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EPA Settles Wetlands Complaint Against Lehigh County Turkey Farm
Release Date: 3/14/2000
Contact Information: Donna M. Heron (215) 814-5113)
Donna Heron, 215-814-5113
OREFIELD, Pa.-- Jaindl Turkey Farms and its vice president, David Jaindl, will pay a $3,300 penalty, restore protected wetlands, and plant 150 trees to settle an EPA complaint over alleged Clean Water Act violations at the Orefield, Pa. farm.
In the administrative complaint issued Feb. 9, 1999, EPA alleged that Mr. Jaindl unlawfully filled in three acres of wetlands at the Lehigh County farm in the fall of 1998 without a required permit from the Army Corps of Engineers.
Under the settlement announced today, Mr. Jaindl and Jaindl Turkey Farms agreed to pay the penalty, fully restore the wetlands at issue, and complete a $21,000 “supplemental environmental project.” This project will establish a buffer strip of grasses and 150 trees along Jordan Creek. The vegetative strip will help stabilize the creek’s banks and reduce silt runoff into the waterway. The deciduous and coniferous trees will also provide a canopy cover for the creek, limiting high water temperatures that are detrimental to trout and other native fish populations.
"Today’s settlement shows that we take protecting our ecologically vital wetlands seriously. Pennsylvanians rightfully demand that we fairly and vigorously enforce the laws to protect our dwindling wetlands," said EPA Regional Administrator Bradley M. Campbell.
America’s wetlands are a critical habitat for waterfowl, amphibians, and hundreds of plant species. Wetlands serve other vital ecological and economic functions – including natural water filtration, food control, reduction of fish-killing weed growth and algae blooms.
Under the Clean Water Act, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit is required before dredged or fill material may be discharged into wetlands areas. The permit requirement is designed to minimize the destruction of wetlands. Permit applicants must show the steps they have taken to avoid destroying wetlands, and to compensate for unavoidable impacts through restoration or creation of wetlands.
Mr. Jaindl and Jaindl Turkey Farms neither admitted nor denied liability for the alleged violations in the settlement papers.