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Menards faces EPA administrative order for damaging South Dakota stream

Release Date: 03/08/2006
Contact Information: Mike Risner 303-312-6890 Diane Sipe 303-312-6391

Tributary of Big Sioux River

      DENVER – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has issued an administrative order against Menard, Inc., of Eau Claire, Wis., for damaging a stream in Sioux Falls, S.D.

EPA’s order cites discharges of dredged and fill material to nearly 1,400 linear feet of stream flowing through Menards’ property at 110 N. Highline Avenue in Sioux Falls. The stream is an unnamed tributary of the Big Sioux River.

EPA's Assistant Regional Administrator, Carol Rushin, said, “EPA takes this action to prevent the pollution of the wetlands, lakes, and streams of South Dakota and to provide deterrence against future violations of Federal laws designed to protect valuable water resources.”

Aerial photography indicates the unauthorized discharge began prior to August 2003. An inspection conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that a discharge of fill occurred into an unnamed tributary of the Big Sioux River during construction of a storm water management system and site-grading for the new Menards store.

Specifically, 1,350 feet of the stream were filled and replaced within a 66-inch storm sewer pipe, which was buried. A parking lot was then built over the top of it. An additional 40-feet of the stream was damaged by fill to construct a storm water control structure on the downstream end of the 66-inch storm sewer.

The project was completed in the winter or spring of 2004, and the Menards store is currently open for business. Menards is the third-largest home improvement chain in the U.S., operating approximately 200 retail stores and employing approximately 35,000 people in the Upper Midwest.
    The stream in this area provides important functions including aquatic habitat; an urban wildlife corridor for deer, pheasants, ducks, and other wildlife; and aesthetics. The tributary may also provide habitat for the endangered Topeka shiner (Notropis topeka).

    A Corps permit is required before performing any work that results in discharges of dredged or fill material into waters of the U.S., which includes lakes, rivers, streams, and certain wetlands. Property owners, contractors, or developers planning to do any work in such waters should always contact the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ regulatory office in Pierre, South Dakota, at 605-224-8531 before they begin work to determine if they need a permit.