas and provides a schedule for the construction of the 
remaining stormwater treatment areas. As the headwaters of the 
Everglades, the cleanup of Lake Okeechobee is critical to its 
restoration. This year's approved State budget includes $38 million for 
Lake Okeechobee restoration projects. Of the $38 million, $8 million 
are for acquiring lands to be used to construct Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan projects and will be credited to the local 
sponsor as part of the Federal match requirements.

    Question 5. Can you elaborate on the State's plan for ensuring that 
the quantities of water generated by the Restudy meet water quality 
standards for their intended uses?
    Response. The Department of Environmental Protection is an active 
member of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan Team. Our 
strategy from the beginning has been to actively participate on the 
implementation team and through this participation, demand the 
incorporation of water quality features into the design of each and 
every Restudy project component. We also stand committed to permit the 
construction and operation of the individual project components only if 
the Army Corps of Engineers and South Florida Water Management District 
can provide reasonable assurance that the structures will meet all 
water quality standards.

    Question 6. Do you feel that the Administration's language 
accurately reflects the purpose of the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan as set forth in WRDA 1996?
    Response. The Administration's language dramatically deviates from 
the primary purposes of Water Resources Development Act of 1996. There 
was broad support for the Restudy because the primary purpose was to 
restore the natural system while meeting the other water related needs 
of the region including enhancing water supplies and flood control. The 
Federal draft language skews the purpose to restoration first and the 
other water related needs if possible. The State feels strongly that 
this is not an either/or scenario and the assurances language should 
reflect the consensus approach outlined in the Restudy. The Federal 
draft language provides only for the dedication and management of water 
for the natural system. The State language clarifies that the water for 
the natural system will be managed to meet the natural systems spatial 
and temporal needs, but does not limit dedication and management to 
just the natural system.

    Question 7. What is the State's position on the Administration's 
assurances language?
    Response. Assurances language by the Administration fails to 
recognize Florida water law that provides full protection of natural 
systems through the establishment of minimum flows and levels. Federal 
legislation should not undermine protective Florida water law. The 
Federal draft language provides only for the dedication and management 
of water for the natural system. The State prefers the consensus 
language that clarifies that the water for the natural system will be 
managed to meet the natural systems spatial and temporal needs, but 
does not limit dedication and management to just the natural system.
                                 ______
                                 
  Responses by Governor Jeb Bush to Additional Questions from Senator 
                                  Mack
    Question 1. Do you support applying section 902 of the 1986 Water 
Resources Development Act to all features of the Comprehensive Plan 
before us today? [This provision requires a congressional review if a 
project exceeds 120 percent of authorized cost]
    Response. Yes and we seek to find additional ways to control costs 
with shared incentives between the Army Corps of Engineers and the 
local sponsor.

    Question 2. Do you support congressional committee review and 
approval of the feasibility level of engineering and design work before 
any construction can begin on the initial suite of ten projects in the 
Comprehensive Plan?
    Response. A requirement to have the Project Implementation Reports 
(PIR) approved by the Secretary of the Army prior to construction will 
meet the State of Florida's oversight needs. We believe the PIR process 
provides an efficient review that will keep the Congress informed. If 
Congress seeks an additional review and approval role prior to the 
participation of Federal agencies involved in the initial ten projects, 
our hope is it will not unnecessarily delay their participation in the 
restoration effort.

    Question 3. Do you support requiring full feasibility studies 
before any other projects are authorized under the Comprehensive Plan?
    Response. Yes. After authorization of the 10 initial projects, 
Project Implementation Reports (PIR) should be detailed and thorough 
enough to fulfill the requirements of a full feasibility study.

    Question 4. Do you support modifying the definition of the South 
Florida Ecosystem to make clear the system includes the lands and 
waters within the boundaries of the South Florida Water Management 
District as they existed on July 1, 1999?
    Response. Yes. This change will make clear the precise scope and 
boundaries of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan.

    Question 5. Do your support a provision making clear the Corps of 
Engineers is only authorized to study the question about providing an 
additional 245,000 acre-feet of water to the natural system?
    Response. We believe the adaptive assessment process will allow for 
future refinements to project components and we are committed to 
continue to work with the Army Corps an Department of Interior to find 
appropriate quantities of water for the natural system. We believe it 
is an error to assume the 245,000-acre feet of water identified in the 
Chief's Report is the appropriate quantity and source of water.

    Question 6. Do you support language making clear that the Corps 
must work with the State of Florida to ensure all groundwater 
discharges resulting from the Comprehensive Plan meet all applicable 
water quality standards and water quality permitting requirements?
    Response. Yes and the language should be expanded to authorize 
water quality features needed for the implementation of the project 
components.

    Question 7. Do you support replacing the project purposes language 
stated in (c)(1) of the administration's draft with language restating 
the purpose of the Comprehensive Plan developed and passed in WRDA 
1996?
    Response. Yes. There was broad support and agreement to the 
purposes of WRDA 1996.

    Question 8. Do you support additional programmatic authority for 
the Corps to construct projects of limited cost but are in keeping with 
the Plan's purposes and have independent and substantial benefit to 
Everglades restoration?
    Response. Yes. Additional programmatic authority will allow the 
South Florida Water Management District, who possess an unusual amount 
of technical expertise not usually found in Corps project sponsors, to 
expedite the planning, engineering and design phase of work for many 
project components.

    Question 9. Do you support a 50/50 cost share between the Federal 
Government and the State of Florida on operation and maintenance of the 
project? If not, please state the cost share you believe to be 
appropriate and why.
    Response. Yes. The high degree of benefits to Federal trust 
resources dictates a 50/50 cost share of operation and maintenance. The 
project benefits Federal trust resources such as Loxahatchee National 
Wildlife Refuge, Big Cypress National Preserve, Ten Thousand Islands 
National Wildlife Refuge, Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge and 
Everglades National Park and many federally listed protected species 
are well documented.

    Question 10. Please provide your thoughts on the definition of 
Project Implementation Reports found in the Administration's language. 
Do you support this definition? If not, please provide suggestions as 
to how you would define these reports.
    Response. The Administration's language narrows the focus and 
requirements of a Project Implementation Report. We support the 
language that was contained in the April 1999 Final Feasibility Report. 
Additionally, language should be added clearly stating that the PIR 
will identify new water from each project component that will be made 
available for reservations and allocations under State law.

    Question 11. Do you believe the Department of Interior and the 
State of Florida should be on equal footing in developing any 
regulations related to assurances? If not, why?
    Response. We do think that new regulations related to assurances 
are not necessary or appropriate. The plan to require the Project 
Implementation Reports (PIR) to identify new water made available from 
each project component for the natural system and other water uses and 
then implement water reservations for the natural system and 
allocations for other water uses in accordance with State law will 
accomplish assurances in a way that does not require new Federal 
regulations.

    Question 12. Do you support the reporting requirement in the 
administration's bill? If not, how would you amend the reporting 
requirements?
    Response. The reports should be subject to concurrence from the 
Governor of the State of Florida.
  Responses by Governor Jeb Bush to Additional Questions from Senator 
                               Voinovich
    Question 1. My question is that in view of the fact that during the 
1990's the Corps construction appropriation has only averaged $1.6 
billion and there are many worthy projects nationally competing for 
these dollars, how will the Federal share of this work be funded and 
still meet other national needs? Stated another way, is Florida willing 
to give up its other Corps Federal funding for beaches, harbors and 
flood control in order to have the Federal funds to restore the 
Everglades? If not, what is the solution?
    Response. The quality of the Florida projects for beach 
renourishment, flood protection and harbors stand on their own merit. 
We will continue to seek Federal funding for these projects where 
appropriate.
    The restoration of America's Everglades is an urgent national 
priority. A review of historically authorized Corps projects around the 
country reveals a long list of projects never constructed and no longer 
needed. A formal review with de-authorization of no longer needed 
projects may significantly reduce the so-called current backlog.

