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DOJ, EPA: Developer to provide $330,000 to restore Indian Creek wetlands plus pay $110,000 penalty
Release Date: 2/24/2005
- DENVER – A Loveland, Colo. development group will provide approximately $330,000 to correct environmental damage it caused on Indian Creek and its adjacent wetlands in violation of the Clean Water Act and pay a penalty of $110,000, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Denver office.
The U.S. Department of Justice, on behalf of U.S. EPA Region 8, filed a civil complaint and lodged a proposed consent decree on Feb. 10, 2005 against Frederic M. Bernstein, Henry Y. Yusem, K & J Properties, Inc., Y & B Properties, LLC, Indian Creek Investments, LLC, and ICR, LLC of Loveland for the unauthorized discharge of fill material into Indian Creek and its adjacent wetlands.
EPA had ordered Frederic Bernstein, developer of the Indian Creek Ranch northwest of Loveland on Aug. 30, 1999 and May 15, 2000, to stop further discharges into Indian Creek, its wetlands or tributaries and to submit a plan for assessing and restoring the damage.
After the developer failed to comply with the orders, EPA referred the case to DOJ for civil action. Since half of the defendants filed for bankruptcy in October 2002, DOJ has been negotiating a settlement for the claims.
EPA’s concerns are for the removal and stabilization of the sediment that was pushed down the river bank and into the creek, as well as the full impact of the proposed development activities on Indian Creek and its adjacent wetlands and tributaries. The developer impaired or destroyed approximately two acres of stream channel and adjacent wetlands.
“EPA acknowledges the complexity of the negotiations that were required in light of the bankruptcy action and appreciates the developer’s willingness to perform the restoration,” said Region 8 Assistant Administrator Carol Rushin, Office of Enforcement, Compliance and Environmental Justice. “Colorado’s scarce waters and wetlands must be protected from all forms of pollution that are discharged by un-permitted activities.”
Property owners or contractors planning to conduct earth moving activities near wetlands, river, streams, ponds, and other water bodies should always contact the U.S. Corps of Engineers regulatory office in Littleton (303-979-4120) before they start work to see if they need a permit.