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  


Dr. Anna George Recognized As 2015 Outstanding Fisheries Scientist

Dr. Anna George, director of the Tennessee Aquarium Conservation Institute, (TNACI) was recognized as the 2015 Outstanding Fisheries Scientist by the Tennessee Chapter of the American Fisheries Society (TNAFS). This award is presented each year to a current member of TNAFS who has exhibited exceptional contributions to the fisheries community in Tennessee and the Southeast. ... (click for more)

Fishing Report From The TWRA

Here is the fishing report from the TWRA: Center Hill Reservoir : Due to weather conditions, there is no report this week. Chickamauga : A few anglers ventured out on Sunday. Most sloughs were covered in ice. Cold weather prevented anglers from going to the lake for the most part during the past week. A lot of fishing shows were watched. Dale Hollow Reservoir ... (click for more)

Signal Council, Residents Concerned About Unsafe Driving En Route To Schools

The town council of Signal Mountain is dealing with a traffic problem caused by increased traffic to and from Signal Mountain Middle High School and Nolan Elementary. Mayor Dick Gee said, “This is a tough issue that we wouldn’t have to deal with if everyone would drive responsibly.” The main concern is for safety and in November the council agreed to try to fix the problem by ... (click for more)

88-Year-Old Woman In Bradley County Severely Burned After Going Back In Burning House For Pets

Two people were injured in a house fire in Bradley County on Friday.   Shortly before noon, Bradley County EMS responded to a reported house fire on Hancock Road.   Two ambulances and a shift commander responded. Initial reports were that there were two people injured. When EMS crews arrived, Bradley County firefighters were performing resuscitative ... (click for more)

We Ought To Pay Our Own Way

The government is too big. It has never been bigger - by any measure. It spends more money than any other single actor in our society. From Blue Rhinos to providing telecommunications services, our government knows no bounds. We’ve gone from a free enterprise system to a public enterprise system.  I'm not an artist. I'm not terribly tech savvy. The part of government that ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: My Garden On March 1

As I try to do at the beginning of each month, I stroll through my garden to see the good and the bad. This morning there is still a solid covering of snow but, as usual, there is still a lot to see. March is historically known for “coming in like a lion and leaving like a lamb” so let’s see who gets what: A LAMB to the fact 90-year-old Floyd Hartwig of Easton, Calif., and his ... (click for more)