Clark County Completes Laughlin Lagoon Wetland Conservation Measures, Protecting Colorado River
LAS VEGAS — Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that Clark County Department of Public Works has completed implementing wetlands conservation measures at Laughlin Lagoon in full compliance with a 2020 agreement. That agreement resulted from unpermitted discharges of dredged material into the lagoon by Clark County. The lagoon is part of the Colorado River in southern Nevada.
“EPA is pleased Clark County has met its obligations, providing critical wetlands habitat in the Laughlin Lagoon and Colorado River,” said EPA Pacific Southwest Regional Director of the Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division, Amy Miller. “Protecting the Colorado River, which is a vital drinking water source and wildlife habitat, is essential to protecting human health and the environment in significant swaths of the western United States.”
“Clark County Public Works is glad that we have been able to comply with the final agreement,” said Clark County Director of Public Works, Denis Cederburg. “Clark County appreciates the direction and assistance provided by EPA to resolve all issues related to the agreement.”
From September 2018 through January 2019, Clark County used mechanized equipment to dredge 224,342 cubic yards of sediment from approximately 22 acres of channels in Laughlin Lagoon. During dredging, Clark County deposited some of that dredged material in the lagoon to construct temporary work platforms and haul roads to assist in further dredging.
For this work, Clark County failed to obtain an appropriate Clean Water Act 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in violation of Sections 301(a) and 404 of the Act.
Clark County’s wetland conservation and mitigation measures under the 2020 agreement included developing a Channel Maintenance Plan for the Laughlin Lagoon, installing informational signs and "no wake" buoys (to require boats to slow down or turn off engines in certain areas) to protect endangered species and their habitat, and planting an acre of wetland plants to provide additional habitat for the endangered Ridgway’s rail and other fish and wildlife species.
For more information on the importance of wetlands, please visit: www.epa.gov/wetlands.
For more information on Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/cwa-404/permit-program-under-cwa-section-404.