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EPA Cites W.Va. DOT For Violating Clean Water Act During Bridge Project In Pendleton County

Release Date: 4/15/1999
Contact Information: Donna M. Heron (215) 814-5113

PENDLETON COUNTY, W.Va. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has cited the West Virginia Department of Transportation’s Division of Highways for violating the Clean Water Act during highway work in Pendleton County, W.Va.

According to EPA, W.Va. DOT filled in a federally protected waterway in May 1998 while replacing a washed-out bridge on Route 28/8 between Cherry Grove and Circleville. The bridge is over the North Fork of the South Branch of the Potomac River. This work involved the realignment of 230 meters (755 feet) of the river.

EPA’s March 30 complaint seeks a $16,500 penalty for DOT’s alleged failure to obtain a required permit before filling in a protected waterway during this project.

Under the Clean Water Act, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit is required before dredged or fill material may be discharged into waters of the United States (including wetlands areas). The permit requirement is designed to protect natural waterways and minimize the destruction of wetlands, which serve a number of critical environmental and economic functions --including flood control, water filtration, and wildlife habitat.

W.Va. DOT has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty.