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CIRCLEVILLE, W.Va. - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today announced that it has cited five West Virginia residents -- Roy Lambert, Paul Mullenax, James Phares, Raymond Phares and Raymond E. Phares (the son of Raymond Phares) -- for dredging a portion of a Potomac River tributary in Pendleton County, W.Va. without a required permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
The agency has issued administrative orders to these individuals requiring the restoration and stabilization of river banks damaged by illegal dredging. The dredging was allegedly performed from June 1999 to the present, and involved approximately 2,000 feet of the North Fork in the Potomac River’s South Branch.
Under the Clean Water Act, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit is required before this type of dredging is performed. The permit requirement is designed to minimize the adverse safety and environmental impacts to aquatic life caused by dredging.
The agency also issued a separate administrative complaint to Raymond E. Phares, who was allegedly hired by the other parties to perform the dredging on their properties. This complaint proposes a penalty of $16,500. Phares has the right to a hearing to contest the alleged violations and proposed penalty in the administrative complaint.