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Menards settles with EPA after destroying stretch of Big Sioux tributary

Release Date: 04/15/2008
Contact Information: Diane Sipe 303-312-6391, Monica Heimdal, 303-312-6359, Richard Baird, 303-312-6642,

1,390 feet of Big Sioux River tributary eliminated

(Denver, Colo. – April 15, 2008) Menard, Inc., of Eau Claire, Wis., has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $68,125 for destroying a stretch of a tributary, or stream, of the Big Sioux River in Sioux Falls, S.D. In addition, under the terms of an administrative order issued in March 2006, Menards will restore
a portion of Slip Up Creek.

The damage was inflicted during construction of a storm water management system and site grading activities associated with the construction of a new Menards retail store and parking lot.

Nearly 1,500 feet of an unnamed tributary of the Big Sioux River running across Menards’ property at 110 N. Highline Avenue in Sioux Falls was placed into a 66-inch pipe and buried. A parking lot was then built over the top of it. A storm water control structure was also placed into the stream. In total, 1,390 feet of the stream running across Menards’ property were eliminated.

Menards is mitigating its impacts to the stream by restoring a portion of Slip Up Creek. The project, developed by Menards and approved by EPA, will restore and protect more than 4,000 feet of Slip Up Creek by stabilizing the stream banks, re-establishing native vegetation along the restored stream banks, and excluding livestock from the restored stream banks and riparian areas.

This action will help compensate for impacts to the unnamed stream associated with the construction of the Menards store and parking lot. Slip Up Creek is in the Lower Big Sioux River watershed, the same watershed in which the stream impacted by Menards is located.

EPA Region 8 Assistant Regional Administrator Michael Gaydosh said, “EPA took this action to prevent the pollution of the wetlands, lakes, and streams of South Dakota and to provide deterrence against future violations of Federal laws designed to protect valuable water resources.”

The project was completed in 2004, and the Menards store is open for business. Menards is the third-largest home improvement chain in the U.S., operating approximately 200 retail stores and employing approximately 35,000 people in the Upper Midwest.

This stream and other waters in the area provide important functions and values including aquatic habitat; an urban wildlife corridor for deer, pheasants, ducks, and other wildlife; and aesthetics.

A Corps permit is required before performing any work that results in discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. which include lakes, rivers, streams, and certain wetlands. Property owners, contractors, or developers planning to do any work in such waters should always contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory office in Pierre, S.D., at 605-224-8531, before they begin work to determine if they need a permit.