    Question 2. If sufficient Federal appropriations are not 
forthcoming is it the State of Florida's intention to use State funds 
to make up the shortfall and then seek Federal appropriations to 
reimburse the State for the Federal share or stated another way, does 
the State intend to pursue a set schedule for Everglades restoration 
regardless of the Federal appropriations and then seek reimbursement? 
If the implementation of Comprehensive Plan is accomplished largely by 
the State of Florida with reimbursement of the Federal share, would the 
State be willing to incur a larger than 50 percent share of the project 
costs or, stated another way, take less than a full reimbursement?
    Response. The State of Florida has already accepted the premise 
that it will receive less than full reimbursement for this project. 
Most Water Resource Development Act projects are funded at a 70 to 80 
percent Federal contribution. Florida has already committed to a full 
50 percent share. This is particularly remarkable since there are more 
Federal interests affected by Everglades restoration than any other 
Corps project around the country. The State of Florida expects the 
Federal Government to meet its minimum 50 percent share as a full and 
equal partner in implementing the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration 
Plan.
                               __________
         Statement of Patricia Power, Seminole Tribe of Florida
Introduction
    The Seminole Tribe welcomes the opportunity to share our views on 
the Water Resources and Development Act of 2000 legislation, S. 2437, 
with the Environment and Public Works Committee. As you know, we 
participated in the committee's Naples field hearing on the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) and provided our 
general comments on Everglades Restoration and the Federal Government's 
plan to achieve restoration of a healthy Everglades through a balanced 
approach. While the Tribe is a strong supporter of the CERP, we oppose 
the approach proposed by the Administration, as embodied in S. 2437.
    The Seminole Tribe of Florida has been an active participant in the 
multi-faceted efforts to restore the South Florida Ecosystem. As such, 
we have seen the value of our participation to the Tribe in being able 
to educate policymakers about the Tribe's concerns and needs. We have 
also found value in working with other stakeholders to formulate and 
refine policy positions. The Tribe applauds the committee's approach to 
developing its legislation by listening to the input of the 
stakeholders in Florida, as well as the Federal policy makers. A 
program developed though consensus will earn the support of South 
Florida and have an improved prospect for successful restoration of the 
natural system and stability in flood control and water supply for 
South Floridians.
    This testimony describes the Tribe's concerns with S. 2437 and 
offers alternative approaches to addressing the needs of the South 
Florida Ecosystem and the people that populate it. Our general 
statements on the CERP still hold and can be applied to an analysis of 
S. 2437. The Seminole Tribe believes the restoration should seek to 
provide a healthy future for people of Florida, as well as for the 
natural environment, including the Everglades, that draws so many more 
people to visit and move to South Florida. A balanced approach is 
critical to success of the restoration effort.
The Seminole Tribe of Florida
    The Seminole Tribe lives in the South Florida ecosystem. The Tribe 
relies on all aspects of a healthy ecosystem, including the Everglades, 
which provide many of our tribal members with their livelihood. Our 
traditional Seminole cultural, religious, and recreational activities, 
as well as commercial endeavors, are dependent on a healthy South 
Florida ecosystem. In fact, the Tribe's identity is so closely linked 
to the land that Tribal members believe that if the land dies, so will 
the Tribe. During the Seminole Wars of the 19th Century, the Tribe 
found protection in the hostile Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp. But 
for this harsh environment filled with sawgrass and alligators, the 
Seminole Tribe of Florida would not exist today. Once in the Everglades 
and Big Cypress, tribal members learned how to use the natural system 
for support without doing harm to the environment that sustained them. 
For example, the Seminole native dwelling, the chickee, is made of 
cypress logs and palmetto fronds. It protects its inhabitants from sun 
and rain, while allowing maximum circulation for cooling. When a 
chickee has outlived its useful life, the cypress and palmetto return 
to the earth to nourish the soil.
    In response to social challenges within the Tribe, tribal leaders 
looked to the tribal elders for guidance. Our elders taught us to look 
to the land, for when the land was ill, the Tribe would soon be ill as 
well. When we looked at the land, we saw the Everglades and supporting 
ecosystem in decline. We recognized that we had to help mitigate the 
impacts of man on this natural system. At the same time, we 
acknowledged that this land must sustain our people, and thereby our 
culture. The clear message we heard from our elders and the land was 
that we must design a way of life to preserve the land and the Tribe. 
Tribal members must be able to work and sustain themselves. We need to 
protect our tribal farmers and ranchers.
Seminole Everglades Restoration Projects
    Recognizing the needs of our land and our people, the Tribe has 
developed a plan to mitigate the harm to the land and water systems 
within our Reservations while ensuring a sustainable future for the 
Seminole Tribe of Florida. The Big Cypress Reservation is the first of 
our Reservations for which this plan has been implemented. The Tribe is 
in the early stages of developing a plan with similar goals on the 
Brighton Reservation.
    On Big Cypress, the restoration plan will allow Tribal members to 
continue ongoing farming and ranching activities while improving water 
quality and restoring natural hydroperiod to large portions of the 
native lands on the Reservation and ultimately, positively affecting 
the Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. 
Construction activities on the western side of the Reservation have 
been identified as a ``Critical Project'' under section 528 of WRDA 
1996. The Tribe is working closely with the NRCS to identify 
appropriate programs to complete construction of the project on the 
eastern side of the reservation. Two Wetland Reserve Projects are 
currently underway.
    The Seminole Tribe is committed to improving water quality and 
flows on Big Cypress and has expressed that commitment by dedicating 
significant financial resources to our environmental programs and 
projects, as well as estimates of 9,000 acres of land to support the 
projects on Big Cypress alone.
General Comments on S. 2437
    The Tribe's greatest concern about Section 3 of S. 2437 is that it 
lacks the balance necessary for successful implementation. The 
environmental crisis in South Florida was brought about by the Central 
& Southern Florida Project so efficiently achieving its congressionally 
mandated goals of providing flood protection and water supply to the 
farms and families of Florida, without fully appreciating the resulting 
impacts on the natural system. As the damage to the natural environment 
became evident, all entities began to recognize the interdependence of 
the natural system and the ``built'' environment. Congress, in 
directing the Corps of Engineers to complete the Comprehensive Plan, 
described its purposes as protecting water quality and reducing loss of 
fresh water from the Everglades. Congress also noted that the 
Comprehensive Plan ``provide for the water-related needs of the region, 
including flood control, the enhancement of water supplies, and other 
objectives served by the Central & Southern Florida Project.'' (See 
Section 528(b)(1)(A)(i) of WRDA 1996.) The Restudy, as developed with 
input from a wide array of stakeholders, recognized the importance of 
addressing water needs in a balanced approach. Section 3 of S. 2437 
abandoned the balanced approach and reverts to the myopic direction of 
the half-century old project authorization by stating that the purpose 
of the CERP and the historic Central & Southern Florida project is for 
the protection of the natural system. We urge the committee to take a 
balanced approach to Section 3 by providing protection to the natural 
systems, the people, and the agricultural communities that share the 
South Florida Ecosystem.
    The Tribe also has serious concerns about Section 3(i) regarding 
assuring of project benefits. More detailed comments regarding this 
section are provided below; however, our concerns are significant 
enough to list twice. The Tribe's water law is based upon a Water 
Rights Compact, codified in tribal, State, and Federal law, the 
implementation of which is based on Florida State water law. The 
approach contemplated in Section 3 (i) attempting to federalize the 
water allocation decisions blatantly disregards the existing body of 
Florida water law. With Florida's water law thrown into disarray by 
this approach, the Tribe's Water Compact is jeopardized. The Tribe has 
proposed an alternative approach to Section 3 (i), and the Tribe also 
supports the approach taken in the recently passed Florida Everglades 
legislation.
    Shared adversity is a guiding principle of the Tribe's approach to 
water rights. Shared adversity is the principle upon which the Water 
Rights Compact is based, and support for including shared adversity was 
one of the Tribe's consistent comments throughout the development of 
the Restudy. While S. 2437 acknowledges that the rights of existing 
users should be preserved, S. 2437 does not define existing user. 
Limiting existing user or existing use to the water being used today 
fails to take into account long-term permitted rights to water that may 
not be presently used. In comments on the Lower East Coast Regional 
Water Supply Plan, the National Park Service defined existing use as 
that amount of water being used on April 13, 2000, or on the day the 
Plan is to be adopted. That interpretation, we believe, would lead to a 
moratorium on water use in excess of that used on April 13 or the 
adoption date. A moratorium would apply to permitted, but not currently 
used existing use, as well as future new users. The Tribe's economic 
development has been such that the Tribe is not yet using its all its 
water entitlement. The inability to use its water rights would stunt 
the Tribe's economic development. We urge the committee to ensure that 
S. 2437 incorporates the concept of shared adversity and clearly define 
``existing use'' to prevent a water use moratorium in South Florida.
Specific Comments and Recommendations on S. 2437
            Assuring Project Benefits
    Upon review of Section 3(i) of S. 2437, it was immediately clear 
that the assuring project benefits language was problematic. The bill 
would require that Federal regulations direct how all Central & 
Southern Florida project features (essentially all Corps of Engineers 
(COE) projects in South Florida) would contribute water to the 
``natural system.'' The bill requires the Federal agencies to 
``consult'' with the State. The Tribes are not addressed.
    There are numerous, complex issues related to allocating any 
additional water that projects built pursuant to the Restudy 
recommendations brings to the South Florida ecosystem. In fact, 
resolution of all issues to the satisfaction of all stakeholders is 
impossible to reach in the time period that exists to produce a WRDA 
2000 bill. S. 2437 creates the regulatory structure of programmatic 
regulations produced in 2 years, to be followed by project specific 
regulations as needed. The main problem with this approach is that it 
bestows on the Corps of Engineers (COE) and the Department of Interior 
(DOI) the sole decision making authority regarding how much water the 
``natural system'' should receive from all COE projects. While S. 2437 
requires consultation, it ignores established Florida water law and 
limits the potential role the Tribe should play in making decisions on 
future water rights.
    Furthermore, the assurances language appears to attempt to alter 
the purpose of the original authorization of the Central & Southern 
Florida Project, as defined in previous Acts of Congress since Section 
203 of the Flood Control Act of 1948. In the section entitled, 
``Dedication and Management of Water,'' the COE is required to dedicate 
and manage all water ``made available'' from all C&SF project features, 
built under all prior authority and WRDA 2000, ``for the temporal and 
spatial needs of the natural system.'' Absent from this requirement is, 
of course, the flood control and water supply needs of the people of 
South Florida in both agricultural and developed areas.
    Given that S. 2437 was drafted by the COE and DOI, leaving the 
final decisions on the allocation of any of South Florida's water uses 
to the COE and DOI appears to leave all but the natural system under-
represented. This approach seems to guarantee that the real decisions 
will be made in court. Litigating water rights is an expensive and time 
consuming process that will only serve to delay and increase the cost 
of an already expensive, long-term project that the people of South 
Florida need now. In addition, the confusion likely to result from 
litigation would delay the Tribe's ability to realize fully its water 
rights under the Compact.
    The recently passed State legislation is significantly different 
from this Federal proposal. Differing Federal and State law on water 
assurances guarantees conflicts and delays as well. This issue is of 
particular importance to the Tribe because the Tribe's Water Rights 
Compact is based on the functionality of the State system. The proposed 
legislation will throw the State's water allocation system into turmoil 
because it does not mesh with the regulatory structure created by the 
1972 Florida Water Resources Act (FL Stat. Chapter 373).
    As a result of the Tribe's concerns, we offer the following 
proposal which was designed to eliminate, or at least reduce, these 
concerns:
    The objective of the process to develop a water supply and flood 
control allocation policy in South Florida is to develop a consensus on 
water assurances that can be the basis of consistent Federal, State, 
and tribal law.
    The Task Force shall prepare a report and recommendations to 
Congress, the Florida Legislature, and the Seminole and Miccosukee 
Tribal Councils regarding the dedication and management of the water 
made available from project features authorized pursuant to the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Included in the report and 
recommendations shall be a legislative proposal that can be adopted in 
identical form by the Congress, the Florida Legislature, and the 
Seminole and Miccosukee Tribal Councils.
    The Task Force shall seek public comment in the formulation and 
final presentation of this report and recommendations. The Task Force 
shall operate under the consensus provisions, as described in its 
Working Group's Charter. This report shall be presented to Congress, 
the Florida Legislature, and the Tribal Councils within 2 years of 
enactment of WRDA 2000.
    Upon receipt of the report and recommendations, the Congress shall 
enact authorizing legislation in coordination with the Florida 
Legislature and the Seminole and Miccosukee Tribal Councils.
    This proposal also would eliminate opportunities for confusion, and 
ultimately litigation, by requiring that the enacting legislation be 
identical. Finally, this proposal would give all people of South 
Florida a greater role in the water allocation decisions, which would 
build greater support for the projects over time and help to ensure 
construction and operation of all the Restudy project features.
    A provision similar to this will need to be adopted in State and 
tribal law, as well. The Federal law cannot require the State and the 
tribes to legislate. The State and tribal provisions should also direct 
the State and tribal Task Force members to prepare a report and 
recommendations through a consensus process.
    Alternatively, the Tribe has reviewed the Everglades Restoration 
and Funding legislation (HB 221) recently passed by the Florida 
Legislature. Given that the State legislation relies upon established 
State water law, including the Tribe's Water Rights Compact, to 
determine the allocation of new water benefits created by CERP project 
features, the Tribe would support incorporating this approach into 
Federal law. Again, it has been the Tribe's experience over the 13 
years that the Water Rights Compact has been in place that consistency 
among Federal, State, and tribal law contributes to the elimination of 
legally actionable conflicts.
Other Comments
    The following provides detailed comments on Sections 3, 6, and 12, 
in the order in which the provisions appear.
    Definitions (Section 3(a)). The definition of ``Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan'' includes the controversial Chief's 
Report. The Chief's Report is not a consensus document agreed upon by 
members of the South Florida Restoration Task Force and will 
undoubtedly meet with opposition to implementation. The definition of 
``Natural System'' should be clarified to specifically exclude tribal 
lands.
    Findings (Section 3(b)). The Tribe supports inclusion of the 
principles of adaptive assessment in the implementation of the CERP 
project features, as referred to in (b)(5). Also, the tribes should be 
included as local sponsors along with the State in Section 3(b)(7). The 
tribes and the State are not treated as equal partners throughout the 
draft legislation although they are each separate sovereigns.
    Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Project (Section 3(c)). The 
Tribe specifically supports the pilot project defined in Section 
3(c)(2)(c)(5), due to the potential flood control benefits for the 
Hollywood reservation.
    Additional Program Authority (Section 3(d). The Tribe supports the 
use of the COE's use of program authority to speed the implementation 
of crucial project features. The authority provided by this section is 
similar to the critical projects authority provided in Section 528 (b) 
of WRDA 1996. The Tribe has worked closely with our Federal and State 
partners to authorize the Tribe's Big Cypress critical project under 
the WRDA 1996 authority. The critical project authority provided by 
Congress in 1996 has allowed the Tribe to expedite this project and 
ultimately will bring the Tribe and the region restoration benefits 
years earlier than otherwise contemplated under the standard project 
authorization process. In addition, we anticipate that both the Tribe 
and the Federal budgets will appreciate savings as a result of the 
abbreviated process. As a result of our experience, we endorse this 
expansion of that authority and recommend that Congress provide more 
guidance regarding the process for project criteria and project 
selection.
    Cost Sharing (Section 3(f)). There needs to be a distinction for 
O&M purposes between which features are authorized under this Act and 
which features are part of the original CS&F Program for cost share 
purposes. This confusion results because the legislation references the 
CS&F project. In addition, the Tribe recommends that the Critical 
Projects authorized by WRDA 1996 be subject to the 60/40 cost share for 
operations and maintenance. The critical projects, by definition, were 
so crucial to ecosystem restoration that the projects needed to be 
initiated prior to this bill. Project priority, as well as equity, 
require that the critical projects be afforded the same O&M cost share 
as all CERP projects.
    Evaluation of Project Features (Section 3(g)). The Tribe should not 
merely be ``coordinated with'' on the development of Project 
Implementation Reports (PIR) for the project features, particularly 
regarding the availability of additional water. The Tribe should 
consistently be part of the decision making process at a minimum on the 
same level as the State. Thus, the Tribe should have sign off authority 
on all PIR's.
    Also, Section (g)(2) addressing project justification must be 
clarified regarding how to analyze project benefits where one project 
feature has both water supply and water quality benefits. We understand 
that segregating such benefits would be difficult.
    Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individuals (Section 3(h)). 
The full citation for the reference in 3(h)(2)(B) is 15 U.S.C. 
637(d)(3)(c).
    Assuring Project Benefits (Section (3)(i)). The definitions of 
``substantial adverse impacts'' and ``existing legal water uses'' need 
to be developed in Sec. (3)(i)(3). As discussed above, the term 
``existing legal water users'' can have a number of different 
interpretations with wide-ranging impacts. On April 13, 2000, in 
comments provided to the South Florida Water Management District on the 
Lower East Coast Regional Water Supply Plan, DOI, through the National 
Park Service, recommended that:
    ``[E]xisting legal use'' and existing legal user'' refer to the 
quantity of water currently withdrawn and put to a reasonable-
beneficial use under a statutory exemption or under terms of a valid 
water use permit. Any future use in excess of the quantity currently 
being withdrawn or pursuant to a new or renewed water use permit is not 
an ``existing legal use.'' New permits for additional withdrawal shall 
not be issued until water reservations for the natural system are in 
place. The period for defining existing legal users should be defined 
as April 13, 2000 or the date when the LEC plan is adopted by the SFWMD 
Governing Board.
    The above definition, as put forth by DOI, who has concurrence 
authority on the programmatic and project-specific regulations to make 
allocation decisions, would effectively place a moratorium on water use 
in South Florida. When permitted but not currently used water would be 
available after the water reservations for the natural system is highly 
uncertain. This approach threatens the vested rights the Tribe has to 
use water in the future under the Compact. This definition would 
effectively render State permits already issued for future consumptive 
use void. It is also inconsistent with the Tribe's water allocation 
rights set forth under the Compact.
    Tribal Partnership Program (Section 6). A section should be added 
stating that this is supplemental authorization of funding for tribal 
water resource development projects. This section should not affect the 
ability to obtain funding for these project types under other 
legislative acts. Also, the $5,000,000/$1,000,000 limitation in Sec. 
6(e) is too low and should be raised.
    Reburial and Transfer Authority (Section 12). As a general 
principle, the Tribe believes that tribal remains should be treated 
with the utmost respect. The Tribe is not affected specifically by this 
section.
Conclusion
    Thank you for the opportunity to share the views of the Seminole 
Tribe of Florida with the committee. While the Tribe is a strong 
supporter of the restoration of the South Florida Ecosystem, we will 
continue to be vigilant in our review of its implementation. We look 
forward to a continued partnership on a government-to-government basis 
in the challenging effort to save our Everglades.
                                 ______
                                 
