Vermont ski area pays penalty for wetlands violations

Vermont ski resort Jay Peak has agreed to pay $80,000 for filling in wetlands without a permit...

Oct 10th, 2011

BOSTON, MA, Oct. 10, 2011 -- Vermont ski resort Jay Peak has agreed to pay $80,000 for filling in wetlands without a permit.

The payment settles claims by the U.S. EPA that Jay Peak Resort violated the federal Clean Water Act when it filled in just over two acres of wetlands and streams and failed to obtain proper permits from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

According to EPA, a construction company working for the resort placed dirt, sand and rocks into numerous wetlands and streams, affecting just over two acres of wetlands and streams during construction of its golf course between 2004 and 2006 without a required permit.

This case was brought to the attention of EPA by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in the spring of 2008. Since then, the Corps and EPA have worked together in pursuing this case.

EPA issued Jay Peak Resort a compliance order in September 2010, requiring that the company restore the affected wetlands and streams. The company worked cooperatively with EPA and the Corps in complying with the order restoring the wetlands and streams prior to the deadlines established in the order. Jay Peak Resort was directed to apply for after-the-fact authorization from the Corps to retain certain areas of fill that appeared to be critical to the project.

The affected streams on the site flow into Jay Branch Brook, which flows into the Missisiquoi River, and then into Lake Champlain.

"Filling wetlands can exacerbate flooding," said Curt Spalding, regional administrator of EPA's New England office. "Recent flooding in parts of Vermont underscores how devastating floods can be. Wetlands can help reduce the impact of flooding, because they act like sponges and can reduce the effects that heavy rain storms have on the surrounding communities."

More information:
- Enforcing wetlands requirements in New England - www.epa.gov/ne/enforcement/wetlands
- General information on Wetlands - http://water.epa.gov/type/wetlands/index.cfm

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