Aug 31, 2020

Fort Myers Construction Projects Stopped for Water Pollution

Two downtown Fort Myers developments have been shut down for water pollution violations.

water pollution

Two downtown Fort Myers, Florida developments have been shut down for water pollution violations.

Construction has been halted at the Silver Hills and City Walk projects after rains sent polluted water into the river, according to the News-Press.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) fined City Walk $56,948.00 for violating clean water rules. Actions against Silver Hills are pending, reported the News-Press. 

The city of Fort Myers issued a stop-work order for both projects, which are also under state investigation. 

According to city spokeswoman Stephanie Schaffer, construction will not begin again until all best management practices (BMPs) are corrected. As of Monday, the runoff had been contained. The city subsidized both developments with tax incentives as well,  $12.96 million for Silver Hills and $ $5.5 million for City Walk, reported the News-Press.

In June, both projects were put on notice for sending a plume of dirty water into the river toward the Gulf.

According to DEP documents, an inspection on Jun. 4 of the Silver Hills project revealed several violations, including:

  • Failure to contain turbid water and sediment within the property boundaries
  • Failure to properly maintain and use onsite BMPs
  • Failure to post the Notice of Intent in a prominent place
  • Failure to maintain inspection reports onsite.

“The Florida DEP is investigating new reports of turbid runoff into the Caloosahatchee River from the City Walk and Silver Hills properties,” said spokeswoman Alexandra Kuchta in an email. “DEP was onsite today and instructed the responsible parties to immediately repair the failed (measures) and where necessary, install additional best management practices to prevent further discharge from entering the waterway.”

To report a known or suspected environmental concern, please submit a tip to the Department’s Citizen Concern Portal.

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