 Responses by Patricia Power to Additional Questions from Senator Smith

    Question 1. Why is it important to move forward with authorization 
of this initial set of ten projects this year? Can you describe what 
the impacts of delay would mean for the ecosystem?
    Response. The Seminole Tribe has not taken a firm position on the 
authorization of the initial set of ten projects. We presume that the 
committee seeks justification for authorization without completion of a 
feasibility study, and we support the committee's careful oversight. We 
believe that sufficient cause for going forward can exist, and offer 
that some middle ground approach, authorization contingent upon a 
specified Corps action for example, may address the concerns expressed 
by some stakeholders.
    However, the Tribe strongly supports the authorization of the 
eleventh item in the list of initial authorizations, which is the 
Adaptive Assessment and Monitoring Program. The Tribe has consistently 
noted that the Restudy analysis rests on assumptions and computer 
modeling, of which most of the Tribe's lands lie on the perimeter. 
While the Tribe's hydrological review has provided a basis of the 
Tribe's general support for the Restudy components, our comments have 
always been tempered by our inability to fully assess the impact of 
project features because our lands are either at the edges or outside 
of the computer models. In addition, nature can prove the assumptions 
and models wrong and it is critical that project implementation be 
continuously monitored and assessed for the purpose of making 
corrections promptly, if needed.
    Finally, the Tribe also supports the inclusion of programmatic 
authorization for smaller project features that produce independent and 
substantial restoration, preservation, or protection benefits to the 
South Florida ecosystem. The Tribe signed a project coordination 
agreement with the Corps of Engineers last January, which authorized 
the Tribe's Big Cypress Reservation critical project. Critical project 
authorization is similar to the programmatic authorization contemplated 
in Section (3)(e). It has been our experience, to date, that 
programmatic authorization works to expedite critical restoration 
projects, resulting in efficient delivery of project benefits.
    In addition, we recommend that the committee consider incorporating 
report language that discusses the process of selecting the projects to 
be authorized under this authority. WRDA 1996 designated the criteria 
that each critical project should meet, but was silent on the 
selection/prioritization process for the critical projects. An 
effective, consensus based process was initiated by the Corps, in open 
cooperation with other Federal agencies, and tribal, State, and local 
government participants in the Task Force, Working Group, and 
Governor's Commission. Business interests, along with agricultural and 
non-governmental organizations, were represented on the Governor's 
Commission and participated actively in the Task Force's and Working 
Group's evaluation and ranking. While not every interest got all that 
they were supporting, the inclusiveness and openness of the process 
validated the outcome and built broad, general support for the final 
outcome. A similar process should be required for the programmatic 
authority projects. We would be happy to provide appropriate language 
at your request.

    Question 2. Please describe the ``assurances language'' contained 
in the State's recently passed measure and what the Seminole Tribe's 
position is on this language.
    Response. The Everglades Restoration Investment Act [CS/CS/H221] 
amended the Florida Water Code (Chapter 373, FL Stat.) by adding 
section 373.470. Section 373.470(3)(c) provides that prior to executing 
a project coordination agreement (PCA) with the Corps of Engineers, the 
South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD) shall complete a 
project implementation report (PIR) (as defined in the Implementation 
Plan of the Restudy). The PIR is to identify increased water supply 
resulting from the construction and operation of the CERP component. 
Any additional water supply identified by the PIR will be allocated or 
reserved by the SFWMD under Chapter 373, the Florida Water Code.
    The Seminole Tribe supports this Florida law because it maintains 
the functionality of existing Florida water law, upon which the Tribe's 
Water Rights Compact is based. In addition, this approach is consistent 
with the consensus Restudy document supported by the Tribe last year. 
The PIR process as described in the Restudy's Implementation Plan 
provides for broad participation in the evaluation of project 
components. Furthermore, requiring the SFWMD to allocate or reserve the 
benefits created by the new project component according to State law is 
consistent with the process currently implemented by the Corps.
                                 ______
                                 
Responses by Patricia Power to Additional Questions from Senator Graham

    Question 1. What will the impact be to the Seminole Tribe of 
Florida if we do not move forward with this plan?
    Response. Failure to enact authorizing legislation will reinforce 
the perception of many stakeholders in South Florida that the Federal 
Government is not supporting its share of the partnership to restore 
the South Florida ecosystem. The State has enacted the Everglades 
Restoration Investment Act to supplement its ongoing restoration and 
land acquisition programs. The Seminole Tribe is implementing its 
Everglades Restoration Initiative through its own and Corps of 
Engineers and Natural Resources Conservation Service programs. Local 
governments are taking independent actions. All of this activity will 
go forward regardless of Federal action. Without Federal action, 
however, the projects will proceed at a slower pace and restoration 
will occur at a slower pace. Slowing the pace of restoration activities 
may cause irreparable harm to parts of the ecosystem.

    Question 2. Can you describe the impact if we do move forward with 
the Restudy?
    Response. Authorizing the framework of the Restudy is critical to 
maintaining the public support necessary for a public works project of 
this size and scope. Authorizing the consensus based Restudy as a 
framework for future project authorizations will provide the 
predictability for all parties to continue planning, design, 
engineering, and construction activities necessary to set a pace to 
ensure ecosystem restoration.

    Question 3. Do you feel that the Administration's language 
accurately reflects the purpose of the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan as set forth by Congress in WRDA 1996?
    Response. No. Although we understand that the Administration did 
not intend to move away from the WRDA 1996 purpose of the Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP), the Tribe reads the language of S. 
2437 to shift the purpose of the project components of the CERP, and 
all previously authorized Central & Southern Florida project 
components, to be for the protection of the natural system. Balance in 
purpose and participation is crucial to the success of the CERP. The 
Tribe strongly supports maintaining the legislative purposes of the 
CERP as described in WRDA 1996.

    Question 4. What is your position on the Administration's 
assurances language? What are the key elements that this language must 
contain to accommodate the Seminole Tribe's needs?
    Response. The Tribe is opposed to the Administration's assurances 
language because it abandons the balance in the CERP project purposes 
as outlined in WRDA 1996, Federalizes Florida water law, and places a 
priority on water use for the natural system above all other water 
uses, thereby abandoning shared adversity. If the natural system is 
provided with its assurances in a process apart from the consideration 
of the needs of all other stakeholders, then the process is inequitable 
and flawed.
    The Tribe requires that Federal assurance language work 
consistently (or at the least not conflict) with State water law and 
the Tribe's Water Rights Compact, that all water uses, including those 
of the natural system, be balanced among each other, and that the Tribe 
be given a role to meaningfully participate in the assurances 
decisions. State law provides that when water is set aside for the 
environment, the water management district must also prepare a recovery 
or prevention strategy to ensure that environmental water supplies are 
restored or maintained. A critical element of the recovery or 
prevention strategy is a timetable which provides a mechanism to 
accomplish environmental objectives while analyzing and minimizing the 
effects of meeting such objectives on all other stakeholders. State law 
also provides that the recovery or prevention strategy include water 
resource development projects such as CERP to increase the available 
supply for both human natural uses. Thus State law provides an 
objective approach for establishing scientifically based environmental 
water needs, and a practical and balanced implementation strategy that 
takes all uses, human and natural into account.

    Question 5. Can you describe the existing Tribal Water Compact, in 
terms and conditions, and how it deals with water requirements for the 
natural system if at all? In particular, can you elaborate on the role 
of State law in execution of the Tribal Water Compact?
    Response. The Seminole Tribe's Water Rights Compact provides for a 
process for the Tribe and the State, through the South Florida Water 
Management District (SFWMD), to resolve water supply and flood 
protection issues, on a government-to-government basis. The Compact 
provides procedures for the Tribe and State to agree on the amount of 
surface water to which the Tribe is entitled. The Tribe does not get 
permits from the SFWMD; however, the Tribe works closely with the SFWMD 
on its land and water use issues through a work planning process.
    The Compact does not address water quantity requirements of the 
natural system directly. However, protection of the natural system is 
inherent in the implementation of the Compact. Through the Compact, the 
Tribe has a role in the process to determine the availability of water 
not otherwise dedicated to existing uses and the allocation of such 
available water. When the allocation of water needed for environmental 
benefits needs to be adjusted, the Tribe is consulted and contributes 
to the decisionmaking process.
    The Tribe's Compact depends on the State water code's determination 
of all stakeholders' water use. Although the Compact provides for 
entitlements for the Tribe's water supply and flood protection, any 
amendments to that entitlement is determined on the basis of 
availability, which is determined by the effects of supply by the 
demands of other water users. In other words, under the Compact, the 
Tribe must compete with other users for water supply and flood 
protection. If Federal law supersedes State law, and the natural system 
is provided with all of its demands (as determined by whom?), State 
water law would then be applied to allocate and reserve the balance. 
With what we assume to be a smaller amount of water, the Tribe's 
ability to compete for water will be negatively affected.
    Our review of the CERP projects indicated that none of the CERP 
projects would increase water supply on any of the Seminole Tribe's 
reservations for either human or environmental use. Any water 
allocation or reservation dedicated to the environment near a 
reservation will inevitably reduce the Tribe's ability to compete for 
water supply. Therefore, merely providing ``hold harmless'' language in 
WRDA would not protect the Tribe's rights under the Compact.
    Finally, a Compact-like device forged among the Federal, State, and 
tribal governments may provide an appropriate mechanism to address the 
needs of the natural system in the South Florida ecosystem, while 
assuring existing users a role in the allocation and reservation of 
water.
                                 ______
                                 
 Responses by Patricia Power to Additional Questions from Senator Mack

    Question 1. Do you support applying section 902 of the 1986 Water 
Resources Development Act to all features of the Comprehensive Plan 
before us today? [This provision requires a congressional review if a 
project exceeds 120 percent of authorized cost.]
    Response. The projects authorized pursuant to the Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) through the standard congressional 
authorization process should not be treated any differently than any 
other congressionally authorized Corps of Engineers projects. If 
incorporating a congressional review of cost overruns will delay 
project implementation, then the Tribe would oppose the review. One 
exception may be that if the adaptive management process triggers a 
project revision sufficient enough to cause an excess of 120 percent of 
authorized cost, then congressional review may be appropriate. The 
Tribe strongly supports adaptive management and would be interested in 
addressing the concerns of those stakeholders and Senators worried 
about the effect applying adaptive management may have on total project 
cost.

