I confronted the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers yesterday about the pollution they’ve been discharging from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie Estuary. I asked them point blank whether their conduct amounted to pollution — an answer that comes too easily for any fisherman, boat owner, beach goer or swimmer on the Treasure Coast.

What I got in response was a “politician’s answer” full of carefully calculated words that amounted to nothing of substance. The Corps refused to say whether the discharges are POLLUTION.

The Corps also refused to explain why they are IGNORING the best available science and polluting our waterways.

Their refusal to provide basic transparency is a slap in the face to all Floridians.

Make no mistake: the poisoning of our community is the direct result of the Corps’ decision-making and mismanagement of Lake Okeechobee.

For DECADES, the Treasure Coast has been treated as a septic tank by the federal government. The neglect of our waterways results in animal deaths, ecological destruction, and lives being put at risk.

Nothing more than zero discharges can be tolerated when public health is at risk. Algal blooms are already here and the Army Corps does not have a credible plan to prevent another lost summer.

I’m demanding the Corps initiate a long-term halt to the discharges.