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EPA Orders Developer to Remove Riprap, Restore Damaged Stream Near Driggs, ID

Release Date: 03/29/2007
Contact Information: Steve Roy 206-553-6221, roy.steve@epa.gov Mark MacIntyre 206-553-7302, macintyre.mark@epa.gov

(Boise, Idaho - March 29, 2007) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has ordered a southeast Idaho developer to remove 2000 feet of riprap and repair damage to Teton Creek and nearby wetlands near Driggs, Idaho.

Creekside Meadows, LLC and Bruce Simon received the Order for violating the federal Clean Water Act by discharging unauthorized fill material into Teton Creek without having obtained the necessary permits. The Order includes a “Cease & Desist” provision to prevent any additional dredging and filling of the creek.

According to documents associated with the case, the infractions took place at the new development, Creekside Meadows, less than a mile south of Driggs. The developer lined 2000 linear feet of Teton Creek’s banks with riprap without the required Army Corps of Engineers permit. Dredging and filling was part of the riprap placement and cement was poured over a sewer line that became exposed after high flows. This was also done without a permit, and poses a potential safety hazard should the line break when dredging gravel or log jams out from under a nearby bridge.

According to Jim Werntz, Idaho state director for EPA in Boise, issuing this order is the first step in the legal process to protect Idaho’s waterways and adjacent wetlands.

“Obtaining the required permits should be ‘top-priority’ for developers,” said Werntz. “Improperly placed riprap or other bank armoring can cause erosion and severe flooding for property owners downstream. People, fish and wildlife all depend on healthy rivers and clean water.”

The Company and Mr. Simon must now remove the riprap and restore the wetland areas by May 30, 2007. Should the riprap removal and restoration fail to occur by that date, the EPA may assess penalties or take further legal action.

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For more about EPA’s wetlands protection work, visit: http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands
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