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EPA orders restoration of Sage Creek near Cody

Release Date: 01/07/2009
Contact Information: Diane Sipe 303 312-6391; Kenneth Champagne 303 312-6608; Rich Mylott 303 312-6654

(Denver, Colo. -- January 7, 2008) The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued a compliance order to John A. Porter for violations of the Clean Water Act in a section of Sage Creek near Cody, Wyo. Porter allegedly violated the Act in April of 2008 by excavating and placing fill material in the creek and adjacent wetlands without a permit. These unauthorized activities occurred in Park County, approximately nine river miles upstream from Sage Creek's confluence with the Shoshone River.

“Unauthorized projects in streams, lakes and wetlands can destroy aquatic and wildlife habitat, reduce water storage and retention, and degrade water quality," said Diane Sipe, Director of EPA's Water Enforcement program in Denver. “Instead of illegally diverting Sage Creek and filling in wetlands, Mr. Porter should have gone through the proper Clean Water Act permitting process with the Army Corps of Engineers.”

In April 2008, Porter began re-routing Sage Creek by constructing a new 400-foot channel and filling 920 feet of the original creek bed and 1.2 acres of wetlands. The Corps inspected the site on July 8 and confirmed the unauthorized activities. On August 8, the Corps issued a letter informing Porter that he was in violation of the Clean Water Act and referred the case to EPA for enforcement.

The EPA order requires Porter to remove all discharged material and restore the creek and affected wetlands to pre-impact conditions. Porter must submit a restoration plan that details how the removal and restoration will be accomplished. Failure to respond to EPA orders subjects individuals to additional enforcement.

Permits are required before performing any work that results in material being placed into rivers, lakes, streams and wetlands. Any person planning to do such work should contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Office at 2232 Dell Range Boulevard, Suite 210, Cheyenne, Wyoming 82009-4942, or telephone (307) 772-2300.

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.usace.army.mil/
http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/

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