Corps of Engineers halts Cypress Creek construction

02/04/08 Mitch E. Perry
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The Army Corps of Engineers today visited the work area near the Cypress Creek Town Center in Pasco County, three days after the Corps ordered the developer of the mall to stop work after a second incident involving the discharge of muddy.

Cypress Creek, which flows along the mall site’s west and south sides, is major tributary of the Hillsborough River, which provides Tampa’s drinking water.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District (Swiftmud) announced last week that the agency was poised to sanction the developers of the mall, the Richard Jacobs Group, after learning of a series of polluted discharges into the creek. This is the second time the Army Corps has found the Jacobs group in violation.

Last September the developer had mechanically cleared a preservation area, and allowed some discharge of the site into Cypress Creek.

The Sierra Club is pursuing legal action against the Army Corps of Engineers for isssuing the permit, which granted the Jacobs Group the right to fill 56 acres of wetlands on the site of the mall, at State Road 56 and Interstate 75.

The environmental organization’s goal is to stop construction on the site. The entire footprint for the proposed mall is around 500 acres.

Today a crew from the Corps was scheduled to go to the site and assess the biological impacts from the discharges.

The Army Corps says after reviewing plans from the developer, it could reinstate the permit or revoke it permanently.

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