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EPA Orders Restoration of Slick Creek in Worland, Wyoming

Release Date: 03/25/2009
Contact Information: Diane Sipe, 303-312-6391; Laura Niles 303-312-6281

(Denver, Colo. – March 25, 2009) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a compliance order to David Hamilton for violations of the Clean Water Act in Worland, Wyo. Hamilton allegedly violated the Act by discharging material into Slick Creek and its adjacent wetlands without a permit. Slick Creek and its wetlands are tributaries to the Bighorn River.

“Mr. Hamilton’s actions disturbed Slick Creek and its adjacent wetlands’ ability to provide wildlife habitat for birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians; enhance the quality of an already impaired water body; and reduce the force of flood waters,” said Diane Sipe, Director of EPA Region 8’s Water Enforcement Program. “EPA’s water enforcement program is working to restore the damage caused to the Creek and its wetlands and will continue to pursue enforcement action against those who violate laws that protect our national waters.”

In the fall of 2005, Mr. Hamilton or persons acting on his behalf rerouted and channelized approximately 4,100 feet of Slick Creek, discharged material into its adjacent wetlands, and filled the original channel without first obtaining a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is required by the Clean Water Act.

The EPA order requires Mr. Hamilton to restore the impacted areas to pre-impact conditions and grade. Prior to doing the work, Mr. Hamilton must submit for EPA’s approval a plan that details how the restoration will be accomplished. Failure to respond to EPA orders subjects individuals to additional enforcement.

Permits are required before performing any work that results in discharges of material into rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands. These alleged violations could have been avoided if Mr. Hamilton had applied for and obtained a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers prior to discharging material into Slick Creek and its wetlands. Any person planning to do such work should contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Office at 2232 Dell Range Boulevard, Suite 210, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009-4942, or at (307) 772-2300.

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