Earlier today, Congressman Brian Mast (R-FL), called out Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon, the Commanding General of the US Army Corps of Engineers, in a letter to visit the communities affected by toxic discharges from Lake Okeechobee. This great neglect has led to the potential poisoning of many Floridians.
Lieutenant General Spellmon has said as early as 2018 that he would be willing to work with Mast to prioritize public health in the Army Corps’ operations.
Then in 2019, the same Lieutenant General testified before Congress where he admitted to knowingly discharging toxic water from Lake Okeechobee to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers.
But this week, satellite images have shown that the algal bloom on Lake Okeechobee covered more than 500 square miles, and tested to be 100 times too toxic for human contact, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
According to studies done by the University of Florida, these toxins do not just stop at the water. From the bloom source, it is believed that the toxins may become airborne and travel up to 10 miles. According to the EPA, direct exposure to these toxins may lead to liver and kidney damage, ALS, Alzheimer’s, and even death.
Mast responded to the staggering results, stating, “If the Army Corps is going to poison our community and put lives at risk once again then Lieutenant General Spellmon should first look in the eye of every man, woman, and child whose lives he will be putting at risk,” adding, “No Floridian should tolerate being poisoned by their government.”