The Justice Department’s Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) announced that the United States has filed a civil lawsuit in the Southern District of Florida against Fane Lozman for violations of the Rivers and Harbors Act (RHA) in connection with Mr. Lozman’s obstruction of Lake Worth Lagoon, a navigable waterway, in Riviera Beach, Florida.
According to the Complaint filed on June 25, Lozman or persons acting at his direction constructed and/or installed structures in Lake Worth Lagoon, which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean and the largest estuary in Palm Beach County. Some of the structures are made of closed-cell polystyrene foam and concrete blocks and range from 30 to 100 feet long, with various materials attached to the structures (including a metal shipping container). In at least three separate incidents, one or more of Lozman’s unauthorized structures became unmoored and drifted into Lake Worth Lagoon creating increased risk to navigation, property, and public safety. The United States seeks an order to enjoin Lozman from further building or installing obstructions in waters of the United States, except in compliance with the RHA, and to compel him to remove the unauthorized structures from Lake Worth Lagoon.
The matter was referred to the Department by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Jacksonville District. The Corps issued a notice of violation and order to cease and desist in connection with Lozman’s actions earlier this year.
This case is being handled by ENRD’s Environmental Defense Section. Trial Attorneys Brandon N. Adkins and Sydney A. Menees are in charge of the case.