Missouri Farm Fined by EPA for WOTUS Violation

EPA Region 7 has reached a proposed administrative settlement with Goodrum Farm CR314, LLC, in Butler County, MO, to resolve violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $15,000.

During a July 16, 2014, inspection, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers inspectors found the company had placed dredged and fill material into forested wetlands, in an effort to convert the wetlands to agricultural crop land. This resulted in the unauthorized impact of approximately 9.46 acres of wetlands adjacent to a designated “water of the United States.”

Under a previously issued administrative compliance order to address the Clean Water Act (CWA) violations, Goodrum Farm CR314, LLC, mitigated the impacted wetland acres by placing approximately 35 acres of the property into a conservation easement, preventing further development, including future farming.

Under this proposed settlement, Goodrum Farm CR314, LLC, will pay a $15,000 penalty for its alleged Section 404 CWA violations.

Unpermitted destruction of wetland areas can create numerous environmental impacts, including degradation of watershed health, habitat loss, impacts to stream channel configuration, and decreased biological diversity. Wetland degradation also impedes a wetland’s abilities to absorb floodwaters and filter pollutants. Prior to conducting activities that may impact wetlands, streams, or rivers, land owners should consult with the Corps of Engineers to determine if the planned activity is authorized under Section 404 of the CWA.

The Clean Water Act seeks to protect streams and wetlands that form the foundation of the nation’s water resources. Protecting streams and wetlands is also part of adapting to climate change impacts like drought, stronger storms, and warmer temperatures.

Source: U.S. Ag Net

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