EPA cites unlawful filling of wetlands at Maryland housing development site
PHILADELPHIA, PA, Oct. 22, 2009 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cited a Millersville, Md. couple and a Millsboro, Del. real estate developer for unlawfully filling protected wetlands, a violation of the Clean Water Act...
PHILADELPHIA, PA, Oct. 22, 2009 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has cited a Millersville, Md. couple and a Millsboro, Del. real estate developer for unlawfully filling protected wetlands, a violation of the Clean Water Act.
EPA cited Andrew and Yvette Hudyma and Mountaire Farms of Delaware for filling in a non-tidal wetland on a property located on the west side of Green Lewis Road, one-half mile from the intersection with New Hope Road, northeast of the town of Willards, Wicomoco County, Md. The site contains an unnamed ditch which flows to the Murray Branch, which flows to the Burnt Mill Branch, which flows to the Pocomoke River, which flows to the Chesapeake Bay.
According to the complaint, the Hudymas wanted to raise chickens on the site and relied on advice from Mountaire Farms that there were no wetlands on the site. During construction of chicken houses in June 2006, an inspector with the Maryland Department of the Environment noted that non-tidal wetlands were located on the property.
Under the Clean Water Act, an 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, which serve a number of critical environmental and economic functions -- including flood control, water filtration, wildlife habitat, and recreation.
According to EPA, the activities of the Hudymas and Mountaire Farms included the filling of approximately 3.64 acres of forested, non-tidal wetlands for the construction of chicken houses.
EPA seeks an $82,500 penalty for this alleged violation. The Hudymas and Mountaire Farms may request a hearing to contest the alleged violation and proposed penalty.
For more information about wetlands and permitting requirements, visit www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/