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EPA Proposes $25,000 Penalty for Alleged Wetland Violations in Ada County

Release Date: 11/29/1999
Contact Information: John Olson and Mark Ryan
(208)378-5768 and (208) 378-5756

November 29,1999 - - - - - - - - - - 99-59

In an administrative complaint filed today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency(EPA) alleges that the Ada County Highway District(The District) and Concrete Placing Company, Inc.(CPC) violated the terms of their Army Corps of Engineers(Corps) permit for the West ParkCenter Bridge project. The area affected is not large, however, the nature and severity of the violations have prompted the EPA to propose a $25,000 civil penalty.

According to Chuck Clarke, EPA regional administrator in Seattle, wetland violations by highway districts are especially troubling.

" A highway district ought to know better, " said Clarke. "Especially since the District had adequate funding, a professional and capable staff, and very specific permit directions regarding where it could and could not place fill in the Boise River. They met twice with the Corps prior to construction to go over the terms of the permit and the permit was based on drawings that the District provided. It's hard to imagine how this happened."

EPA's complaint alleges that ACHD and CPC, its contractor, damaged the environment by conducting mechanized clearing and other excavation work, which resulted in discharges of dredged material into wetlands and a stream channel near the north shore of the Boise River. The complaint also charges that the ACHD failed to construct the project in accordance with the plans and drawings enclosed with their permit application and ignored critical terms and conditions of the permit.

Should the District and or CPC desire a hearing on the proposed penalty, they must submit a formal request, in writing, within 30 days of receipt of this complaint.

Note: A copy of the Complaint is available upon request