All News Releases By Date
South Carolina Development Company and Individual Plead to Wetlands Violation
Release Date: 04/27/2005
Contact: Stacie Findon-Keller, 202-564-7338 / firstname.lastname@example.org
(04/27/05) Crossings Development Company, LLC, which owns a 429-acre tract in Richland County, S.C., and Matthew D. Congdon of Columbia, S.C., each pleaded guilty on April 8 in U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina in Columbia to violating the Clean Water Act by filling wetlands without a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers. Despite being advised by two consultants that wetlands existed on the 429-acre tract, the defendants began work in the wetlands without a permit in June 2003. The result was that approximately 45 acres of wetlands were filled or otherwise adversely affected. Wetlands are protected because they not only provide habitat for plants and animals in the watershed, but they absorb nutrients, sediment, and other pollutants before they reach rivers, lakes, and other water bodies. Crossings Development agreed to pay a fine of $1,100,000. Congdon faces a maximum prison sentence of not more than one year and/or a potential fine of not less than $2,500 nor more than $25,000 per day of violation, when sentenced. Final sentences will be determined by the court. The case was investigated by the Columbia, S.C., Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division, the FBI, the Army Corps of Engineers and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. It is being prosecuted by the U.S. attorney's office in Columbia, S.C.