Gulf of Mexico
Credit: Malique Rankin There is a six-foot drop-off where sand has eroded on Sunset Beach. Beach crossovers have closed as a result.

FL - Rep. Luna to file legislation against Army Corps of Engineers that affects salaries, employment

In an effort to force the Army Corps of Engineers to renourish our beaches, Luna is filing legislation that will cut salaries or terminate Army Corps personnel.

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — Pinellas County is one of 10 counties in the Sunshine State that receives beach renourishment from the Army Corps of Engineers. The federal storm protection project dredges sand from off-shore and dumps it onto the beaches to replace the sand that naturally washes away.

The most recent round of renourishments has been delayed following the Army Corps of Engineers' recent change of policy interpretation.

U.S. Rep. Anna Paulina Luna recently penned a letter to the Army Corps, pointing out the reason the projects aren't moving forward — the requirement of perpetual property easements from all homeowners in the zoned project areas.

RELATED: 'I’ll never back down': Rep. Anna Paulina Luna asks Army Corps of Engineers to renourish Pinellas beaches

The easements require homeowners to sign over rights to a portion of their land, forever.

In the letter Luna sent the Corps, she wrote, "Congress and our community disagree with the Corps' changing interpretation of the 1986 Water Resource Development Act."

Under this act, the Army Corps previously did not require perpetual easements. But now, the interpretation of the law has created a policy change that Pinellas County is unable to get residents to comply with.

Last week, Luna met with Pinellas County beach town mayors regarding beach renourishment. Her office told 10 Tampa Bay the letter she sent the Army Corps of Engineers has not received a response.

"The beach mayors and I decided we have had enough with the stonewalling and refusal to protect our beaches in Pinellas," Luna's office said via email. "At this point, the Army Corps’ inaction is willful neglect. So, the mayors and I have mutually decided to file a Holman Rule Amendment this fall in line with the appropriations timeline against the Assistant Secretary of the Army Corps for Civil Works to force action on this issue."

A Holman Rule Amendment is when an amendment is made to appropriations legislation that would reduce the salary of or fire specific federal employees, or cut a specific program.

RELATED: 'We're in an impasse': All Pinellas County beach renourishment projects on pause

Luna's office said the amendment will be filed in line with the upcoming appropriations guidelines this fall, which will be in line with what House leadership decides.

Read more.