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EPA cites Heser Farms for filling in wetlands without a permit

Release Date: 05/18/2006
Contact Information: CONTACT: William Omohundro, (312) 353-8254

For Immediate Release
No. 06-OPA082

CHICAGO (May 18, 2006) — U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has issued an administrative complaint to Heser Farms and Robert and Andrew Heser of Centralia, Ill., for allegedly depositing about 3,000 cubic yards of material into two acres of forested wetlands without first obtaining a required permit. The wetlands are in Marion County, Ill., next to Martin Branch, a stream that flows through Lake Centralia.

The Hesers and Heser Farms failed to comply with a January 2005 EPA order to restore the wetlands. EPA proposes to assess a $120,000 penalty.

Under the federal Clean Water Act, a permit is required to fill in waters of the United States, including wetlands.

Wetlands include marshes, bogs, swamps and similar areas between water and dry land. They are valuable because they filter pollutants, provide wildlife habitat, control flooding, reduce erosion, support fisheries and recharge ground water.

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