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Michael Rodriguez and Christian Brothers Construction Company Ordered to Restore Damaged Wetland and Stream

Release Date: 02/24/2009
Contact Information: John Olson, EPA/Boise, (208) 378-5756 / olson.john@epa.gov or Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs (206) 553-1203 / brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Boise, Idaho. – February 24, 2009) Michael Rodriguez and his company, Christian Brothers Construction, of Meridian, Idaho have been ordered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to restore the wetland and stream that his company illegally filled and channelized without a Clean Water Act permit.

According to EPA, in October 2008, Mr. Rodriguez illegally filled 1.7 acres of wetlands and filled and channelized 1,680 feet of Tenmile Creek, located in Meridian, Idaho. Mr. Rodriguez failed to obtain the required Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Walla Walla District. Before this violation, Mr. Rodriguez was told by the Corps that a permit was required for his proposed work, but he failed to apply for one.

According to Jim Werntz, EPA’s Idaho office director, most construction in wetlands and streams can only be undertaken after obtaining a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the Corps. These permits help assure that damage to the environment during construction is minimized.

“This is especially important in areas along Tenmile Creek where there are a lot of development pressures, said Werntz. “These streams and wetlands help protect Idaho’s water quality and provide valuable wildlife habitat.”

Since the fall of 2008, EPA has been working with the Corps Walla Walla District and the Idaho Department of Water Resources to address the illegal wetland and stream damages. The Corps and the Idaho Department of Water Resources both previously issued notices of violation to Mr. Rodriguez in connection with his unauthorized work in Tenmile Creek.

For more information about EPA’s work to protect wetlands in Region 10, visit:
http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/ECOCOMM.NSF/wetlands/wetlands

For information on the Corps’ Walla Walla District Clean Water Act Section 404 permit program, visit:
http://www.nww.usace.army.mil/html/offices/op/rf/rfhome.htm

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