    Question 2. Do you support congressional committee review and 
approval of the feasibility level of engineering and design work before 
any construction can begin on the initial suite of ten projects in the 
Comprehensive Plan?
    Response. The Seminole Tribe has not taken a firm position on the 
authorization of the initial set of ten projects. We presume that the 
committee seeks justification for authorization without completion of a 
feasibility study, and we support the committee's careful oversight. We 
believe that sufficient cause for going forward can exist, and offer 
that some middle ground approach, authorization contingent upon a 
specified Corps action for example, may address the concerns expressed 
by some stakeholders.

    Question 3. Do you support requiring full feasibility studies 
before any other projects are authorized under the Comprehensive Plan?
    Response. Yes, with the following two exceptions. The Tribe 
strongly supports the authorization of the eleventh item in the list of 
initial authorizations, which is the Adaptive Assessment and Monitoring 
Program, without feasibility review. The Tribe has consistently noted 
that the Restudy analysis rests on assumptions and computer modeling, 
of which most of the Tribe's lands lie on the perimeter. While the 
Tribe's hydrological review has provided a basis of the Tribe's general 
support for the Restudy components, our comments have always been 
tempered by our inability to fully assess the impact of project 
features because our lands are either at the edges or outside of the 
computer models. In addition, nature can prove the assumptions and 
models wrong and it is critical that project implementation be 
continuously monitored and assessed for the purpose of making 
corrections promptly, if needed.
    The Tribe also supports the inclusion of programmatic authorization 
for smaller project features that produce independent and substantial 
restoration, preservation, or protection benefits to the South Florida 
ecosystem. The Tribe signed a project coordination agreement with the 
Corps of Engineers last January, which authorized the Tribe's Big 
Cypress Reservation critical project. Critical project authorization is 
similar to the programmatic authorization contemplated in Section 
(3)(e). It has been our experience, to date, that programmatic 
authorization works to expedite critical restoration projects, 
resulting in efficiently delivering project benefits. We recommend that 
the committee consider incorporating report language that discusses the 
process of selecting the projects to be authorized under this 
authority.

    Question 4. Do you support modifying the definition of the South 
Florida Ecosystem to make clear the system includes the lands and 
waters within the boundaries of the South Florida Water Management 
District as they existed on July 1, 1999?
    Response. Yes, because such a definition provides consistency with 
the Restudy and the CERP.

    Question 5. Do you support a provision making clear the Corps of 
Engineers is only authorized to study the question about providing an 
additional 245,000 acre-feet of water to the natural system?
    Response. Yes. Delivering an additional 245,000 acre-feet of water 
to Everglades National Park was not part of the consensus-built Restudy 
sent to Washington in April 1999. The full implications of changing the 
Restudy model must be studied before authorizing additional dedicated 
water deliveries.

    Question 6. Do you support language making clear that the Corps 
must work with the State of Florida to ensure all groundwater 
discharges resulting from the Comprehensive Plan meet all applicable 
water quality standards and water quality permitting requirements?
    Response. This is a complicated question. The Tribe supports the 
protection of all water, including the drinking water supplies from 
groundwater. The Tribe supports regulations to protect groundwater, but 
the Tribe is concerned that existing regulations not designed to 
address ASR water quality issues may prevent the use of ASR.
    Fortunately, technology, primarily reverse osmosis, provides a 
reliable and affordable treatment system for drinking water supplied by 
groundwater. This technology makes groundwater previously not potable, 
available to drinking water systems. When water is pumped out of an 
aquifer for surface use, the aquifer must be recharged to maintain its 
quality. Basically, the water quality of the aquifer degrades in 
relation to the reduction of the water quantity.
    Unfortunately, Federal regulations applicable to groundwater 
available for drinking water, written many years ago, have not kept 
pace with technology. Groundwater regulations were written to protect 
actual or potential drinking water sources from toxic contamination; 
ASR contemplates the injection of storm water, not hazardous waste. The 
regulations provide that water discharged to groundwater meet drinking 
water standards. It is expensive to treat water to meet drinking water 
standards. To avoid the cost, aquifers are not recharged. When the 
groundwater is not recharged, groundwater quantity and quality degrade. 
Because the existing regulations discourage aquifer recharge, we do not 
support the application of existing regulations to groundwater 
discharges for the CERP projects.
    The water storage components of the CERP are heavily dependent on 
Aquifer Storage and Recovery (ASR) projects, and the success of the 
CERP is dependent on increased storage. It is critical that the ASR 
project incorporate water quality elements and that the water quality 
requirements reflect current technology.

    Question 7. Do you support replacing the project purposes language 
stated in (c)(1) of the administration's draft with language restating 
the purpose of the Comprehensive Plan developed and passed in WRDA 
1996?
    Response. Yes. The WRDA 1996 language incorporated a balanced, 
consensus-based approach to the purpose of the CERP projects.

    Question 8. Do you support additional programmatic authority for 
the Corps to construct projects of limited cost but are keeping with 
the Plan's purposes and have independent and substantial benefit to 
Everglades restoration?
    Response. As stated in our answer to question 3, the Tribe supports 
additional programmatic authority.

