Tara Monks / Wayne County Nebraska property owner pays $30,000 for CWA violations

Wayne County Nebraska property owner pays $30,000 for CWA violations

Environmental Attorney Alert: Wayne County man, and owner of Custom Excavation to pay $30,000 civil penalty for CWA violations.

Owner, contractor dammed tributary without permit.
Wayne County Nebraska property owner pays $30,000 for CWA violations

// West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Kansas City, KS – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced on Monday, August 30, 2010 that a Nebraska landowner and an excavation contractor will pay a civil penalty of $30,000 to the United States, in order to quell allegations they used earth-moving equipment to construct a dam on a tributary to Spring Branch Creek without obtaining the necessary permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Bill Willers, of Norfolk, and Shannon Kurpgeweit, dba Custom Excavation, allegedly violated the federal Clean Water Act, as they discharged dredged or fill material into an unnamed tributary to the creek that runs through Willers’ property. The act created a dam, which was documented by a Corps of Engineers inspection on the site in October 2009.

According to the EPA, the dam impacted over a quarter-mile stretch of the creek, and at least 1.13 acres of adjacent wetland.

The federal Clean Water Act maintains that landowners are required to consult with the Corps of Engineers to obtain proper permits before engaging in earth-moving projects that cause damming or adverse impacts to water bodies.

The EPA explains, “Unauthorized damming degrades the health of watersheds, resulting in habitat loss, changes to downstream flows that impact stream channel configuration and loss of biological diversity. It also limits the movements of fish, other aquatic organisms and organic material, while depriving other landowners and the public from the use and enjoyment of water downstream.”

Willers was ordered to remove the dam and restore the stream and wetlands in April 2010. He has since worked with EPA and the Omaha District office of the Corps of Engineers on the development of an approved restoration plan.

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