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Washington developer penalized $30,000 for damaging wetlands

Release Date: 04/07/2009
Contact Information: Yvonne Vallette, EPA/Oregon, (503) 326-2716,; Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, (206) 553-1203,

(Seattle, Wash. – April 7, 2009) Michael Achen and CMK Investments LLC will pay $30,000 for illegally filling wetlands on their 17-acre property in Battle Ground, Washington in violation of the federal Clean Water Act.

Under a settlement agreement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Mr. Achen and CMK Investments will also conduct work to improve and preserve wetlands habitat at nearby Dean Creek.

Between August 2004 and July 2005, Mr. Achen used heavy equipment to log an area near Mill Creek and re-grade the site which resulted in an illegal discharge of material into approximately six acres of wetlands. Mr. Achen did not obtain the required CWA Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to performing this work.

According to Tom Eaton, Washington Operations Office Director for EPA, wetlands provide significant wildlife habitat and provide benefits like flood control to neighboring property owners.

“Rather than illegally impacting these wetlands, the property owner should have gotten the proper permits from the Army Corps of Engineers,” said Eaton. “Construction in wetlands should be avoided if at all possible. If any construction is proposed, it should only be done with great care and after securing the necessary permits.”

In September 2005, EPA issued a Compliance Order to Mr. Achen and CMK Investments, directing them to stop discharging material into the wetlands near Mill Creek. In response, Mr. Achen and CMK Investments partially restored the site by removing the unauthorized fill and replanting the wetlands areas with vegetation.

In 2002, EPA issued a penalty order and an Administrative Order on Consent to Mr. Achen for a previous wetlands violation near Mill Creek.

For more information about the Clean Water Act Section 404 wetland regulatory authority, visit:

For more information about Wetlands protection work, visit: