by JD Adler…
The law firm of Reiner and Reiner, on behalf of Dump the Pumps, has made a public announcement of intent to sue over lack of environmental impact assessment for Cudjoe Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
60-DAY NOTICE OF INTENT TO SUE VIOLATIONS OF THE NATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY ACT; THE ENDANGERED SPECIES ACT; THE MARINE MAMMAL PROTECTION ACT; THE NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARIES ACT; COASTAL ZONE MANAGEMENT ACT; THE CLEAN WATER ACT AND THE CLEAN AIR ACT; REGARDING MONROE COUNTY AND THE FLORIDA KEYS AQUEDUCT AUTHORITY’S DESIGN, CONTRACTING, CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF THE CUDJOE REGIONAL WASTEWATER SYSTEM IN THE LOWER FLORIDA KEYS.
The full text can be viewed here. They allege environmental risks, failure to gain proper environmental assessments and purported falsified documents. In the conclusion, they state the goals of the suit clearly:
Our clients respectfully request the immediate issuance of a cease and desist order for all aspects of design, contract administration, construction and operation related to the CRWS project until the completion of all of the following:
- full-scale investigation to determine the entities or person(s) responsible for drafting the forged Draft EA bearing the agency name and logo of the Corps;
- enforcement of criminal and civil penalties related to the forged Draft EA for the CRWS project;
- removal of the French drain installed by FKAA in the CRWS project area under the SFWMD permit modification, without a formal USFWS consultation;
- a comprehensive, multi-agency Areawide EIS, including the USEPA, NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service, US Geological Survey (“USGS”) and USFWS to evaluate the direct, indirect, secondary and cumulative adverse impacts of all of the aquifer injections throughout the extent of Floridan aquifer system and of the Corps’ 2014 Final Groundwater Model, which does not incorporate preferential flow through fractures and other conduits in the karst aquifer system; and all secondarily required Federal consultations after the Final Areawide EIS is completed.
This constitutes the second major announcement of intent to sue in recent days. Caron Balkany, on behalf of Mike Laudicina. Their suit would demand a full environmental assessment be completed. Additionally, they also allege falsification of documents.
The document, which these plaintiffs are alleging to be “fake”, refers to a Draft Environmental Assessment prepared by the FKAA for the Army Corps of Engineers when requesting additional federal funding. No more funding was available so the Corps did nothing with the document. If funding had been available, the normal process would have been for the Corps to conduct their studies, then edit the draft document, and then give it official approval.
The FKAA and the County attorneys have stated they believe the presence of the word “Draft” on the document should have made it clear that it was not an official document.
The Petitioners contend that the document turned up in several other locations with the Army Corps logo still on it, including the official CRW project report and a second request for federal funding (which they also did not receive). The allegation in these suits is that utilizing this document, with the Corps logo, was an intentional effort to mislead other agencies and citizens into believing an Environmental Impact study had been completed. For more detail on this read The Blue Paper article of March 20, 2015.