Sugarcane plant, production, to remain as bid to save Everglades is scaled back

MIAMI — After months of speculation and planning on the part of Florida’s Governor Charlie Crist, a scaled back deal was finally reached Monday to help restore Florida’s Everglades. The agreement between U.S. Sugar and the State of Florida would keep the company’s basic operations intact for at least a decade.

The proposal, reduced from a previous plan to buy up all of U.S. Sugar, would leave open the possibility of preserving the 1,700 jobs the company provides to the residents of Clewiston.

The new stripped-down plan is to sell 181,000 acres of farmland to the state, but allow the company to keep its processing plants and other production facilities. Under the proposal, the company would continue to farm most of the land for the next seven crop-cycles in a lease agreement with the state. The South Florida Water Management District would takeover 10,000 acres of the land at the onset of the proposal, and then some 30,000 more acres after seven years

If the lease agreement is extended, much of the land could remain farmland for at least another decade.

Environmentalists are asking for more, saying that sugar production releases some 100 pounds of phosphorous per year per acre into Florida’s waters. Earlier this year, a federal court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency had failed to protect the waters of the Everglades.

Still, the new deal is a sigh-of-relief for the residents of Clewiston. A region whose unemployment rate is well above the national average at 14 percent.

Read more here.

Source : New York Times

1 reply
  1. DANIEL D MARTIN says:

    So what happenned to plans for four 50 000 gpy SUGARCANE TO ETHANOL PLANTS in the Ockeechobbee area?
    That would have increase the flow of cheaper ethanol in South Florida putting presure to lower the price of E-85 while increasing its distribuitors(all plants could sell it at their locations too)

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