The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached an agreement with the Saratoga Springs Owners Association, Inc. (SSOA) and Cross Marine Projects, Inc. (Defendants) resolving alleged unpermitted dredge and fill activities and damages to wetlands at a Utah Lake marina facility in Utah County, Utah.
Under the terms of a consent decree in the Federal District Court of Utah, the Defendants will restore and enhance more than 7 acres of wetlands and pay a civil penalty of $150,000.
“EPA is pleased to see these long-standing allegations resolved and looks forward to the successful completion of wetlands restoration and enhancement projects at Utah Lake,” said EPA Regional Administrator Doug Benevento.
“Dredging and filling in navigable waters, like the marina expansion at issue in this case, requires a Clean Water Act permit to ensure needed projects are carried out with minimal impacts to waters, wetlands, and aquatic ecosystems.”
In December 2017, the United States filed a complaint against the Saratoga Springs Owners Association and Cross Marine Projects for damages associated with alleged illegal dredge and fill activity.
EPA asserts that between September 2013 and February 2014, the Saratoga Springs Owners Association and Cross Marine Projects dredged a marina access channel and discharged the resulting fill material into Utah Lake and adjacent wetlands without a Clean Water Act (Section 404) permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In March 2018, EPA, the U.S. Department of Justice, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers participated in mediation with the Defendants. The resulting consent decree requires the Defendants to pay a civil penalty of $150,000 and to restore an approximately 0.37-acre wetland and enhance an additional 7.0 acres of wetlands adjacent to Utah Lake.
The restoration plan also includes reporting requirements and success criteria. After the parties reached agreement on the consent decree, the public was given a 30-day opportunity to comment.
No comments were received, and the court entered the decree on November 19, 2018.