Will removal of Cape Coral's Chiquita boat lock finally become a reality? All indications point to yes! There are several steps still left in the process, but the removal is definitely on a forward trajectory. The City must apply to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) for a permit for removal, which they did on 10/31/16. Request for further info was given to FDEP on 02/14/17. Steps left in the procedure are as follows:
FDEP has 30 days to review the additional info and they can request additional info as many times as they see fit.
FDEP has to give the permit or deny it within 90 days of receiving a complete application.
Once they are happy with the permit application FDEP then issues a Notice of Intent to issue the permit.
A petition to challenge the issuing of the permit can be filed within 21 days of the Notice of Intent, and timing to resolve such a petition can fluctuate.
The good news is that the City has illustrated there will be no adverse effects to the water quality when the lock is removed, so no further delays for water quality improvement studies are needed.
We're sure all of you living behind the lock are as excited as we are about the eventual elimination of the lock and looking forward to a quicker, more pleasurable boating experience out to open waters, along with seeing dolphins, manatees and more fish in our canals.
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