Mayor Carlos Gimenez at the helm of massive Miami-Dade County sewage spills and it’s sub-sequential cover ups. Raw and Untreated waste totaling more than 2 billion gallons were dumped onto the beaches of Miami-Dade County.
Miami-Dade County Florida, Biscayne Bay, South Beach- August 18th, 2019
This is an ongoing development in Miami-Dade County involving Mayor Carlos Gimenez. This is a Collaborative Story-
For going on 7 days, Miami-Dade County has been trying desperately to fix a sewer main rupture north of it’s Central District Wastewater Treatment Plant facility. This facility is located in close proximity to Miami’s famous South Beach and Fisher Island and has been a source of headache for Miami residents and environmental protection agencies for decades. Residents of Fisher Island have battled the county about the plant for decades, complaining about quality of life issues from the smell to, potential hazards at the mismanaged plant.
This environmental disaster is the second time in two years, that a disaster of this magnitude has struck Miami-Dade County. With a combined sewage spill totaling up to two billion gallons (2,000,000,000) of raw sewage waste, these disasters have lead to an unsafe water condition near Miami’s hottest tourist attraction, Miami Beach and South Beach. Both raw sewage spills occurred near fisher Island, where the nation’s most populous concentration of wealthy residents reside.
“The county has failed in it’s duties to protect public health and safety and is incapable of providing accountability for itself. Water and Wastewater systems must be privatized for the sake of public health and safety.” -Former Miami-Dade County Waste Water Treatment Plant Operator, Licensed to treat wastewater in the State of Florida
When another environmental disaster occurred during a separate sewage spill in September 2017, an employee who requested his name redacted for privacy, attempted to notify Miami-Dade Water and Sewer Management. After a failure to resolve the raw sewage spillage, the Wastewater Plant Operator then brought the issue to Miami-Dade County mayor, Carlos A. Giménez. Giménez responded in a letter addressed to the anonymous source and attributed the massive sewage spill to an employee disagreement issue and offered no resolution to its’ own preventable disaster.
“In response to your letter, we have attributed these issues to an employee disagreement and recommend training” -Carlos A Giménez, Miami-Dade County Mayor’s response after an employee reported the largest sewage spill in the Counties history.
Failure to take ownership in this preventable disaster lead to discharge of the employee without a formal hearing as required by federal whistle blower statutes, The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)-(9) and Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments (FWPCA) 33 U.S.C. §1367. Further investigations revealed that the employee received above-satisfactory performance reviews each month of his employment with the county until the day he reported sewage spill incidents.
With-in a month of notifying the Carlos A Giménez’s office, a Miami-Dade County employee by the name of Terrance Carter and Central District Plant Chief at the time, Francois Saint-Phard exchanged e-mails recommending his termination, explicitly on the grounds of reporting the massive sewage spill to the Mayors office.
“About a month ago,… He Decided, at that time, to write a complaint letter to the Mayor’s office… Therefore, in this case, without any further delay, I recommend failure of probation.” -Franois Saint-Phard and Terrance Carter, Miami-Dade County Plant Chief and Lead Supervisor, respectively.
We have yet to hear from the employee pending court litigation on the matter but we can confirm that a criminal probe has been launched against several employees of Miami Dade County Water and Sewer department regarding his termination and the environmental disasters that have occurred.
In addition to the confirmation of termination, we have also uncovered bombshell allegations suggesting Miami-Dade County Employees Terrance Carter and Plant Cheif Francois Saint-Phard may be directly responsible for the Miami-Dade County Central District Waste Water Plants 2017’s historically massive sewage spill and another sub-sequential cover up. Upon initiating an emergency protocol at the time, both men instructed electrical personnel to disconnect Florida Power and Light’s electrical services to run the facilities emergency generators. During this time, both Carter and Saint-Phard failed to properly level the diesel storage tanks. After Power was lost at the facility, both men completely bi-passed the Waste Water treatment facility, sending almost 1 billion gallons of raw, untreated sewage and waste into Biscayne Bay. During an investigation by the Department of Environmental Protection, it was also confirmed that the County Employees failed to report the spill and lied to investigators during their investigation of the incident.
Federal law mandates that environmental spills of this magnitude require immediate reporting of the incident with-in the first 24 hours. Employees found negligent and knowingly cause a sewage spill can face up to 15 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and Wastewater license revocation.
As of today, the current Miami-Dade sewage spill has not been fixed and the County has been unable to provide an answer as to when it will be repaired.