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EPA R8 Enforcement News: Candle Development to pay penalty and restore wetlands at Sioux Falls housing development

Release Date: 08/08/2011
Contact Information: Monica Heimdal, (303) 312-6359; Matthew Allen, (303) 312-6085

Candle Development to pay penalty and restore wetlands at Sioux Falls housing development

Contact Information: Monica Heimdal, (303) 312-6359; Matthew Allen, (303) 312-6085

Construction company cited for damages to wetlands along Nine Mile Creek

(Denver, Colo--, August 8
th, 2011) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that a consent decree was entered with Sioux Falls-based Candle Development, LLC (Candle Development) in the United States District Court for the District of South Dakota on July 22, 2011. Under the agreement, Candle Development must pay a civil penalty of $100,000 and is required to perform restoration and mitigation projects to address unauthorized impacts to wetlands that occurred during development near Nine Mile Creek in Sioux Falls.

EPA alleges that during the spring of 2003 Candle Development filled more than 5 acres of wetlands and 470 linear feet of wetland drainage areas at the Candlelight Acres Second Addition, which is adjacent to Nine Mile Creek. The unpermitted discharge of dredged or fill material into the Nation’s waterways is a violation of the Clean Water Act. The Army Corps of Engineers was alerted in 2004 based on a citizen’s complaint and subsequently referred the case to EPA.

“The citizen who reported these incidents should be commended,” said Mike Gaydosh, director of EPA’s enforcement program in Denver. “EPA will continue to pursue actions against those who violate federal laws that protect our Nation’s waters.”

James P. Daniels, the principal of Candle Development, is also a principal of Daniels Construction, Inc., and Sunset Development, LLC. This is the third time that EPA has alleged a company run by Mr. Daniels has committed Clean Water Act violations.

Previously, Candle Development, LLC, was named in an EPA consent order issued September 3, 2004, in which EPA alleged the company filled wetlands without a permit at the Candlelight Acres First Addition, located adjacent to the Candlelight Acres Second Addition. The company implemented a wetlands mitigation plan under that order.

Additionally, Sunset Development, LLC, Daniels Construction, Inc., and James P. Daniels were named in an EPA order issued September 28, 2004, in which EPA found they had violated the Clean Water Act by filling wetlands without a permit at the Sunset Ridge subdivision near Sioux Falls. Mr. Daniels and the companies implemented a wetlands mitigation plan under that order and paid a civil penalty of $60,000.

Sediment from construction activities is a major water quality issue in the Nation’s waterways. Sediment is the largest cause of water quality impairment in rivers, and can have a deleterious effect on aquatic life. Wetlands and creeks are valuable resources that provide numerous functions and values, including supporting aquatic and wildlife habitat and recreational amenities.

A permit from the Corps is required before discharging any dredged or fill material into Waters of the United States. The impacts of the discharges of dredged or fill material could have been avoided if Candle had consulted with the Corps prior to commencing its activities. Any person planning to do such work in South Dakota should contact the Corps’ South Dakota Regulatory Office, 28563 Powerhouse Road, Room 118, Pierre, SD, 57501 (telephone: 605-224-8531), before beginning work to determine if a permit is needed. Information on CWA section 404 permit requirements also may be found online at:
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/