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EPA seeks restoration of wetlands damaged at Brown County (S.D.) Fairgrounds

Release Date: 5/3/2005
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      DENVER -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an administrative order to the Brown County Fair Board and Brown County, S.D., for damaging nearly an acre of wetlands in violation of the Clean Water Act.

Brown County Fair Board and Brown County, a political subdivision of the State of South Dakota, are alleged to have filled a wetland to create additional parking area at the Brown County Fairgrounds in Aberdeen without a permit. The wetland is part of a continuous tributary system that enters Moccasin Creek, which enters the James River.

The discharges have resulted in the loss of 0.882 acre of wetland and other adverse impacts to waters of the U.S. The wetlands provided important functions including wildlife habitat, water quality enhancement, water storage and retention, and flood control. These functions can be regained if the wetland is restored.

Region 8 Assistant Administrator Carol Rushin, Office of Enforcement, Compliance and Environmental Justice, said, “We hope to be able to work cooperatively with the Board and the County to quickly address this issue and to protect the waters of South Dakota.”

EPA’s goal is to restore the wetlands that were damaged and encourage future compliance by Brown County Fair Board and Brown County, as well as others in the regulated community.

A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit is required before performing any work that results in discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S., which includes lakes, rivers, streams, and certain wetlands. Property owners, contractors, or developers planning to do any work in such waters should always contact the Corps’ regulatory office in Pierre, S.D., at 605-224-8531, before they begin work to determine if they need a permit.