EPA Settlements Restore Wetlands Across Southeast

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Over the past fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2012 to Sept. 30, 2013), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 has cited 23 entities throughout the Southeast for depositing dredged and/or fill material into wetlands or other waters of the United States in violation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Such unauthorized discharges threaten water quality and damage habitats.

As part of the settlements, the responsible parties in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee will spend an estimated $1.7 million on restoration and monitoring activities. Seven entities were additionally assessed a total of $130,800 in civil penalties. The settlements and associated penalties, if applicable, include:

Florida

  • Florida Properties III, LLC, violations during construction of the Coconut Inlet development in Lee County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $137,200).
  • Dr. Cory Gaiser, violations during road and pond construction in Jackson County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $17,020).
  • Mr. James Johnson, violations during preparation property for commercial development in Collier County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $28,002).
  • Northwest Florida Holdings, Inc., violations during the dredging of a manmade basin and St. Andrew Bay in Bay County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $165,038).
  • Mr. Robert J. Chelico, violations during clearing and grading activities associated with construction of a residence in Escambia County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $15,300).
  • Peace River Properties Investment, LLC, violations during construction of a residential development, in Charlotte County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $28,496).

Georgia

  • Community Bank of Pickens County, violations during construction of a commercial development in Pickens County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $162,570).
  • Millrock Farms, Inc., violations during the construction of ponds, roads and other water retention features in Laurens County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $10,138).
  • Mr. Robert Lee, violations during construction of a borrow pit in Chatham County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $13,246).
  • Camden USA, Inc. and Camden Development, Inc., violations during construction of stormwater runoff structures at the Camden Paces development in Fulton County.
  • Ray Flow and Rick Wagner, violations during construction of access roads in Tattnall County (civil penalty of $1500).
  • Mr. Milton Blankinship, violations associated with ditching activities intended to drain wetlands on his property in Jackson County (civil penalty of $10,500).

Kentucky

  • Montgomery Group, LLC, violations during the construction of the Skylar Landing Commercial Development in Mercer County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $45,440).
  • Mr. Bill Brock, violations during the conversion of forested wetlands to agricultural use in Laurel County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $31,786).
  • Hardin County Developers, violations during construction of the Cowley Crossing Subdivision in Hardin County (civil penalty of $30,000).

Mississippi

  • Hancock County Land, LLC, violations during site preparation for a development in Hancock County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $881,555).
  • Mr. Horace Scott Slay, Sr., violations in Jackson County (civil penalty of $18,000 and estimated cost of injunctive relief of $11,800).
  • Jackson County Recreation Department, violations during site preparation for the construction of recreational and parking facilities in Jackson County (civil penalty of $27,350).

North Carolina

  • Southwood Developers, Inc., and CKC, LLC, violations during construction of the Windsor Park residential development in Brunswick County (civil penalty of $11,000 and estimated cost of injunctive relief of $43,069).

South Carolina

  • Mr. Lowell Landon, violations during construction of a residential development in Beaufort County.
  • Mr. William S. Livingston, III, violations during mechanized land clearing in preparation for forestry activities in Horry County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $109,338).
  • Bass Waccamaw River Ranch, LLC, violations during construction of roads and food plots in Horry County (civil penalty of $37,500).

Tennessee

  • Mr. Randall Stutts, violations during the construction of an earthen dam and impoundment of an unnamed tributary to the Harpeth River in Cheatham County (estimated cost of injunctive relief of $33,180).

Congress enacted the CWA in 1972 to protect the nation’s rivers, lakes and stream, as well as some of the more fragile and vital wetland habitats. Wetlands are recognized as important features in the landscape that serve to protect and improve water quality, provide fish and wildlife habitats, store floodwaters, and maintain surface water flow during dry periods. The CWA requires anyone engaged in construction within or disposal to waters of the United States to obtain permits when altering or filling waterways. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issues permits to discharge dredged and/or fill material into waters of the U.S.

For more information about the CWA Section 404 wetland regulatory authorities, visit: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/pdf/reg_authority_pr.pdf

For more information about wetlands protection in the Southeast, visit: http://www.epa.gov/region4/water/wetlands/index.html  


Claire Henley: Adventures West (My Beautiful Ema)

(Editor's Note: Chattanoogan Claire Henley started an adventure of a lifetime on the remote Pacific Crest Trail in April. Along the way, she had many adventures and found herself a husband named Big Spoon. Here is her story beginning in March). “How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” –Elizabeth Barrett Browning For Ema May 1, 1926 – March 28, 2012 Three years ... (click for more)

Outdoor Chattanooga News And Events

Here are upcoming news and events from Outdoor Chattanooga: Outdoor Chattanooga Featured Event Adventure Kids After School Program  Sept. 1 through Nov. 17 The  After School Adventure Kids program   is a great opportunity for kids ages 9-13 to build outdoor skills that will stay with them into adulthood. Adventurers ... (click for more)

Woman Seriously Injured After Plowing Into Rossville Boulevard Car Dealership Saturday Evening

A woman was seriously injured after plowing her vehicle into a car dealership on Rossville Boulevard on Saturday evening.   At approximately  6:49 p.m., the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 2818 Rossville Blvd. on an accident with injuries.   A blue vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed lost control.  The vehicle crashed ... (click for more)

Boy, 4, Struck By Vehicle Near Tunnel Boulevard

A four-year-old boy was struck by a vehicle near Tunnel Boulevard on Saturday afternoon. A t approximately 4:20 p.m.,  the Chattanooga Police Department responded to 3400 Through St. on a c hild struck by a vehicle.  T he victim was conscious when officers arrived. He was transported to a local hospital. I nvestigators are continuing to compile ... (click for more)

DWT Is DUI - And Response

A routine narrative of a DUI arrest report goes something like this:   The defendant was operating a motor vehicle in the 00 block of sonsoroad. The driver was weaving back and forth across the marked roadway. The defendant drove through a stop sign. Was stopped at an intersection despite the traffic light was green. Entered the lane of another vehicle and caused a ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: What Voters Think

There are over 9,000 students who attend Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Conn., which – in an effort to be relative -- is just a touch smaller than our UT-Chattanooga. What makes Quinnipiac unique is that it is home of The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, which produces what’s called the “Q Poll” because hardly anybody knows how to pronounce “Kwin-uh-pe-ack.” The Q ... (click for more)