On Marco Island: Independent Reporting, Documenting Government Abuses, Exposing the Syndicate, Historical Records of Crimes Against the Environment

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Friday, November 06, 2009

Proof: Marco Island Violated Federal Law

In a just declassified email from the Unites States Environmental Protection Agency pursuant to this blog's initiatives, two EPA criminal investigators state that the City of Marco Island violated the federal Clean Water Act.

In the very same document, the two investigators repudiate the City's ruse that the dumping of millions of gallons of toxic effluent into the waterways and into the Gulf of Mexico was done with a permit and therefore legal.

Background
Readers of this blog will recall that the City of Marco Island and its handlers in the syndicate had put forth the story that the City had a permit to dump toxic effluent into the waterways. Naturally, the majority of the City Council bought the story, as did the media and the "majority" of residents.

Those of us that could actually think knew something was amiss so we pursued the matter. We knew that something was not right given that serious law enforcement (read: NOT the FDEP) became engaged early on, and that there was no way a serious agency (read: NOT the FDEP) could permit toxic effluent to be dumped untreated into protected waterways.

Detail
It is unclear when exactly this occurred, but the City of Marco Island obtained a "permit" from the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). When it became clear that the dumping millions of gallons of toxic effluent into the waterways was a problem, the City claimed that the "permit" from the SFWMD was sufficient legal authority to pollute the Gulf of Mexico.

Serious law enforcement got involved and then some back and forth started. The City attorneys got involved and argued that the SFWMD permit was everything the City needed.

The problem for the City came with the final word from the EPA: the SFWMD permit is insufficient as it is irrelevant, and the City of Marco Island was informed that it was violating the federal Clean Water Act. The EPA then started the criminal proceeding – (more details on these ongoing proceedings in future articles.)

(As it turns out, even the EPA investigators highlighted the fact that the SFWMD permit was merely for storm-water runoff and seemed amazed that the City would think anyone could believe such a bletcherous subterfuge.)

So what did the City of Marco Island and its attorneys do? Nothing – they left intact the deception that the City had a permit.

However, the cognizant citizen may have noticed that the City no longer dumps untreated toxic effluent into the waterways from their dewatering efforts – as they did at the beginning of the STRP.

Conclusion
The recently declassified document summarizes the above. Despite being heavily redacted, it is clear: the City of Marco Island and its attorneys knew they were violating the Clean Water Act, and were so informed.

Now we know two things: we now know why there are criminal proceedings at the EPA level. And now we know who the EPA is trying to protect (recall: "not embarrass") by refusing to declassify all of their documents [this battle continues by the way].

And Now What?
We are expanding our quest: will the EPA seek administrative and/or judicial penalties, and if so from whom? Or when will the EPA submit the violation of the Clean Water Act for prosecution, and who exactly will be prosecuted?

We continue the battle as to obtaining all documents. Round and round we go.

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