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Wyoming Man Convicted of Clean Water Violations Affecting Indian Lands

Release Date: 10/14/2004
Contact Information:

Contact: John Millett 202-564-7842 /

(10/14/04) John Hubenka, of Riverton, Wyo., was found guilty by a jury on Sept. 28 in U.S. District Court for the District of Wyoming on charges that he built unpermitted dikes in the Wind River in violation of the Clean Water Act. The dikes altered the course of the river and this resulted in 300 acres of tribal lands being cut off from the Wind River Reservation. Between March 1999 and November 1999, Hubenka conducted and managed dredging and construction activities in various locations as part of building three earthen dikes. The defendant used earth moving equipment to discharge rock, sand and other dredge and fill material into the river. Unpermitted discharge of dredge and fill material into rivers can harm fish and wildlife and separating tribal lands from an Indian reservation can create an economic burden on Indians who wish to use the lands for agricultural or other economic purposes. The case was investigated by the Denver Office of EPA's Criminal Investigation Division with legal support from EPA Region 8 in Denver. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Cheyenne.