Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | July 28, 2008

US EPA orders home owner and contractor to restore 2 acres of wetlands dredged and filled in without a Section 404 permit.

US EPA orders a land owner and contractor to restore 2 acres of wetlands located in Barre, Massachusetts that they dredged and filled without a permit in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.  The owner of the property, Joseph Duhamel, and his contractor, John Amidio, illegally discharged dredged and filled materials into the wetlands at the site in 2004.

Approximately 2 acres of wetlands were cleared, grubbed, excavated, and sand and gravel was removed, for the purposes of extracting sand and gravel material for Mr. Amidio’s use, and the creation of a private pond for Mr. Duhamel’s use.  Under the order, Mr. Duhamel and Mr. Amidio will be required to restore an area of altered wet meadow/shrub wetlands, and to restore another portion of the altered area to a terraced pond with surrounding wet meadow and shrub wetlands. These actions will help to restore the wetland functions that were previously served by the wetlands before they were altered.

US EPA in New England enforces the federal wetland laws found in Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA). The CWA prohibits the discharge of dredged and/or fill material into waters of the U.S. (including most wetlands) without a valid Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

USACE is responsible for accepting applications for and issuing or denying Section 404 permits, while EPA reviews and comments to the USACE on applications for permits.  Both federal agencies, however, share enforcement responsibilities under the CWA, which provides administrative and judicial penalties for violations.

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