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EPA Proposes $25K Penalty Against Owner of Diamond T Ranch
Release Date: 8/23/2004
Contact Information: Bill Dunbar
J. Phillip Adams of Brigham City, Utah, harmed wetlands and creek
The Northwest office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed a $25,000 penalty against J. Phillip Adams for illegally dredging and filling a wetland and creek on his Diamond T Ranch, south of McCammon, in Bannock County, Idaho.
In Fall of 2001, while building an earthen bridge across a creek, Adams filled and bulldozed approximately one-half of an acre of stream channel, wetlands and riparian habitat adjacent to Potter Creek. Adams constructed the bridge to move his farm equipment from one field to the next. Adams never obtained the permits necessary for the project from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or from the Idaho Department of Water Resources.
In violation of Corps regulations, the culvert Adams placed beneath his earthen road crossing does not allow for the passage of aquatic life, and disrupts the natural flow of Potter Creek. The disturbance of area around Potter Creek has resulted in runoff of sediment into the creek.
Adams and his ranch manager, who performed the work, were told by the Corps to cease the activity being conducted without the required permits, but later resumed their illegal work on the project. Adams also has failed to comply with numerous deadlines for restoration of the site set by the EPA and the Corps, and to date has refused to restore all of the damage caused by his unauthorized work.
Under the Clean Water Act, EPA proposes penalties using a number of factors, including the seriousness of the violation, length of time stream was impacted, and lack of good-faith efforts to comply.
Clean Water Act Enforcement (epa.gov/compliance/civil/programs/cwa/index.html)
Environmental Assessment Reports (yosemite.epa.gov/R10/OEA.NSF/webpage/Reports)
Idaho Water Quality Standards (yosemite.epa.gov/R10/WATER.NSF/webpage/Idaho+Water+Quality+Standards)
National Agriculture Compliance Assistance Center (epa.gov/agriculture/llaw.html)
Idaho Department of Water Resources (www.idwr.state.id.us/)
US Army Corps of Engineers (www.usace.army.mil/public.html#Regulatory)