    Question 9. Do you support a 50/50 cost share between the Federal 
Government and the State of Florida on operation and maintenance of the 
project? If not, please state the cost share you believe appropriate 
and why.
    Response. Yes. A 50/50 cost share for operations and maintenance 
mirrors the cost share for design and construction for CERP projects. 
Given the extent of the benefits delivered to Federal lands (the 
natural system) from CERP project features, cost sharing operations and 
maintenance is equitable and appropriate.
    In addition, the WRDA 2000 legislation should apply the 50/50 cost 
share for operations and maintenance retroactively to the critical 
projects authorized by WRDA 1996. The critical projects were selected 
through a broad-based consensus process as so crucial to ecosystem 
restoration that the projects needed.
                               __________
  Statement of Dexter Lehtinen, General Counsel, Miccosukee Tribe of 
                                Florida
everglades restoration and wrda 2000: hope for the future, if we learn 
                             from the past
    My name is Dexter Lehtinen. I'm General Counsel to the Miccosukee 
Tribe of Indians of Florida, and a member of the Governor's Commission 
on the Everglades and the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task 
Force. I previously served as a member of the Florida House of 
Representatives and Florida State Senate and as United States Attorney 
for the Southern District of Florida. In these capacities I helped 
write the State law which declared the goal of saving the entire 
Everglades and filed the lawsuit against pollution of the Everglades 
which led to the Florida Everglades Forever Act.
             miccosukee tribe of indians in the everglades
    I want to provide some information about the Miccosukee Tribe of 
Indians of Florida and the Tribe's role in the Everglades:
      The Miccosukee Tribe is a federally-recognized Indian 
Tribe, and Miccosukee Indian Country is within the Everglades.
      Its members are the only people to live within the 
Everglades (Indian or non-Indian) and the only Tribe with land in the 
Everglades.
      The Tribe is a leader in Everglades protection, having 
won several critical lawsuits against pollution, and having set 
federally-approved water quality standards for the Everglades 
(including phosphorus) with its State status under the Clean Water Act.
      The Tribe's members are guaranteed by Congress the right 
to live traditionally within Everglades National Park and Big Cypress 
National Preserve.
                   restoration failures: two examples
    The Miccosukee Tribe believes that Everglades restoration is in 
serious trouble due to misplaced priorities, subordination of 
fundamental democratic values, Federal intransigence, and bureaucratic 
arrogance and incompetence. While we all have hope for the future, 
Everglades restoration is clouded by a past of discrimination and 
failure.
    Let me emphasize at the outset that the issue before this committee 
is not the legitimacy of restoration as a goal, but rather the false 
use and twisting of that goal to serve narrow parochial interests in 
the name of restoration.
    Two examples will be sufficient. First, the central Everglades 
(including tribal Everglades) is given second-class status. This 
discrimination occurs: (i) despite the Federal Indian trust obligation; 
(ii) despite the 1982 congressional promise (in the Florida Indian Land 
Claims Settlement Act) that the central Everglades will be preserved in 
natural conditions; and (iii) despite the fact that the central 
Everglades is the largest remaining freshwater Everglades. [Exh. F.] It 
is a gross misconception that the Everglades is the same as Everglades 
National Park (encouraged by the Park).
    Second, pre-existing authorized restoration projects are stalled. 
The Modified Water Deliveries Project was directed by 1989 
congressional Act to relieve flooding in the central Everglades and 
restore flows to the Park through Northeast Shark River Slough. But 
bureaucratic ineptitude and selfishness has blocked the project, 
causing destruction of tribal Everglades. And, despite guarantees of 
flood protection to an area known as the 8.5 square mile area, agencies 
are always trying to seize or condemn the minority residents' land. 
[Exhs. E & G.] The Miccosukee Tribe knows that taking the homes of 
these minorities is not necessary for restoration, and that the 
minorities are attacked because they are politically weak. I find it 
curious that the Miccosukee Tribe stands up for these minorities more 
than government agencies--undoubtedly that's because Indians have been 
targets of land grabs themselves and recognize it when they see it. And 
it's because minorities must stick together--if government can take 
their land, then it can take tribal land (and it can take your land, 
too).
                    proposed wrda 2000: what's in it
    The Tribe has several points regarding what's in the 
Administration's proposed WRDA bill.
    1. Chief's Report (Inappropriate Commitments)--The bill would 
implement the Chief's Report (July) rather than the Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP/April). [Subsec. 3(a)(3) and 
3(c)(2)(A)]. The multi-volume CERP was the product of a public 
consensus building process with broad support, but the Chief's Report 
substantially changed critical elements behind closed doors without 
public notice [Exh. B]. New commitments were made, contradicting CERP, 
such as 245,000 additional acre feet of water to the Park (over and 
above the increases in the April Plan), even though the April Plan 
specifically considered and rejected this proposal (known as D13R4) as 
destructive of other parts of the Everglades (including tribal lands) 
[Exh. C]. CERP picked D13R, reporting that ``after looking at 10 
alternative plans and over 25 modeling scenarios, including D13R4, 
alternative D13R is by far the best of the alternative plans'' [Exh. C-
1]. Yet the Chief's Report switched to D13R4 without any notice. The 
Report also downgraded flood protection and water supply with the 
phrase ``to the extent practicable''.
    This is an outstanding example of the politicization of the Corps 
and Washington civilian interference which bends the process to placate 
the demands of groups with which the Administration is close (as well 
as the interference which Senator Voinovich referred to in his recent 
letter to GAO).
    Although the Administration tries to downplay changes in the 
Chief's Report, it keeps seeking to enact the Report, which itself 
demonstrates that there must be something different in the Report. 
Furthermore, Administration claims of Chief Report neutrality ring 
hollow in light of recently obtained documents [Exh. A], such as:
    (i) A June 8 e-mail message from Deputy Asst. Sec. Michael Davis, 
stating that ``the Chief's Report captures the Restudy Plan plus the 
subsequent commitments'', also cautioning ``please keep close hold and 
do not share outside your agency''.
    (ii) A June 11 e-mail within the Corps, referring to ``the need to 
get these groups on board'', but being ``uneasy about changing what was 
in the report that has been reviewed at SDA and RO's''.
    (iii) A June 17 e-mail within the Corps referring to ``the Michael 
Davis. . . OOPS, SORRY. . . Chief's Report. . .''.
    (iv) A June 17 e-mail to the Jacksonville Corps, stating 
``modification of the implementation plan, particularly in the case of 
D13R4, is not a small matter''; and Jacksonville's response, stating 
``you need to add the PIR for determining how to deliver the additional 
245,000 acre-feet of water'' and ``this will affect the scheduling for 
components associated/affected by D13R4''.
    (v) A June 29 letter from DOI to Col. Miller (Jacksonville), 
stating ``we appreciate the following additional commitments conveyed 
in the Chief of Engineer's Report: to deliver additional water 
(approximately 245,000 acre feet). . .''.
    Congress should reject the Chief's Report and the politicization of 
the process that it represents; instead, WRDA should refer only the 
CERP itself, dated April 1999.
    2. Interior Department Veto on Water Deliveries--The bill gives the 
Interior Secretary a veto on water deliveries, essentially federalizing 
Florida water law. [Subsec. 3(i)(2)(B)]. DOI is one landowner among 
many, including the State, the Tribes, and private citizens. Water 
should be allocated fairly by the Corps without any party having a 
veto. Corps policy processes can certainly protect Federal interests; 
and if the DOI will not trust Corps processes, then why should the 
State, or the Miccosukee Tribe, or private citizens trust it? This 
approach uses a double standard and is a DOI power grab to politicize 
water deliveries.
    3. Abandoning Balanced Approach (Downgrading Supply and Flood 
Protection)--The proposal abandons the balanced approach of WRDA 1996 
by giving natural systems water first place, and water supply and flood 
protection second place. [Subsec. 3(i)(1)]. A quick list of problems 
here include: (i) It's just plain wrong to deny people flood protection 
and water supply; (ii) It's not necessary because we can achieve all 
goals; (iii) By downgrading one goal, a license is given to stop trying 
to reach that goal and maximum effort to reach all goals is lost; (iv) 
The public consensus for Everglades restoration is built on 
congressional and State promises of a balanced approach, and this 
consensus will evaporate when homes and cars are flooded; and (v) 
Previous laws committed to equal treatment of all goals, so how could 
the public trust any law when they can be disregarded so easily? In 
short, we can and should ``get the water right--for everybody'', not 
adopt new policies that will send many people off the planet in their 
outrage. The current project purposes are environmental protection, 
water supply, and flood protection, and we should grant adequate 
assurances for each.
    Even with a balanced approach mandated by WRDA 1996 and other laws, 
flood protection analysis was virtually overlooked. CERP reports that 
flood analysis was ``not quantified'' because models for flood control 
analysis were inadequate (``limited evaluation of impacts since model 
not designed for flood studies'') [Exh. D-1]. ``Studies to estimate the 
flooding impacts of the alternative restoration plans were limited due 
to the resolution of the model.'' For ``areas that are expected to be 
adversely affected, further studies were recommended'' [Exh. D-3]. If 
this is ``equal'' treatment, then ``second class'' treatment'' would 
mean virtually elimination. These models need to be improved and the 
studies completed before project authorizations that could flood 
existing homes.
    4. Programmatic Authority--The proposal grants broad programmatic 
authority for no real reason except to escape congressional scrutiny 
[subsec. 3(c)(2)(B), (C), & (D)] and uses vague references to ``a 
programmatic manner'' and ``adaptive assessment'' [subsec. 3(b)(5)]. 
Perhaps the ``Pilot ``Projects'' [3(c)(2)(B)] (which are tests for 
later bigger projects) could be justified, but the ``Other Projects'' 
[3(c)(2)(C)] should have Feasibility Reports before authorization. For 
example, there's $100 million for ``adaptive assessment and 
monitoring'' with no actual plan, so the money could be spent on 
virtually anything, any study, any scientist--essentially ``vote 
buying''. It's just a big pot of money with no controls. And there's 
$250 million for ``other program authority'' [3(c)(2)(D)] where no 
projects are specified and no controls exist at all. These are ``cash 
cows'' where the Administration can do whatever it wants--either invent 
new projects you've never heard of; or substantially change projects 
which you have heard of, any way they want, as long as they keep the 
same name.
    The CERP admits to a ``high level of technical and implementability 
uncertainties'' [Exh.C-4]. These include flood control (discussed 
above) and the known erroneous assumptions of the Natural Systems Model 
(NSM), particularly ``discrepancy in the topographic data''. ``. . . 
[I]f consistent topographic assumptions were used [in NSM]. . . , 
target depths. . . would be shallower. . . and less water would be 
needed'' [Exh.C-3]. Let's get those assumptions right before 
authorization.
    Programmatic authority is particularly inappropriate when CERP 
itself admits to inadequacies in flood control models and the Natural 
System Model (NSM). Instead of programmatic authority, each project 
should be explored in depth through feasibility reports before 
authorization. This is too important to just throw money at it and then 
look away, hoping for the best.
    5. Environmental Justice/Minority Rights--The proposal shortchanges 
environmental justice, minority rights, and discrimination concerns by 
referring only ``socially and economically disadvantaged persons'' and 
then only requiring that ``impacts. . . are considered''. [Subsec. 
3(h)(1)]. This is insufficient. The bill should prohibit discrimination 
and disparate impacts on minorities and socially disadvantaged persons 
in implementation. The League of United Latin American Citizens has 
already found minority discrimination in the Modified Water Deliveries 
Project, where the DOI seeks to forcibly remove largely Hispanic 
residents from more than 300 homes [Exh. E], despite congressional 
guarantees to these people and Corps findings that it makes no 
substantial difference to the restoration of Northeast Shark River 
Slough (flowing into the Park).
                  proposed wrda 2000: what's not in it
    Now let me comment on what's not in the proposed bill.
    A. Tribal Roles--The Tribes are left out in every part except the 
``Findings'' [subsec. 3(b)(7)]. They should be incorporated in the 
definition of natural system lands and waters [3(a)(4)], the regulatory 
process [3(i)(2)(B]) & (C)], etc.
    B. Protecting the Entire Remaining Everglades/Comprehensive 
Definition of Everglades/Equal Protection for Everglades--No portion of 
the remaining Everglades (such as the southern Everglades in ENP) 
should receive more favorable treatment than any other portion (such as 
the central Everglades in WCA 3-A and Miccosukee Indian Country) in 
hydrology (water quantity and timing). An ``Everglades Equal Protection 
Clause'' should provide that all parts of the remaining Everglades 
receives equal hydrological treatment.
    C. Meeting Prerequisites and Demonstrating Competence: Implementing 
the Modified Water Deliveries Project--Component projects of the 
Everglades Restudy should not be authorized or funded until the Federal 
agencies show the competency to implement the Modified Water Deliveries 
Project as directed by Congress (PL 101-229, section 104, including 
subsection 104(c)), which is categorized by law as a predecessor to the 
Restudy and assumed by the Restudy to have been implemented. [Exh. G.] 
The failure to implement the Modified Water Deliveries Project since 
its authorization in 1989 (PL 101-229) and approval of the 21992 
General Design Memorandum (GDM) by Congress is nothing short of 
scandalous.
    D. Protecting Property Rights: Limiting Eminent Domain and Assuring 
Flood Control--Property rights are fundamental to a free society. 
Federal and State agencies shall make every effort to avoid taking 
private property through eminent domain actions, and continued flood 
protection must be assured. Regarding eminent domain, privately-owned 
land should not be condemned through State or Federal eminent domain 
procedures unless there is no other feasible alternative for achieving 
the specific project goals. It should be a defense to an eminent domain 
action that there is a feasible alternative other than condemnation of 
the property in question and increased costs alone shall not render an 
alternative infeasible. Regarding flood control, Congress should 
require that no project may proceed until and unless the established 
C&SF Project levels of flood protection against a SPF (standard project 
flood) has been assured and certified by the Corps. The CERP states 
that its models ``were inadequate to determine flooding effects'', 
which must be remedied before projects are designed. Flooding has 
increased in urban areas recently because the water deliveries to the 
Everglades have been increased without providing the protections 
mandated by the same laws which authorized the increased deliveries 
(e.g., Experimental Water Deliveries, etc). [Exh. H.]
    E. Eliminating Collateral Attack: Determination that Provisions of 
Collateral Federal Statutes Have Been Met--Because the Everglades 
Restoration effort is a comprehensive overall plan to maximize 
Everglades restoration and environmental values over a broad range of 
parameters, collateral Federal statutes which focus on single 
parameters should be deemed to have been met by operation of law. Such 
collateral statutes (e.g., the Endangered Species Act, the Fish and 
Wildlife Coordination Act) shall not be grounds for separate 
determinations or legal actions in connection with the construction or 
operation of Everglades restoration projects.
    F. Avoiding Holding Funds Hostage: Fund Projects Through Corps or 
State (Not Through DOI)--Previous Everglades funding channeled through 
the DOI has been held or diverted to achieve DOI goals beyond the scope 
of the appropriation. Projects should be funded by congressional 
appropriations to the Corps of Engineers or to State agencies or to the 
Tribe, not through the Department of the Interior, so as to avoid the 
improper withholding of funding to influence or block implementation 
outside of accepted processes. If project funds are funnelled through 
DOI, Congress should specify the precise purpose of the appropriation 
and prohibit withholding of funds when the legal criteria for 
proceeding have been met.
    G. Assurances: Environmental Protection, Water Supply, and Flood 
Protection--Assurances for environmental protection, flood control, and 
water supply must be provided so that no segment of people or interest 
group is pitted against another. Without equal assurances, the 
consensus basis for Everglades restoration will be destroyed. 
Assurances should be given that:
    (i) Sufficient Everglades Water--Sufficient water will be provided 
to the Everglades (including WCAs, Miccosukee Indian Country, and ENP) 
so as to maintain its natural state.
    (ii) Excess Everglades Water--Excessive water levels (flooding) 
will not be allowed in the WCAs (including Miccosukee Indian Country) 
so as to maintain its natural state.
    (iii) Flood Protection--Flood protection will not be diminished (no 
project may proceed until and unless the established C&SF Project 
levels of flood protection against a SPF has been certified by the 
Corps).
    (iv) Water Supply--Water supply for urban, residential, and 
agricultural uses will not be diminished and every reasonable effort 
will be made to expand such supply to meet future needs.
    (v) Conflict/Shared Adversity--If water supplies are insufficient 
to meet all goals or goals otherwise conflict, then each goal (water 
supply, environmental protection, and flood protection) shall be met 
through operation of the C&SF Project components to the maximum extent 
practicable so that the deficiencies in reaching each goal are relative 
equal or proportionate to the deficiencies in meeting the other goals 
(``shared adversity'').
    (vi) Miccosukee Everglades Equal Protection--Whatever assurances 
are provided to Federal lands or interests shall include equal 
assurances to Miccosukee Indian Country (the only Tribe with lands in 
the Everglades Protection Area), defined as the Miccosukee Indian 
Reservation and Perpetual Leased Lands in WCA 3-A pursuant to PL 97-399 
(1982) (definition of Federal lands and interests must include tribal 
lands and interests).
               problem summary: learning from experience
    A summary list of problems and lessons would include:
    A. System Problem (Lack of a System-wide, Everglades-wide 
Commitment; Parochial Approach). The Federal Government is sacrificing 
the State and tribal Everglades in favor of the smaller Federal 
Everglades (the Park). The Water Conservation Areas (especially WCA 3-
A) are dying due to Federal actions.
    B. Process Problems (Lack of Commitment to Decision-making Process; 
Lack of ``Partnership''; Low Inter-agency Cooperation; Pro Forma Use of 
Task Force)--In addition, many agencies refuse to implement programs 
which have been finalized. The present Federal approach is little more 
than lip-service to so-called ``partnership''.
    C. Execution Problems (Inability or Failure to Execute Specific 
Projects)--Stalled ``Critical Projects'', including Modified Water 
Deliveries, both held up for a decade. Agency incompetence, and 
outright refusal to execute any plan which the agency doesn't like, 
causes continuing damage to tribal lands and raises serious doubts 
about the wisdom of entrusting these agencies with the programmatic 
authority in restoration.
    D. Problems with Fundamental Values (Disregard of Fundamental 
Rights and Values of Liberty; Basic Property Rights and the Rule of 
Law)--Everglades restoration programs, at least their implementation by 
the Federal Government, is showing an alarming disregard for 
fundamental values (property rights of both the Tribe and non-tribal 
residents, and the rule of law).
                            prior testimony
    The Tribe presented more general testimony describing these 
problems in detail to this committee in Naples in January 2000, to 
which it commends the committee's attention for further discussion.
                               conclusion
    In conclusion, the Miccosukee Tribe seeks fairness, non-
discrimination, sound planning, and quality control in Everglades 
restoration. The Tribe is opposed to any approach which elevates the 
Department of the Interior over the Tribes or the State. The Corps can 
save the whole remaining Everglades; the Interior Department will save 
only its small part while sacrificing the other parts.
                               __________
   Statement of of Michael Collins, Governing Board Chairman, South 
                   Florida Water Management District
    Mr. Chairman, Senator Baucus, Senator Graham and members of the 
committee: I am Michael Collins, Chairman of the Governing Board of the 
South Florida Water Management District.
    Thank you for this opportunity to comment on the Administration's 
bill to authorize the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). 
This Comprehensive Plan a series of environmental improvements over 20 
years that will be the most ambitious ecosystem restoration ever 
undertaken in the United States.
    Please indulge me while I touch on a few historical facts to 
provide the proper context for my comments. The existing Central and 
Southern Florida Project was created in 1948 and encompasses 18,000 
square miles. This water management system for South Florida includes 
1,000 miles of canals and 200 water control structures. It is the 
largest public works project in the country. As South Florida's water 
management system it provides water supply, flood protection and other 
benefits to South Florida.
    Recognizing the need to modernize this 50-year old system to 
address its negative consequences on the environment, Congress 
authorized a ``re-look'' at this system to determine if such a task was 
feasible and in the Federal Government's interest. The Corps was asked 
to develop a comprehensive plan for the purpose of restoring, 
preserving, and protecting the South Florida ecosystem. Congress 
further directed that this plan shall include such features as are 
necessary to provide for the water-related needs of the region, 
including flood control, the enhancement of water supplies, and other 
objectives served by the Central and Southern Florida Project.
    The Plan submitted to you in July of 1999 is that plan. Is it 
``comprehensive'' in that it provides all answers to all problems? No. 
It is comprehensive because it was developed recognizing the 
complexities involved in creating an ecosystem-wide restoration plan 
and realizing the interconnectedness of the vast water management 
system commonly known as the Central and Southern Florida Project. The 
coordination efforts alone were heroic. Overlay the dynamic of the 
interests with the scientific complexities associated with getting the 
water right and you begin to understand that the Plan submitted to you 
by consensus, the Plan that enjoys broad-based support, was only 
possible through an inclusive process. Any attempt to modify the 
concepts embraced by consensus has the potential to erode this broad-
based support.
    The South Florida Water Management District strongly supports this 
Plan and the process used for developing this product as the best 
opportunity for solving the region's environmental and water resource 
problems within the region. We believe that this Plan is the roadmap 
for providing adequate water for a healthy, sustainable Everglades 
ecosystem as well as for maintaining urban and agriculture use. As 
Chairman of the Governing Board for the agency that serves as local 
sponsor for the Central and Southern Florida Project, I urge you to 
authorize the Plan submitted to you last July. The Administration's 
bill deviates from this Plan and the direction given by Congress in the 
authorization to modernize our 50-plus year old system to address 
unintended consequences to the environment.
    Is it the perfect plan? No. The perfect plan will never exist but 
the Plan is strong. It is flexible enough to allow for improvements 
along the way and the Corps needs to be given the flexibility to make 
refinements as more is learned through scientific monitoring over the 
period of implementation. The Administration's bill provides for such 
refinement.
    In Naples, I submitted testimony that touched on our desire for the 
costs for operating and maintaining the Comprehensive Plan to be shared 
by the Federal Government. The Administration's bill calls for a 60/40 
split of such costs. I urge you to go the next step. Codify our 
partnership by authorizing a 50/50 sharing of all costs. There are 
countless ways to try and analyze a formula that makes sense. I submit 
to you that all the potential formulas are flawed in that none are 
capable of factoring in the interconnectedness of a system that 
operates like dominos on a table. Any opportunity for decisions to be 
made for any other reason than for what is good for the resource will 
only hurt the resource. A 50/50 cost share provides for accountability, 
cost effectiveness, equal influence in decisions and I would argue 
objectivity. It makes sense!
    I will close by emphasizing the unprecedented nature of this 
restoration by highlighting the unprecedented contribution of the State 
of Florida and the unique resources that we as local sponsors bring to 
the table, especially when compared to other local sponsors around the 
country. We bring history, expertise and knowledge of the construction 
and operation of the system, ecological and modeling expertise and 
overall project management experience. Successful implementation will 
depend on the ability to utilize the best from a scientific, 
engineering and research pool of experts that are made up of Federal 
and non-Federal staff. We support the Administration's bill as it 
relates to in-kind credit. It is not our intent to construct without 
authorization. We simply want to be given credit for work that we 
intend to participate in doing. In fact, we propose a more frequent 
balancing of the books to ensure that both the Federal and non-Federal 
sponsor stay closely aligned in terms of spending. Neither of us should 
get too far out ahead of the other.
    Finally, I must applaud our Governor. The State of Florida has a 
long-standing commitment, spanning several administrations and changes 
in political party leadership. Everglades Restoration is a bipartisan 
effort. History has proven this as fact. Back in 1983 then Governor Bob 
Graham started the Save Our Everglades Program. Sir, we are fortunate 
that you, with your historical knowledge and continued leadership serve 
on the committee that will make authorization decisions. Senator Connie 
Mack has been a force in the support of restoration in Washington and 
Florida has benefited from the strong relationship between our two 
Senators.
    Our State is now under the leadership of Governor Jeb Bush. Many 
touted uncertainty of his commitment despite his continued verbal 
commitments and appointments of leaders known for their individual 
commitment to restoration like myself. Governor Bush has done more than 
talk about commitment to restoration. As he stated in his testimony, he 
led the team of a broad spectrum of people who worked tirelessly to 
achieve passage of a funding bill to pay the State's share of 
restoration. That is what I call Leadership! I hope that such a leader 
is one you want as a partner a full partner--an equal partner.
                                 ______
                                 
