SFWMD Admits Contamination
What started the email exchanges was Mr. Tears' reply to the charges being filed against the authors of a political ad put forth as an “article” that appeared in a regional newspaper. Two of the authors are state employees – one works for the SFWMD.
The operative paragraphs of Mr. Tears’ reply are thus:
It should be noted that the Big Cypress Basin Board, the local arm of the South Florida Water Management District, has made a major investment of taxpayer’s money to suppor the Septic Tank Replacement Program. The total amount to be invested in the replacement will exceed six million dollars over a five-year period.
The Big Cypress Basin Board, through a resolution and funding, has demonstrated their commitment to Marco moving forward with the Septic Tank Replacement Program. They know how important is to do everything possible to protect the water quality on a barrier island and provide an alternative source of water to meet non-potable demands.
Subsequently, this author is asked to afford input to Mr. Tears’ email. The response is thus:
thank you for sharing with us the response from mr. tears.
at some point we must realize that the issue at hand is purely political for commercialization purposes. the strp has nothing to do with water quality as asserted by mr. tears. if it was about "protecting the water quality on a barrier island", the sfwmd would not have stood silent when the city dumped millions of gallons of untreated effluent from the dewatering directly into the waterways. if it was about "protecting the water quality on a barrier island", the sfwmd, the fdep, the city, and their political supporters would have produced ONE study demonstrating that the septic systems ON MARCO ISLAND contributed ONE iota of anything into the waterways - they haven't (what they have produced are some unrelated studies, some debunked "studies", and a lot of allegory - as their article in the paper proves).
coincidentally, yesterday i received another call from the governor's office. i was once again assured that the governor is NOT mandating the strp, and that while he is committed to water quality in florida, the strp is for the citizens of marco island to decide. this is the second identical communiqué from the governor's office in as many weeks.
To which the reply by Mr. Tears is thus:
I'm on military leave today and out of state, therefore my response will be brief. The South Florida Water Management District would not have invested 6 million dollars into the STRP program if we did not have concerns about potential water quality issues. Also, DEP and your local Health Department support your community going forward with this project. We have provided you the facts in an effort to allow you to make an informed decision. Remember, the dewatering issues were addressed by all permitting agencies and corrected.
The dewatering issues were addressed … and corrected. By admitting to a correction, they have admitted to the contamination – millions of gallons of untreated effluent and solids dumped directly into the waterways.
If there is such a “correction” – other than completing some other a priori approved permit – it has not manifested itself yet on Marco Island. The last dewatering – captured on video with GPS coordinated and timestamps – was identical to the first dewatering – dumping of untreated effluent directly into the waterways.