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EPA New England Enforces Two 1998 Orders Issued in Illegal Wetlands Filling Case in Taunton

Release Date: 08/28/2001
Contact Information: Mark Merchant, EPA Press Office (617) 918-1013 Cristine Romano, U.S. Attorney's Press Office, (202) 514-2008

BOSTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's New England office and the U.S. Attorney's Office announced today the settlement of a case against a Taunton business owner for failing to comply with a 1998 EPA order issued in a wetlands violations case against him and failing to fulfill the requirements of a 1998 settlement agreement reached with EPA in the case.

Under the consent decree lodged in U.S. District Court in Boston, Robert Desmond, owner of the Taunton Expo Center on Winthrop Street, will pay a total of $58,478 in penalties and not only complete restoration of the wetlands on his four-acre property, but create additional wetlands as well.

"Wetlands not only support a wide variety of different species, but they also act as natural purifiers, cleaning water before it flows into the aquifer where it can eventually end up as drinking water," said Robert W. Varney, the regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "It is precisely for these reasons that wetland destruction cannot be tolerated."

This case stems from work Desmond did on the property in July 1997 when contractors dumped fill into a wetland, approximately an acre in size, using construction equipment. In 1998, EPA ordered Desmond to restore the wetland and pay a $12,500 fine. However, the fine was not paid and the wetlands restoration was never undertaken.