Responses by Michael Collins to Additional Questions from Senator Smith

    Question 1. Does the Water Management District, as the non-Federal 
sponsor of the Plan, have a recommendation for how to better ``assure'' 
the benefits to the natural system?
    Response. The South Florida Water Management District supports the 
congressionally established policy concerning State primacy instituted 
in the Clean Water Act.

    Question 2. As I understand it, the State will provide 
approximately $100 million a year to the CERP and the SFWMD is expected 
to provide the other $100 million. Can you describe for the committee 
how the WMD will come up with this share of the non-Federal sponsor's 
commitment without raising taxes?
    Response. The financial commitment of the South Florida Water 
Management District and the State of Florida to restore the Everglades 
is well documented. The Governor has very publicly voiced the 
commitment of the State of Florida to fund its share of the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. This commitment was 
validated by the Florida Legislature with the passing of the Everglades 
Restoration Investment Act. The South Florida Water Management District 
will also meet its obligations under this commitment.

    Question 3. As you know, it is the non-Federal sponsor's 
responsibility to purchase land. What would the impact be on the land 
acquisition process in Florida if the Federal Government did not 
authorize the initial suite of ten projects this year?
    Response. The current arrangement is for the local sponsor to act 
as the land acquisition agent for the project. Approximately 2/3 of 
lands required for the initial suite of ten projects have been 
acquired. If authorization of these projects does not occur it will 
jeopardize the continuation of land acquisition for these projects.

    Question 4. Why is it important to move forward with authorization 
of this initial set of ten projects this year?
    Response. The initial set of ten projects will provide immediate 
system-wide benefits to the ecosystem including natural hydroperiod 
restoration, and protection from frequent catastrophic releases of 
excess freshwater to coastal estuaries. Authorization will also allow 
utilization of lands already purchased. Additionally, authorization now 
will ensure increased efficiencies by integrating detailed engineering 
and design work with ongoing Federal and State projects. On the 
resource side, there is a high probability that delay in authorization 
of these projects will result in continued harm to Lake Okeechobee, 
coastal estuaries and the Everglades Protection Area. From a program 
management perspective uncertainty will make it difficult to 
appropriately staff and budget for the construction phase of projects. 
In addition, it will be difficult to justify continued planning and 
design efforts if projects are not authorized. The SFWMD is currently 
well positioned for CERP design and construction due staff available 
from the Everglades Construction Project. Construction on this project 
will be completed in 2003 which fits well with shifting staff for the 
initiation of a number of construction projects associated with CERP. 
Delays in authorizations and subsequent appropriations would make it 
difficult for the SFWMD to justify maintaining this staffing level 
necessary to meet the aggressive implementation schedule. Delays in 
authorization may also make it difficult to maintain a consistent level 
of State funding for the Restoration Plan.

    Question 5. On March 2 and 3, the Governor's Commission for a 
Sustainable South Florida unanimously approved the version of the Plan 
that became the April 1999 Restudy. Ken Keck of Florida Citrus Mutual 
testified that the members of the Governor's Commission did not have a 
vote on the implementation of the Plan. This is contrary to what 
Section 10 of the Restudy says, as well as what the minutes of the 
meeting document. Can you clarify?
    Response. Answer: On March 3, 1999 the Governor's Commission for a 
Sustainable South Florida was presented the final draft of the Restudy. 
The Commission unanimously approved a report that proposed 
modifications to the draft and recommended assurances language to the 
Army Corps of Engineers. Most of the suggested changes proposed by the 
Commission were incorporated in the Final Report that was transmitted 
to Congress. A copy of the minutes for the referenced meeting is 
attached.
                                 ______
                                 
   Responses by Michael Collins to Additional Questions from Senator 
                                 Graham

    Question 1. One of the proposals that have been discussed among 
various constituencies is the use of State water law and regulatory 
processes to issue assurances to the natural system and the human 
environment. The State has had Chapter 373 authority to issue 
consumptive use permits, minimum flows and levels, and reservations for 
the natural system for almost 30 years. To date, the State has only 
issued consumptive use permits. If Congress chose to use the State 
water law and regulatory processes to issue assurances, how can we be 
sure the State process would ever move forward?
    Response. While the authority has been on the books the actual 
tools necessary to accomplish change has been cumbersome. The current 
infrastructure to move water throughout the State is a Federal project 
the Central and Southern Florida Project. Modifying a Federal project 
requires congressional authorization, which explains the critical 
importance of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. Further, 
to evoke change and then successfully enforce change requires the State 
be in good standing from a planning and scientific perspective and that 
those stakeholders which will be impacted by changes are part of the 
process. The State of Florida has all of this behind us now. In 1997 a 
State statutory mandate to develop water supply plans that serve as a 
road map for quantifying and protecting environmental water supplies 
was adopted by the Florida Legislature. The Governing Board of the 
South Florida Water Management District at the May meeting adopted 
these regional water supply plans. And, the regional water supply plans 
are dovetailed with the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. We 
are moving forward.

    Question 2. One of the definitions under discussion in the 
assurances debate is the definition of the term ``existing water 
user''. What is your impression of how this term should be defined to 
provide adequate protection to existing permitted users and to the 
natural system?
    Response. An existing water user is a user of water that holds a 
valid State permit to use a specific amount of water from a specified 
source for a specific duration.

    Question 3. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystems if we move forward with this project?
    Response.
    1. Substantial reduction in the number and severity of ecologically 
damaging extreme high water and low water events on Lake Okeechobee, 
resulting in protection of the Lake's littoral wetlands and deep water 
zones and associated ecological and fisheries resources.
    2. Reduced inputs of excessive nutrients into Lake Okeechobee.
    3. Substantial reduction or elimination of damaging flows of 
excessive nutrients, pesticides, and suspended materials to the 
Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie estuaries due to improved water quality 
and water depths in Lake Okeechobee.
    4. Recovery of desirable salinity ranges in the Caloosahatchee and 
St. Lucie estuaries, benefiting ecological and fisheries resources.
    5. Recovery of more natural volume and timing patterns of flow 
between Lake Okeechobee and the northern Everglades.
    6. Recovery of more natural volume and timing patterns of flow into 
the eastern Big Cypress basin, including improved habitat conditions 
for the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow.
    7. Reduced inputs and distribution of excessive nutrients in the 
Everglades.
    8. Substantial recovery of more natural hydroperiods, surface water 
distribution and timing patterns in the Everglades, resulting in 
recovery of more healthy Everglades ecosystems and the characteristic 
animals of these wetlands.
    9. Substantial recovery of more natural flow patterns and volumes 
into Florida Bay, including recovery of natural salinity ranges, 
resulting in recovery of ecological and fisheries resources.
    10. Substantial increase in the spatial extent of healthy wetlands 
in the southern Everglades.
    11. Substantial improvements in reaching desired salinity range and 
timing of flows for Lake Worth Lagoon, and recovery of healthy 
fisheries.
    12. Recovery of more natural flow distribution patterns and in 
desired salinity range for Biscayne Bay, and recovery of healthy near-
shore ecological and fisheries resources.
    13. Increased spatial extent, hydropatterns and quality of southern 
Miami-Dade wetlands.

