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U.S. EPA Declares Habitat Restoration Along Headwaters of Salmon River "Nearly Complete"
Release Date: 6/19/2003
Contact Information: Karla Fromm
June 19, 2003
Restoration of approximately 7 acres of wetland floodplain in Stanley, Idaho, is close to being finished, say officials of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Boise. The project, encompassing prime spawning & rearing habitat for endangered chinook salmon and bull trout, was initiated to settle a federal wetlands complaint, filed by the U.S. Department of Justice on EPA = s behalf against the property owner, John Simpson.
According to the EPA complaint, filed in 2001, a contractor working for Mr. Simpson - owner of vacation home adjacent to headwaters of Salmon River - performed the following activities without obtaining proper and necessary permits:
- Discharged material in wetlands while excavating an artificial channel through wetlands adjacent to the Salmon River without a CWA permit.
- Placed fill material in wetlands to construct a road in wetlands.
- Placed fill material in an existing, natural side channel of the Salmon River to divert some of the river's flow into the newly excavated channel.
In assessing the damage caused by these actions, the EPA inspectors consulted with officials of both the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, the Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the Idaho Department of Water Resources. Initial EPA consultations with Mr. Simpson again proved fruitless so the case was referred to the U.S. Department of Justice. At the conclusion of negotiations, Mr. Simpson agreed to settle with the U.S. by:
- paying a penalty of $23,750 within 30 days of the settlement date
- restoring the affected area by blocking-off the newly constructed channel, restoring the old channel and replacing damaged and destroyed vegetation within a 0.4 acre area
- performing a Supplementary Environmental Project (SEP), worth at least $143,000, to improve local fish habitat and enhance wetlands along the Salmon river.
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