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Construction companies cited for damages to Flathead Lake (Mont.)

Release Date: 12/09/2010
Contact Information: Art Palomares, (303) 312-6053; Matthew Allen, (303) 312-6085

McCrumb Construction & Marine, Inc, and Montana Eagle Development, LLC to pay penalties for unauthorized construction activities at Flathead Lake

(Denver, Colorado – December 9, 2010) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a complaint and consent agreement against McCrumb Construction & Marine, Inc. (McCrumb Construction) and Montana Eagle Development, LLC (MED) for violations of the Clean Water Act at Flathead Lake in Flathead County, Montana.

EPA levied a penalty of $15,000 against McCrumb Construction and MED for discharging dredged or fill material into the lake during the renovation of Lakeside Marina. McCrumb Construction’s and MED’s actions were conducted without an appropriate Clean Water Act permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

“The unauthorized actions of Montana Eagle Development and its contractors led to localized impacts on aquatic habitat and water quality in Flathead Lake. While Montana Eagle Development secured a permit for the renovation of its marina, it did not have authorization to discharge waste materials into the lake,” stated Art Palomares, EPA’s regional water enforcement director, “EPA will continue to pursue actions against those who violate federal laws that protect Montana’s waters.”

EPA alleges that McCrumb Construction and MED, or persons acting on their behalf, discharged at least 400 cubic feet of dredge or fill material from a barge into Flathead Lake, south of Caroline Point, while renovating Lakeside Marina during November, 2007.

A third respondent in this case, Dockmaster, Inc. (Dockmaster), elected not to participate in this settlement. As a result, on October 28, 2010, EPA issued a separate complaint against Dockmaster, proposing it pay a separate penalty of $10,000. The barge was owned by Dockmaster, and the employees operating the barge were those of Dockmaster as well. Dockmaster’s equipment and employees were contracted by McCrumb Construction, and the material was discharged under their direction. MED owns the marina for which construction was taking place.

Flathead Lake is a valuable resource and provides numerous functions and values, including supporting aquatic and wildlife habitat and recreational amenities. Placement of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S. can have adverse impacts on aquatic habitat and on water quality.

A permit is required before performing any work that results in discharges of dredged or fill material into rivers, lakes, streams, and wetlands. These alleged violations could have been avoided if McCrumb Construction or MED had obtained the appropriate permit from the Army Corps of Engineers prior to discharging material into Flathead Lake. Any person planning to do such work in Western Montana should contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Helena Regulatory Office (10 West 15th Street, Suite 2200, Helena MT, 59626; telephone, 406-441-1375) before beginning work to determine if a permit is needed.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers: http://www.usace.army.mil/

For more information on the Clean Water Act, visit EPA's compliance web page: http://www.epa.gov/compliance/civil/cwa/index.html

For more information about the importance of wetlands in flood control and habitat conservation, visit: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/

Help EPA protect our nation's land, air and water by reporting violations: http://www.epa.gov/tips/