    Question 4. Can you describe the impact to the Everglades and 
surrounding ecosystem if we do not move forward with this project?
    Response.
    1. Reductions in the spatial extent of healthy wetlands will 
continue.
    2. Species that require large expanses of natural habitat, such as 
the Florida panther, snail kite, and wading birds, will increasingly 
become stressed by the loss of habitats.
    3. Losses of organic soils will continue to reduce water storage 
capacity and ecological productivity throughout the Everglades.
    4. Canals and levees will continue to encourage the introduction 
and spread of exotic plants and animals.
    5. Unnatural fire patterns will increasingly damage the natural 
landscapes of south Florida.
    6. South Florida recreational and commercial fishing will decline, 
both in the freshwater Everglades and Lake Okeechobee, and in the St. 
Lucie, Caloosahatchee and Florida Bay estuaries.
    7. Endangered species will continue to decline, and some species 
may be irreversibly lost in south Florida.
    8. The Everglades will cease to exist as a functional, recognizable 
``River of Grass.''

    Question 5. What is the current plan of action related to the 8.5 
square mile area?
    Response. On June 15, the South Florida Water Management District 
Governing Board will decide whether or not there is an appropriate role 
for the water management district as local sponsor. Thereafter, the 
Army Corps of Engineers will have the responsibility to accept or 
reject a locally preferred option, should one be chosen. Ultimately, it 
is the Army Corps of Engineers' responsibility to complete the EIS 
process and to meet the mandate required by the Modified Water Delivery 
project.

    Question 6. Can you elaborate on the environmental benefits that 
the modified water delivery project is seeking to achieve?
    Response. The Modified Water Delivery (MWD) project is an essential 
and critical element in the larger restoration effort for the Florida 
Everglades. The primary environmental benefit that will result from 
implementation of the MWD is to provide more natural water flows in the 
Northeast Shark River Slough portion of Everglades National Park. 
Completion of the MWD project provides the basis and starting point for 
further restoration efforts to be implemented under the Comprehensive 
Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP). The success of several Critical 
Restoration Projects and other scheduled restoration elements under the 
CERP can not proceed or would be significantly delayed in their 
implementation until the completion of the MWD. The MWD project has 
been further identified as a critical element in a Biological Opinion 
(February 1999) issued by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the 
Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow. Completion of the MWD project is required 
by 2003 as a condition to avoid potential jeopardy and is a compliance 
requirement under the Reasonable and Prudent Alternative.

    Question 7. Do you believe that the SFWMD will be able to resolve 
this issue prior to implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan?
    Response. The responsibility to resolve this issue does not rest 
solely with the South Florida Water Management District. It is 
important to recognize that the Modified Water Delivery (MWD) project 
was initially considered to be a 100 percent Federal project, the 
persistent disagreement among the Federal agencies as to how best to 
accomplish the implementation has delayed progress. The water 
management district's role has been to facilitate a public process to 
identify common ground on the issue of the 8.5 square mile area and to 
determine if there is an appropriate role for the water management 
district. Any alternative selected that is different from that 
initially proposed by the Corps of Engineers is considered a locally 
preferred option. The Governing Board has requested a reevaluation of 
the alternatives to identify a mitigation plan that is sustainable for 
the long term and accomplishes the restoration objectives. The 
Governing Board is committed to making a recommendation about how to 
move forward and about an appropriate role for this agency based on 
sound science and what is best for the resource, including the timely 
implementation of the MWD project.
                                 ______
                                 
 Responses by Michael Collins to Additional Questions from Senator Mack

    Question 1. Do you support applying section 902 of the 1986 Water 
Resources Development Act to all features of the Comprehensive Plan 
before us today? [This provision requires a congressional review if a 
project exceeds 20 percent of authorized cost]
    Response. Yes, additionally we propose an equal spending 
arrangement as implementation of the project's progress. Using periodic 
accounting as opposed to rectifying the books at the end would increase 
accountability.

    Question 2. Do you support congressional committee review and 
approval of the feasibility level of engineering and design work before 
any construction can begin on the initial suite of ten projects in the 
Comprehensive Plan?
    Response. The delegation to the Secretary of the Army for approval 
of Project Implementation Reports (PIR) is adequate oversight. The 
water management district does not oppose additional congressional 
committee review and approval. We would caution against any process 
that would result in significant delays to implementation as these 
projects are submitted for approval now because of their immediate 
benefits to the natural system.

    Question 3. Do you support requiring full feasibility studies 
before any other projects are authorized under the Comprehensive Plan?
    Response. Yes, Project Implementation Reports (PIR) mirror the 
requirements of a feasibility study. The water management district 
supports requiring PIRs for construction of projects included in the 
Comprehensive Plan.

    Question 4. Do you support modifying the definition of the South 
Florida Ecosystem to make clear the system includes the lands and 
waters within the boundaries of the South Florida Water Management 
District as they existed on July 1, 1999?
    Response. Yes. Modifying the definition of the South Florida 
Ecosystem makes it clear that the precise scope and boundaries of the 
Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan consist of the lands and 
waters within the boundary of the South Florida Water Management 
District, including the Everglades, the Florida Keys, and the 
contiguous near-shore coastal waters of South Florida.

    Question 5. Do your support a provision making clear the Corps of 
Engineers is only authorized to study the question about providing 
additional 245,000 acre-feet of water to the natural system?
    Response. The water management district maintains that the adaptive 
assessment process will allow for future refinements to project 
components and we are committed to continue to work with the Army Corps 
and Department of Interior to establish an allocation of water that is 
healthy for the Park. It is an error in judgment to predetermine that 
245,000-acre feet is the additional amount of water needed for 
Everglades National Park.

    Question 6. Do you support language making clear that the Corps 
must work with the State of Florida to ensure all groundwater 
discharges resulting from the Comprehensive Plan meet all applicable 
water quality standards and water quality permitting requirements?
    Response. Yes and the language should be expanded to authorize 
water quality features needed for the implementation of the project 
components.

    Question 7. Do you support replacing the project purposes language 
stated in (c)(1) of the administration's draft with language restating 
the purpose of the Comprehensive Plan developed and passed in WRDA 
1996?
    Response. Yes. There was broad support and agreement to the 
purposes of WRDA 1996.

    Question 8. Do you support additional programmatic authority for 
the Corps to construct projects of limited cost but are in keeping with 
the Plan's purposes and have independent and substantial benefit to 
Everglade's restoration?
    Response. Yes. Programmatic authority is consistent with the 
congressionally authorized critical project authority in WRDA 96.

    Question 9. Do you support a 50/50 cost share between the Federal 
Government and the State of Florida on operation and maintenance of the 
project? If not, please state the cost share you believe to be 
appropriate and why.
    Response. Yes. The project benefits to Federal trust resources such 
as Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Big Cypress National Preserve, 
Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuge, Florida Panther National 
Wildlife Refuge and Everglades National Park and many federally listed 
protected species are well documented. In fact, the Federal Government 
manages approximately 75 percent of the protected lands and waters 
within the South Florida ecosystem that will benefit from the 
Comprehensive Plan. The high degree of benefits to Federal trust 
resources dictates a 50/50 cost share of operation and maintenance.

    Question 10. Please provide your thoughts on the definition of 
Project Implementation Reports found in the Administration's language. 
Do you support this definition? If not, please provide suggestions as 
to how you would define these reports.
    Response. The primary issue with the PIR is not in the definition 
of the PIR but in the process by which it is developed and implemented. 
The water management district maintains that this critical process 
should be a joint State/Federal initiative and not one undertaken 
solely by Federal agencies.

    Question 11. Do you believe the Department of Interior and the 
State of Florida should be on equal footing in developing any 
regulations related to assurances? If not, why?
    Response. We do not think that new regulations related to 
assurances are necessary or appropriate. The water management district 
supports the proposal to require that Project Implementation Reports 
(PIR) identify the new water made available from each project component 
for the natural system and other water uses. Implementation of water 
reservations for the natural system and allocations for other water 
uses in accordance with State law will accomplish assurances in a way 
that does not require new Federal regulations.

    Question 12. Do you support the reporting requirement in the 
administration's bill? If not, how would you amend the reporting 
requirements?
    Response. The reports should be subject to concurrence from the 
Governor of the State of Florida.
                                 ______
                                 
   Responses by Michael Collins to Additional Questions from Senator 
                               Voinovich

    Question 1. I would like to ask you the same question I asked 
Dexter Lehtinen, given the importance of completing the Modified Water 
Delivery Project, has the South Florida Water Management District 
identified any plan for flood mitigation for the most developed portion 
of the 8.5 square mile area that would be acceptable to environmental 
interests?
    Response. The South Florida Water Management District has embarked 
on a very public process to identify common ground on the issue of the 
8.5 square mile area. The Governing Board is committed to making a 
recommendation about how to move forward and about an appropriate role 
for this agency based on sound science and what is best for the 
resource, including the timely implementation of the MWD project.

