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Contact: Linda Friar, 305-242-7714
Contact: Mary Plumb, 305-242-7017
National Park Service (NPS) Southeast Regional Director Stan Austin signed the Record of Decision (ROD) on March 16, 2016, approving the acquisition of a parcel of land owned by Florida Power & Light Company (FPL) in the East Everglades Expansion Area (EEEA) of Everglades National Park. The NPS will acquire fee title to the FPL property through an exchange for park property, as authorized by Congress in 2009 (P.L. 111-11).
The land exchange was identified as the “NPS preferred alternative” in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the acquisition of the FPL property that was released for public review on December 3, 2015. The FPL parcel consists of about 320 acres within the boundaries of Everglades National Park. It is a linear north - south corridor approximately 330 feet to 370 feet wide and approximately 7.4 miles long. The parcel was purchased by FPL in the 1960s and early 1970s, prior to the park’s expansion, with the intention of supporting future power transmission lines. The NPS land to be conveyed in exchange for the FPL parcel consists of about 260 acres along 6.5 miles of the eastern boundary of the EEEA. The NPS will also convey a 90-foot-wide perpetual nonnative vegetation management easement to FPL adjacent to the entire length of the exchange corridor.
The land exchange will be subject to terms and conditions between NPS and FPL. For example, the United States will have the perpetual right to flood and submerge the exchange corridor, consistent with hydrologic restoration requirements. A key change in the selected alternative from the Draft EIS to the Final EIS is a commitment that FPL shall reconvey to the NPS all acreage in the exchange corridor that is determined to be unneeded by FPL to build transmission lines in accordance with the State of Florida final certification order related to transmission line siting. These commitments and conditions will be incorporated into a binding exchange agreement between the two parties.
The Record of Decision and the Final EIS can be downloaded at the NPS website: