Pasco County will pay about $2.7 million to buy wetland mitigation credits related to construction of the Ridge Road extension.
The Pasco County Commission approved a resolution for the payment to EIP (Ecosystem Investment Partners LLC) and the Old Florida Wetland Mitigation Bank during the county board’s Nov. 17 meeting.
The resolution described the payment as due to “unavoidable wetland impacts.”
Ridge Road is under construction but remains embroiled in a lawsuit filed by the Sierra Club against the United States Army Corp of Engineers. The federal agency approved the road’s permit after a controversy spanning more than two decades about its construction.
The Sierra Club alleges that the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service relied on a faulty, outdated environmental report that omitted impacts to some endangered and threatened species.
County officials describe the road as a necessary addition to the county’s emergency evacuation routes.
Environmentalists have said the county wants the road to accommodate additional development along the road’s pathway.
The road extension is intended to provide an east-west pathway from Moon Lake Road in New Port Richey, to U.S. 41, also known as Land O’ Lakes Boulevard, in Land O’ Lakes.
Published December 16, 2020