Posted by: reefrescue | March 28, 2011

FDEP – a party to fraud?

Collusion, corruption, incompetence, complicity, ineptitude or just a party to outright fraud? Why can’t the Florida Department of Environmental Protection enforce the permits they issue?

Another beach renourishment project and more bogus data as the contractors circumvent project mandated environmental permit monitoring and the FDEP turns a blind eye; afraid or unable to catch the perpetrators as they lay waste to miles of coastal habitat.

This year’s poster child for ecosystem destruction is the Hillsboro beach renourishment project. The project permit requires the contractor to limit the amount of coral-killing silt generated by monitoring turbidity levels. The standard which they must not exceed is 29 turbidity units (NTU) above background beyond a point 150 meters from the beach sand placement area, that’s about 492 feet.

For weeks Reef Rescue, other groups and individuals have been supplying FDEP with evidence of noncompliance. In fact, since 2005 Reef Rescue has documented contractor fraud on five separate beach renourishment projects. But Sunday’s (March 27th) display of a total disregard for permit compliance and habitat destruction goes to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company  for creating one of the worst silt plumes we’ve witnessed. So expansive, it engulfed two South Florida coastal counties and stretched from Hillsboro Beach to north of Boca Raton.

 Click on the link to view Sunday’s turbidity slide show: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qMd9JpZLpS4

Related posts: Mismanagement of Juno beach restoration project puts reefs at risk

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