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EPA, developer settle case over wetlands violations in Boise

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Seattle – (January 19, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Barber Valley Development, Inc. have settled a case the agency brought after the company illegally discharged sand, gravel, and rocks into wetlands adjacent to Council Spring Creek in Boise.

In EPA orders issued in May and June 2021, EPA alleged the company failed to apply to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for a Clean Water Act permit for flood control work it was conducting on a transmission line corridor owned by Idaho Power. Council Spring Creek and its wetlands are connected to and provide flows to the Boise River.

Barber Valley agreed to remove the unauthorized fill material, restore the site, and enhance important forested wetland habitat adjacent to the Boise River and Alta Harris Creek, and to pay a $7500 penalty. This work will support diverse and abundant wildlife, such as raptors, small mammals, deer, coyote, elk, and possibly the endangered yellow-billed cuckoo which may use the Snake River Valley for breeding purposes. 

The restoration work at the site and at the forested wetland will be completed by December 2022.

An overarching goal of the Clean Water Act is to restore and maintain the physical, chemical, and biological integrity of the nation’s waters. A more specific federal goal is “No Net Loss” of wetlands by first avoiding, then minimizing, and finally compensating for any impacts to aquatic resources caused by the discharge of dredge or fill material into waters of the United States.

Wetlands protect and improve water quality, provide fish and wildlife habitats, store floodwaters, and maintain surface water flow during dry periods. EPA works with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies to coordinate field research, damage assessments, and legal proceedings against entities who conduct unauthorized activities (e.g., dredging, filling, grading without a permit) in waters of the United States. 

For more information about EPA’s wetlands protections programs go to https://www.epa.gov/wetlands

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Author: Region 10

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