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EPA orders restoration of damaged section of Left Hand Creek in Longmont

Release Date: 12/15/2008
Contact Information: Diane Sipe, 303 312-6391; Richard Mylott,303 312-6654

Lawrence Germann cited for unpermitted activities; will restore 300-foot section of creek

(Denver, Colo. -- December 15, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a compliance order to Lawrence Germann for violations of the Clean Water Act in Longmont, Colo. Germann allegedly violated the Act by excavating and placing material in Left Hand Creek without a permit. The order requires Germann to correct the environmental damage resulting from these unauthorized activities. Left Hand Creek flows perennially and is a tributary to St. Vrain Creek.

EPA's order is based on actions that occurred during April and May of 2008, when Germann, or persons acting on his behalf, partially constructed a new channel and placed a 5 to 8-foot wide swath of material into 300 feet of the existing channel of Left Hand Creek. Germann did not obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to performing this work.

    "Left Hand Creek provides important functions including aquatic and wildlife habitat, flood attenuation, groundwater recharge, recreation and aesthetics," said EPA's Enforcement Director in Denver, Mike Gaydosh. "EPA’s goals are to secure the restoration of this section of the Creek and to deter future violations of laws that protect the integrity of Colorado's waters."

    The EPA order requires Germann to remove all discharged material and restore the impacted areas to pre-impact conditions and grade. Prior to doing the work, Germann must submit a restoration plan that details how the removal and restoration will be accomplished. Respondents who fail to respond to EPA orders are subject to additional actions, including civil enforcement lawsuits filed by the U.S. Department of Justice in federal court.

    Germann should have contacted the Corps to obtain a permit prior to commencing his activities. Permits are required before performing any work that results in material being excavated from or placed into rivers, lakes, streams, and certain wetlands. Any person planning to do such work should contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Denver Regulatory Office at 9307 South Wadsworth Ave., Littleton, CO, 80128-6901 or telephone 303-979-4120.

    For more information, visit EPA's Clean Water Act compliance web page:
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    During fiscal year 2008, EPA concluded enforcement actions requiring polluters to spend an estimated $11 billion on pollution controls, cleanup actions, and environmental projects, an all time record for EPA. After these activities are completed, EPA expects annual pollution reductions of more than three billion pounds.