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MARYLAND CASE LEADS TO FINES AND WETLANDS RESTORATION
Release Date: 09/10/99
United States Communications, Education,
Environmental Protection And Media Relations
Following are some Agency developments which may interest you. If you need
more information on any of these subjects, call the appropriate contact.
In a combined civil and criminal case, Interstate General Co., L.P. (IGC), agreed on Aug. 26, in U.S. District Court in Greenbelt to pay a total of $1.86 million for violating the Clean Water Act (CWA) and also agreed to join with St. Charles Associates (St. Charles) to protect and/or remediate 155 acres of wetlands in and around Dorchester. Both companies were involved in the development of the Dorchester Neighborhood in St. Charles County, Md. IGC pleaded guilty to one count of violating the CWA for illegally filling wetlands on either side of a stream that flows into the Port Tobacco River, which is a tributary of the Potomac River. The plea agreement calls for IGC to pay a $1.5 million fine. In a parallel civil case, IGC will pay an additional $360,000 in civil penalties. Wetlands preservation is vital to the maintenance of a healthy environment because they purify surface waters and provide a breeding area for waterfowl, fish and other wildlife. In February 1996, IGC, St. Charles, and IGC’s President James J. Wilson, were convicted of four felony counts of illegally filling wetlands in violation of the CWA. On appeal, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the convictions and remanded the case for re-trial. Upon sentencing, in accordance with the plea, the indictments against St. Charles and Wilson will be dismissed. The case was investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigation Division and EPA Region 3, the FBI, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and prosecution is by the U.S. Department of Justice.