    Question 2. In response to previous questions by this committee, 
the South Florida Water Management District has indicated that the 
Stormwater Treatment Areas that are being constructed as part of the 
Everglades Construction Project and the additional Stormwater Treatment 
Areas proposed in the Comprehensive Plan will result in significant 
reductions in the phosphorus levels but that there is not good 
scientific evidence that they will be able to achieve the long term 
water quality standard for phosphorus estimated at 10 part per billion. 
You further indicated that at this time there was insufficient 
information to estimate the additional costs required to meet the long-
term standard. If those additional costs turn out to be significant and 
result in a substantial increase in the cost of the Comprehensive Plan, 
who should pay for these additional costs? Should they be a Water 
Management District cost or should they be shared with the Corps?
    Response. The project underway to ultimately achieve the long-term 
water quality standard is being implemented at the expense of the State 
of Florida. Further, this project is considered a ``without project 
condition'' in the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan. If in the 
future of this State, it is determined that additional measures are 
needed to address water resource issues, then at that time, Federal 
agencies and Congress will have an opportunity to determine if there is 
a Federal interest in implementing any such proposal.
                               __________
 Statement of Dr. Joseph W. Westphal, Assistant Secretary of the Army 
                            for Civil Works
    Mr. Chairman, members of the committee, I am Joseph Westphal, 
Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works. I am pleased to be 
here today to present the Administration's views on an important 
national issue the restoration of America's Everglades and legislation 
critical to the implementation of the Comprehensive Everglades 
Restoration Plan (CERP) submitted to the Congress on July 1, 1999. As 
requested I will discuss the CERP legislation contained in the 
Department of the Army's legislative proposal for the Water Resources 
Development Act (WRDA) of 2000 submitted to the Congress on April 10, 
2000.
    An American treasure is in trouble. Once the Florida Everglades was 
a vibrant, free-flowing river of grass that provided clean water from 
Lake Okeechobee to Florida Bay. It was a haven for storks, alligators, 
panthers and other wildlife and was critical to the health of estuaries 
and coral reefs. Today this extraordinary ecosystem--unlike any other 
in the world--is dying.
    Over the past half-century, as the population of south Florida has 
grown, the health and size of the Everglades have steadily declined. 
Fully half the Everglades have been lost to agriculture and 
development. And the surviving remnants suffer from a severe shortage 
of clean, reliable water. In our efforts to guard communities against 
flooding and to ensure adequate water supplies for drinking and 
irrigation, we have diverted the natural water flows that are the 
essence and very lifeblood of the Everglades.
    As Marjory Stoneman Douglas said in The Everglades: River of Grass, 
``There are no other Everglades in the world.'' Like the tropical 
rainforest of South America and the giant redwood forest of the west, 
the Everglades is a unique ecosystem. We must act now, and act 
aggressively, if we are to save this special place. Enactment of the 
legislation submitted to you on April 10, 2000 is a critical next step.
    On July 1, 1999, on behalf of the Administration, and in 
partnership with the State of Florida, I submitted to Congress a 
comprehensive plan to restore the South Florida ecosystem by modifying 
the existing Central and Southern Florida project. The South Florida 
ecosystem includes the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay, and 
Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys. The CERP, which will be implemented 
over the next 25 years, will:
      Improve the health of over 2.4 million acres of the south 
Florida ecosystem, including Everglades National Park;
      Improve the health of Lake Okeechobee;
      Virtually eliminate damaging freshwater releases to the 
estuaries;
      Improve water deliveries to Florida and Biscayne Bays;
      Improve water quality; and
      Enhance water supply and maintain flood protection.
    The CERP, which was formerly known as the ``Restudy,'' is the most 
ambitious ecosystem restoration project ever undertaken in the United 
States--if not the world. Its fundamental goal is to capture most of 
the fresh water that now flows unused to the sea and deliver it when 
and where it is needed most. Eighty percent of this ``new'' water 
targeted for capture will be devoted to environmental restoration, 
reviving the ecosystem from the Kissimmee River, through Lake 
Okeechobee, through Everglades National Park, and out to the coral 
reefs of Florida Bay. The remaining 20 percent will benefit cities and 
farmers, enhancing water supplies and supporting a strong, sustainable 
economy for south Florida.
    In short, the CERP consists of over 60 components that work 
together to restore, preserve, and protect the South Florida ecosystem 
by delivering the right amount of water, of the right quality, to the 
right places and at the right time. The Army's legislative proposal 
approves the CERP as a scientifically sound blue print for restoration 
and provides authority to implement the initial increment of the 
improvements described in the report of the Chief of Engineers on the 
Central and Southern Florida Project Comprehensive Review Study, dated 
June 22, 1999.
    While the CERP reflects the best available science, we are prepared 
to refine our thinking as we learn more. Thus the CERP is designed to 
be flexible, to incorporate and respond to new information as it 
becomes available. Continuous monitoring and independent scientific 
review are key components of the CERP. Still, the CERP provides a sound 
basis to move forward immediately. There is too much at stake and 
little time to act.
The Problem
    The Everglades of today are not the same place that Mrs. Douglas 
wrote about in 1947. Millions of people have encroached upon the 
ecosystem that once was the domain of panthers, alligators and flocks 
of birds so vast that they would darken the sky. With the arrival of 
people came the desire to manage the water, to tame the free flowing 
river of grass from Lake Okeechobee to the Florida Keys.
    The Central and Southern Florida Project was authorized by Congress 
50 years ago to provide flood protection and fresh water for the people 
of south Florida. This project accomplished its intended purpose and 
allowed people to more easily live on the land. It did so, however, at 
tremendous ecological cost to the Everglades. While the population of 
people has risen from 500,000 in the 1950's to more than 6 million 
today, the numbers of native birds and other wildlife have dwindled and 
some have vanished. The size of the Everglades has been reduced by half 
and several wildlife species are threatened or endangered.
    Over the past 100 years, excessive drainage of wetlands and changes 
in the natural variability of water flows have altered the Everglades 
wetland ecosystem on a regional scale. Today, discharges to the 
Everglades are often too much, or too little, and frequently at the 
wrong times of the year. An over-abundance or scarcity of water affects 
plants and wildlife accustomed to the Everglades' historic range of 
water flows, levels and seasons. In addition, canals and highways that 
criss-cross the Everglades have interrupted its historic overland sheet 
flow.
    Water quality throughout south Florida has deteriorated over the 
past 50 years. More than one-half of the wetlands that act as natural 
filters and retention areas are gone. Some untreated urban and 
agricultural storm water is sent directly to natural areas and 
estuaries. Too much, or too little, water is often sent to estuaries. 
Too many nutrients are entering the Everglades, with an over-abundance 
of cattails a visible indicator of the consequences.
    Historically, most rainwater soaked into the ground in the region's 
vast wetlands. As south Florida developed, the canal system built over 
the past 100 years worked effectively and drained water off the land 
very quickly. As a result, approximately 1.7 billion gallons of water 
per day on average is discharged to the ocean. One very significance 
consequence is that not enough water is available for the environment.
    Under current conditions, these natural systems cannot recover 
their defining characteristics and they will not survive. The growing 
demand for a reliable and inexpensive supply of water for agriculture, 
industry and a burgeoning population will likely exceed the limits of 
readily accessible sources. As the needs of the region's natural 
systems are factored in, as they must be, conflicts for water among 
users will become even more severe. Water shortages will become more 
frequent and more severe unless changes to the water management system 
are made. The health of the ecosystem will continue to decline unless 
we act now.
The Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan
    First and foremost, the goal of the CERP is to restore, protect and 
preserve the south Florida ecosystem. The focus of the CERP has been to 
restore the defining ecological features of the original Everglades and 
other parts of south Florida ecosystem while providing for other water 
related needs of the region.
    Both the problems with declining ecosystem health and the solutions 
to Everglades restoration can be framed by four interrelated factors: 
quantity, quality, timing, and distribution of water. The principal 
goal of restoration is to deliver the right amount of water, of the 
right quality, to the right places and at the right time. The natural 
environment will respond to these hydrologic improvements, and we will 
once again see a healthy Everglades ecosystem.
Quantity
    Significantly less water flows through the ecosystem today compared 
to historical times. As noted above, on average, 1.7 billion gallons of 
water that once flowed through the ecosystem is wasted each day through 
discharges to the ocean or gulf in excess of the needs of the 
estuaries. The CERP will capture most of this water in surface and 
underground storage areas where it will be stored until it is needed. 
Specifically, this water will be stored in more than 217,000 acres of 
new reservoirs and wetlands-based treatment areas, and 300 underground 
aquifer storage and recovery wells. These features vastly increase the 
amount of water available in south Florida.
Quality
    The quality of water in the south Florida ecosystem has been 
diminished significantly. Excess phosphorus, mercury, and other 
contaminants harm the region's surface water and groundwater. The water 
quality of the Everglades Water Conservation Areas, the coastal 
estuaries, Florida Bay and the Keys show similar signs of significant 
degradation. The CERP will improve the quality of water discharged to 
natural areas by first directing it to surface storage reservoirs and 
wetlands based stormwater treatment areas. In addition, the CERP 
recommended the development of a comprehensive integrated water quality 
plan for the region that will further improve water quality.
Timing
    Alternating periods of natural flooding and drying, called 
hydroperiods, were vital to the Everglades ecosystem. These natural 
hydroperiods have been severely altered by human activities. Restoring 
these variations in water flows and levels is an integral part of the 
CERP. Specifically, the timing of water held and released into the 
ecosystem will be modified by the CERP so that it more closely matches 
natural patterns. The CERP will reduce the harmful water levels that 
damage Lake Okeechobee and its shoreline. Improved water deliveries to 
the Caloosahatchee and St. Lucie rivers will reduce damage to the 
estuaries caused by too much or too little fresh water. Florida and 
Biscayne bays will receive improved fresh water flows. In other areas, 
an operational plan that mimics natural rainfall patterns will enhance 
the timing of water sent to the Water Conservation Areas, Everglades 
National Park, and other wildlife management areas.
Distribution
    The areal extent and movement of water through the system is the 
final factor in the water equation. Over 50 percent of the original 
Everglades have been lost to urban and agricultural development. 
Further, the remaining ecosystem has been separated, or 
compartmentalized, by canals and levees. To improve the connectivity of 
natural areas, and to enhance sheetflow, more than 240 miles of levees 
and canals will be removed within the Everglades. Most of the Miami 
Canal in Water Conservation Area 3 will be filled and 20 miles of the 
Tamiami Trail will be rebuilt with bridges and culverts, allowing water 
to flow more naturally into Everglades National Park. In the Big 
Cypress National Preserve, the levee that separates the preserve from 
the Everglades will be removed to restore more natural overland water 
flow.
    In summary, the CERP will store much of the excess water that is 
now sent to the sea so there will be enough water to meet the needs of 
both ecosystem and urban and agricultural users. The CERP includes a 
number of features to improve the quality of water flowing to the 
natural environment. It will continue to provide the same level of 
flood protection for south Florida. The CERP is not perfect no plan 
could be given the complexity of the ecosystem and the effects of past 
modifications. We know that we do not have all the answers and that we 
will have to make adjustments as we learn more. In this regard, the 
concept of adaptive assessment is an integral part of the CERP. In 
short, we will monitor, use independent peer review, public input, and 
make necessary adjustments as we go, utilizing the effective 
interagency and multi-stakeholder partnerships that allowed us to 
develop the CERP.
Why Restore the Everglades?
    Perhaps first and foremost, the Everglades are an American treasure 
that is in serious trouble. There is no other wetland system like the 
``River of Grass'' in the world.
    As with other great natural and cultural resources, we have a 
responsibility to protect and restore this treasure for generations to 
come.
    Implementing the CERP over the next 25 or so years will cost 
approximately $7.8 billion. While the implementation cost of the 
project is substantial, it will be spread over many years and shared 
equally between the Federal Government and the State of Florida. More 
importantly, the environmental and economic costs of inaction are 
enormous. If we do not act now, the Everglades will continue to die and 
water shortages will have real effects on Florida's economy.
    The benefits to the Nation of implementing the CERP are tremendous. 
The entire south Florida ecosystem, including the Everglades, will 
become healthy, with many of its natural characteristics restored. 
Urban and agricultural water users will also benefit from enhanced 
water supplies. Flood protection, so important to hurricane-prone south 
Florida, will be maintained and, in some cases, improved.
    The economic benefits from implementation of the CERP are wide-
ranging and are linked with the availability of clean, abundant water 
in the ecosystem. Not only is water the key to ecosystem restoration, 
it is also necessary for sustainable agricultural and urban 
environments. It is important for recreation, tourism and navigation. 
It plays a significant and obvious role in commercial and recreational 
fishing.
    With the CERP, the distribution of plants and animals will return 
to more natural patterns as more pre-drainage water flows are restored. 
The CERP will support the return of the large nesting ``rookeries'' of 
wading birds to Everglades National Park, and the recovery of several 
endangered species, including the wood stork, snail kite, Cape Sable 
seaside sparrow, and American crocodile. We are confident that 
implementation of the CERP will allow us to once again witness an 
abundance of wildlife in the Everglades.
    Lake Okeechobee, which is regionally important to fish and 
wildlife, will once again become a healthy lake. Both the shallow and 
open water areas within the lake, essential to its commercial and 
recreational fishery, will be greatly enhanced by improved water 
levels. This will mean more abundant and healthier fish populations. 
Water quality in the lake will also be improved significantly by 
reducing the pollutant loading of water flowing into the lake.
    The CERP will also improve fresh water deliveries to Florida and 
Biscayne bays by increasing the flow and reduce the water lost to tide 
through the St Lucie and Caloosahatchee estuaries. Appropriate fresh 
water regimes will result in substantial improvements in aquatic and 
semi-aquatic habitats, including mangroves, coastal marshes, and 
seagrass beds interacting together to produce food, shelter, and 
breeding and nursery grounds; these coastal habitat areas will support 
more balanced, productive fish, shellfish, and wildlife communities.
    The CERP will begin to reverse, in a relatively short time, the 
pattern of ecological degradation that has been occurring in the 
natural system for many decades. If we start now, the natural wetlands 
system of south Florida will be healthier by the year 2010.
    Like many other public works projects, implementing the CERP is an 
investment in the nation's future. With this investment, we can restore 
this unique ecosystem and leave a proud legacy for future generations. 
If we do not make the investment now, we will suffer the irretrievable 
loss of America's Everglades.
    As noted above, the estimated cost to implement the CERP is $7.8 
billion. It will also cost approximately $182 million each year to 
operate, maintain, and monitor the CERP. Taken together over the more 
than 20 years needed to implement the CERP, the annual costs amount to 
just over $400 million. In general, the Federal Government will pay 
half the construction cost and the State of Florida and the South 
Florida Water Management District will pay the other half. We are 
proposing that the State pay 60 percent of the cost to operate and 
maintain the project.
    The Restoration Effort Begins with Authorization in the Water 
Resources Development Act of 2000
    On April 10, 2000, on behalf of the Administration, I submitted to 
Congress a comprehensive legislative proposal that will allow the 
implementation of the CERP. Our legislation would accomplish several 
important objectives, including the following:
    1). a congressional endorsement of the importance of restoring the 
Everglades and that such restoration is a National priority;
    2). a congressional endorsement of the CERP as a technically sound 
blue print for Everglades restoration;
    3). the authorization of an initial package of projects, including 
four pilot projects and ten of the 68 project features;
    4). the authorization of a program authority to allow the 
expeditious imp