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U.S. EPA fines Galt, Calif developer $47,500 for filling Cosgrove Creek and wetlands

Release Date: 7/22/2005
Contact Information: Margot Perez-Sullivan, (415) 947-4149

Company also to restore and preserve 14 acres of habitat

SAN FRANCISCO – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has fined a Galt, Calif. developer $47,500 for dumping dredged and fill material without a permit into Cosgrove Creek, its tributaries, and wetlands in the Calaveras River watershed in Valley Springs, a violation of the Clean Water Act.

CRV Enterprises and company owner Ryan Voorhees has agreed to protect and preserve 14 acres of similar habitat in the project vicinity, which includes the purchase of 6 acres worth of credits from a wetland mitigation bank and permanently preserving 8 acres of Cosgrove Creek at the violation site. The company will also maintain a 75-foot no-build habitat buffer zone around Cosgrove Creek tributaries while seeking permit authorization from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Sacramento office.

"We hope this action will deter others from unauthorized filling of creeks, streams and wetland habitat," said Alexis Strauss, director of EPA's water programs for the Pacific Southwest Region. "We will continue to inspect construction sites and bring compliance actions as necessary to protect water quality throughout California."

In June 2004, the EPA inspected Gold Creek Estates, the residential development site, at the request of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The agency found that CRV Enterprises and company owner Ryan Voorhees had used heavy equipment for grading, compaction and filling activities to fill areas in the creek and adjacent wetlands. In total approximately 3 acres were filled without permits from the Corps.

Under the Clean Water Act, a developer must first get a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before discharging dredged or fill material into regulated waterways.

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