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Thursday, June 2, 2016

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Masters of Disasters!

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Masters of Disasters!

Well, they’re at it again!  The U.S  Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) is about to get sued for turning a blind eye to the destruction of endangered corals in south Florida. A coalition of environmental groups cite a report from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) finding the Corps vastly underestimated the extent of sedimentation from the recent Port of Miami dredge project.   The NMFS report indicates the Port of Miami dredging buried two hundred football fields of endangered corals, killing 93% of those corals near the dredge area.  Now, rather than demanding updated and accurate information which takes in to account the failed Port of Miami project the Corps is about to issue new permits to dredge Port Everglades based on the exact same old, inaccurate information which was relied on to obtain the Port of Miami permits.
Sound familiar?  It should if you live in Martin County.  For the past 50+ years, the Corps has been the main culprit allowing freshwater discharges from Lake Okeechobee and the c-44 canal to pollute and kill the St. Lucie River. 
Just do a Google search for lawsuits against the Corps, and you will quickly see the Corps is being sued in just about every state for causing, or being complicit in, some form of environmental damage.
               How is it that the federal government in the form of the Corps, can be so intimately involved in so many projects around the country that wreak so much environmental havoc on the individual states?  No citizen or corporate entity or state for that matter, could ever get away anything which begins to approach the level of environmental damage inflicted by the Corps.  
The overly simplified answer is that government has become way too big.  There are way too many laws on the books which result in too many conflicts at too many different levels.  There is no “institutional control”, as evidenced by the troubling problems at the Veterans Administration. 

While it is unfortunate, until there are systemic changes to the structure of government which can ensure “institutional control”,  citizen suits will remain as the best and only method of reigning in environmental abuse by the government.