Letters to the Editor

Miami Beach flooding

Re the Oct. 2 article County to city: Don’t use pumps without permits: Miami-Dade County gave Miami Beach a cease-and-desist order calling for the city to remove temporary pumps used in trying to mitigate king-tide flooding.

The city had applied for permitting the pumps before beginning operations. The county, not realizing the severity and urgency of the problem, has allowed permit requests to languish.

Regardless of protestations regarding the perceived environmental detriment pumping could have on Biscayne Bay, the city has a responsibility to protect its citizens and property against unusually high seasonal tides. After all, this water comes from the bay’s twice-a-day high tides and cannot be equated with pollution from street rainwater runoff.

The city has permits for permanent pumps installed to date and should eventually be granted permits for temporary pumps. The larger question is, as sea-level rise and elevated tides affect all of coastal Miami-Dade County, how will environmental regulators handle the new reality created by climate change and its effects on Biscayne Bay?

Dan Kipnis, chairman, Miami Beach Marine & Waterfront Protection Authority, Miami Beach