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Florida Clean Water Network notices city of intent to file pollution lawsuit

By Staff | Apr 21, 2016

The City of Cape Coral received a notice of intent to sue letter Thursday from the Florida Clean Water Network through the Tallahassee law firm of David A. Ludder.

The letter alleges that since the city was allowed to remove the Ceitus boat lift barrier in 2008 certain actions to mitigate the loss of pollution treatment provided by the barrier have not occurred. Consequently, the water quality in the area is in a steep decline with no relief in sight from any level of government oversight in violation of the city’s Clean Water Act permit from the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System. The permit is supposed to prevent water quality degradation from runoff from canals, streets, yards and other surface areas.

Since the Ceitus barrier removal, nitrogen concentrations in the former Matlacha Pass Aquatic Preserve treatment area have increased and this contributes to the impairment of the preserve for nutrients. The nutrient pollution adds to salinity variations that concentrates the discharge south out of the Ceitus canal.

The city has not yet had time to review the documents and so could not comment.

“…The city has only just received the notice today and has not yet had an opportunity to thoroughly review the letter,” city spokesperson Connie Barron said via email.

Under the Clean Water Act, the City has 60 days to respond to the allegations and correct the permit violations. If this is not done, the suit will be filed in federal court.