Proof: City of Marco Island Violated Federal Clean Water Act
Once the City pumped effluent into the waterways, irrespective if the City believed they obtained a permit after the first drop went into the Gulf, the City violated federal law.
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If the City had simply ordered the contractor to stop, and left all liability and responsibility with the contractor, then the City arguably would not be liable now - or at the minimum the "staff" present and past. But as we all know, the City protected the contractors, encouraged the dumping, lied to the FDEP (as if that mattered to the FDEP), and pumped and dumped ad nauseum.
So now the consequences will follow. By law the EPA must prosecute, or can (and will) be sued to ensure prosecution.