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EPA complaint seeks $10,000 penalty for wetlands violations at Latrobe, Pa. airport

Release Date: 04/27/2006
Contact Information: Roy Seneca (215) 814-5567

PHILADELPHIA – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a Clean Water Act complaint against Westmoreland County Regional Airport Authority and Lee-Simpson Associates related to the filling of wetlands at the Arnold Palmer Regional Airport in Latrobe, Pa.

In the complaint, which seeks a $10,000 penalty, EPA alleges that the airport authority and its consultant Lee-Simpson Associates had about 1.24 acres of wetlands near runway 5-23 filled in during the summer of 2005 before receiving a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Under the Clean Water Act, a Corps of Engineers permit is required before dredged or fill material may be discharged into wetlands. The permit requirement is designed to minimize the destruction of wetlands, which serve a number of critical environmental and economic functions -- including flood control, water filtration, wildlife habitat, and recreation.

The wetlands are located adjacent to a tributary of Monastery Run in the Allegheny River watershed. According to EPA, the airport authority and Lee-Simpson had received a wetlands filling permit from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and had applied for an Army Corps of Engineers wetlands permit. However, these wetlands were filled before the Corps of Engineers issued a permit.

The cited parties have the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violation and proposed penalty.

For more information about wetlands and permitting requirements, visit Compliance assistance to landowners is also available at