Department of Justice and EPA settle major wetlands violations case with Washington property owner and trucking firm
SEATTLE – The United States Department of Justice and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have reached a settlement with Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. and Karl Frederick Klock Pacific Bison, LLC, for federal Clean Water Act violations. The government alleges that the two parties discharged fill material into wetlands, an oxbow of the Skykomish River, and a perennial stream without obtaining the required permits.
According to the federal consent decree, over a three-year period beginning in 2008, Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. delivered fill material to the Karl Frederick Klock Pacific Bison, LCC property, located approximately three miles east of Monroe, Washington. The government alleges that the trucking company used heavy equipment to dump - and charged others to dump - more than 54,000 cubic yards of fill material, including construction debris, enough to fill more than 16 Olympic sized swimming pools. The fill was then dumped into an oxbow of the Skykomish River, nearby wetlands, and a perennial stream flowing through the Klock property.
The government further alleges that neither Karl Frederick Klock Pacific Bison, LLC, nor Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. obtained the required Clean Water Act permits before undertaking the work.
“These operators directly impacted almost three acres of wetlands and over 2000 linear feet of streams,” said Chris Hladick, EPA Regional Administrator in Seattle. “This affected the very structure and function of the Skykomish River floodplain and one of its tributaries. EPA takes these kinds of violations seriously, so it’s gratifying that the case has been resolved in a way that provides such benefit to the environment.”
Several listed “threatened” species depend on the Skykomish River, including Steelhead, Chum, Coho, and Pink salmon, as well as Chinook salmon and Bull Trout, for which this stretch of the Skykomish is designated critical habitat.
Under the terms of the consent decree:
- Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. will pay $300,000 in civil penalties.
- Bobby Wolford Trucking & Salvage, Inc. will perform significant restoration work, including removing approximately 40,000 cubic yards of unauthorized fill from the oxbow of the Skykomish River and nearby wetlands, regrading the site, and paying for native plants for revegetation efforts.
- The Tulalip Tribes of Washington will oversee the earth-moving and restoration work and install native plants on 17 acres of the property.
- Karl Frederick Klock Pacific Bison, LLC will execute an environmental covenant to place restrictions on approximately 188 acres of the property.
- When the restoration is concluded, Karl Frederick Klock Pacific Bison, LLC will transfer title to the 188 acres to the Tulalip Tribes to maintain in perpetual conservation.
The consent decree was lodged in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington on October 19, 2020. It has been published in the Federal Register which commences a thirty-day public comment period. At the end of the public comment period, the court will enter the consent decree as a final judgment, if appropriate.
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