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A TIMELINE Army Corps officials this week also went over the timeline for the project, which was ini- tially authorized by Congress in 1999. The necessary next regulatory steps include wrapping up a public review and environmen- tal analysis and submitting a permit this fall to FDEP, said Mora. That environmental analysis will not include a more in-depth environmental impact study unless further data shows more significant impacts than those expected, Mora added. However, a number of Siesta residents and environmental advocates want to see the Army Corps undertake a comprehensive review called an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). They say that would address the issues they have raised. Patten noted seven major environmental points of concern, ranging from effects on sea turtles to changes in currents. None of those has been analyzed to critics' satisfaction, he told the News Leader. "Why have they waited so long to look at the environmental aspects of a project planned for 12 years now?" Patten asked. If FDEP issues a permit, funding for the first renourishment and the construction of the groins could be secured as early as 2015, Mora said. WHY BIG PASS SAND? The Army Corps finalized a feasibility study for the project in 2004. But agency represen- tatives soon found out "we had a problem," Mora explained. Sufficient quantities of the type of sand accept- able for renourishing Lido were not found offshore, he said. That was compounded by the implementation of stricter environmen- tal standards. The federal government authorized addi- tional funding for the Army Corps to search for other "borrow sites," but none was found in an approximately 20-mile area offshore. In 2012, the Army Corps began looking at the feasibility of dredging Big Pass, a possibility raised earlier in a county study, Mora added. "In the county inlet management study, it was recommended to potentially mine the pass. That [study] was peer reviewed by three inde- pendent coastal consultants." % Share stories by clicking the icon in the menubar and choosing to share via e-mail, post to Facebook or Twitter, or many other sharing options. QUICK TIP Sarasota News Leader July 25, 2014 Page 36

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