Dead in the Water

$1,250 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 12 people in 12 months
Created June 11, 2018
A Small Indiana Town's Fight to Save its Water Supply from Pence's Port

This page has been updated. Thank you everyone for your continued support - it has been the inspiration to persist through the darkest phases of this fight. It is what has made this past year of legal research, investigation, and advocacy against corruption possible.

A dangerous property developer is contaminating a rural community's water supply, and the State of Indiana is hell-bent on acquiring the property for its port at any cost, even the health and welfare of the citizens. No one is even trying to stop the port, but that doesn't seem to matter - any information that might delay its progress has met with vehement opposition and vicious attacks.
This is more than just a local issue - this is a symptom of a national problem. But in this case, the corruption runs all the way to the top:
The property developer stated in a press release  that they "had received tremendous support ... from state and local leadership" and that "The idea to build a port at this location is credited to Vice President Mike Pence, former Indiana Governor"
1. The company in control of the site cannot be trusted with the community's safety (see timeline).
2. The State of Indiana wants the fox to watch the hen-house, because the fox has agreed to sell the hen-house to the state for a bargain.
3. And local officials are all too busy trying to profit from the port by building upscale housing complexes to do their jobs.
So it's up to us to protect the rural communities that are about to be poisoned and guarantee a future for our families and hometowns, because they've done their absolute damnedest to stall this fight until it's ... Dead in the Water.

Timeline: The Story So Far

February 2018: The community was alerted that the property developer who was supposed to be cleaning up the power plant, was actually trying to import more fly ash for profit.
March 2018: Community advocates successfully prevented ash from being imported, but one local scientist discovered that there were even more serious threats at the site, and to make matters worse, the company in control of the property used shell companies to conceal a history of poisoning communities  by cutting corners and illegally hiding hazardous waste from investigators .
April 2018: That local scientist encouraged the state and local officials to perform testing  because of the company's activities so close to the water supply.
He developed a remediation plan that would have removed the threats and generated several hundred million dollars for the local economy, while increasing the development potential for the site. A true win-win solution for everyone.
The officials refused. It was later discovered that they refused because they already knew what the tests would show. The state had data as early as April 2018  showing that the groundwater was already contaminated.
May 2018: Former power plant employees came forward with testimony and evidence of illegal activity at the site. Citizens joined the local scientist in demanding action.
June 2018: State and local officials sided with the company against the citizens, claiming that there was no threat, and accused the local scientist of "fear-mongering", "trying to incite a riot", and "manufacturing a crisis for profit".
It was later discovered that the official responsible for water protection sided with the company because he had plans to build a sales office on the fly ash .
Scientists from around the country (including the Hoosier Environmental Council and Sierra Club) submitted a report explaining the threats. State and local officials responded with deafening silence.
The local scientist and community members rallied together to secure enough signatures  to demand a public hearing. The state ignored the law,  and the public hearing was never held.
July 2018: The local scientist asked the state to at least investigate the company, but they never did.
The local scientist's team reached out to State-run Ports of Indiana for collaboration. They claimed they had no involvement with the site - which we now know was a lie.
August - December 2018: The local scientist conducted the investigations the state refused to perform, and led a probe into the corruption standing in the way of the community's safety. Again - State and local officials responded with deafening silence.
January 2019 to current:
The local scientist and other witnesses met with federal investigators and submitted hundreds of pages of documentation into evidence.
A report revealing that the state knew about the groundwater contamination the entire time  was accidentally uploaded to a public file server.
The Hoosier Environmental Council held a meeting to inform the community, and the report was immediately removed from the public file server.
The local scientist filed a lawsuit to demand public disclosure of the city's communications between the property developer and the local media, and the officials went on the warpath:
1. A large law firm was hired to fight the request, and a torrent of legal actions were unleashed against the local scientist.
2. The city official responsible for wellhead protection sued the local scientist with claims of defamation.
3. The official directly responsible for water protection hired a company to produce a misleading report on wells in the wrong city that were never in any danger .
4. The local newspaper, which is heavily funded by the local government, immediately ran a misleading front-page headline proclaiming “Water from wells near the clean-up site is safe”.
5. The county sheriff served the local scientist with eviction papers after important legal deadlines had passed, without prior written notice to vacate, while rent was paid and there were no lease violations.
6. The state then charged local scientist with trespassing in his own apartment while attempting to remove his belongings during the shortened time frame.
That is the only charge that has been filed against anyone referenced in this timeline. That says a lot, doesn't it?

That local scientist's name is Matt Miles, and he has done all of this without ever counting the cost to himself because he considers the community's health and safety to be more important. He continues working tirelessly without payment, without legal representation, and despite losing everything in this fight.

So this is the pivotal moment. We will either pull through, hold the state accountable and force a proper clean-up, or go down swinging.  Your continued support determines the outcome of this fight.

Let's help Matt defeat the corrupt individuals standing in the way of protecting your water. Help him do what your public officials won't, and keep your community safe!
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This page has been updated - thanks everyone for your continued support, even in this dark hour.
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$1,250 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 12 people in 12 months
Created June 11, 2018
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