EPA Settlements Restore Wetlands Across Southeast

Tuesday, March 04, 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  


Fishing Report From The TRWA

Here is the fishing report from the TWRA: Chickamauga Reservoir:  Reservoir Conditions: Summer normal elevation: 682.0 feet. Winter normal elevation: 676.0 feet. Current elevation: 681.0 feet. The water surface temperature is 62 degrees. Largemouth Bass: Grass mats and grass edges along large flats seem to be better than other areas. Frogs, buzzbaits, plastic ... (click for more)

2015-16 Sport Fish Regulations To Be Set During October Commission Meeting

The Tennessee Fish and Wildlife Commission will establish the 2015-16 sport fish regulations during its October meeting. The meeting will be held in Greeneville on Wednesday-Thursday, at the General Morgan Inn.  The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency Fisheries Division presented changes in the sport fish proclamation during a preview at the August TFWC meeting. The proposals ... (click for more)

Additions And Improvements At Camp Jordan Arena Coming Soon

Additions and improvements are coming to Camp Jordan Arena in the near future. At the Thursday night meeting of the East Ridge city council, approval was given for buying new playground equipment. It will come from Gametime, a locally-based company. The VP of Marketing lives in East Ridge and made a proposal to set up the playground at Camp Jordan so his company could use it for ... (click for more)

Tribute Service For Luther Masingill Held At Historic Engel Stadium

It took a place as big as historic Engel Stadium for Chattanooga to say goodbye to their beloved Luther. Hundreds came Thursday afternoon to pay tribute to Luther Masingill who died early Monday morning after a radio career that spanned an amazing 74 years. It was clear from all who spoke that he was considered not only a radio personality, but also a role model. One after ... (click for more)

Not Everything Has Been Done To Save Hutcheson

I am a resident of Walker County and I have a personal belief that a hospital ranks equal to other basic services a community should offer (like police, fire, emergency services, school systems, government, etc.). I am not privy to all the management and financial conundrums concerning the feasibility of maintaining and growing Hutcheson, and as a private citizen I don’t believe ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: A Veterinarian’s Horse Sense

I suspect you’ve heard by now that a doctor in New York City, who volunteers with “Doctors Without Borders,” just got back from the African nation of Guinea on October 17 – last Friday – and on Thursday tested positive for the deadly Ebola virus. Luckily, he came in actual contact with only a few people but he reportedly rode a subway, took a taxi, went on a three-mile run and ... (click for more)