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Department of Ecology News Release - March 13, 2007
BELLEVUE - The Department of Ecology (Ecology) has fined Pacific Topsoils, Inc. $88,000 for illegally covering over a wetland on Smith Island near Everett.
Ecology has ordered the company to remove the material within 60 days, and to restore the wetlands to pre-fill conditions. Snohomish County issued a removal order on Feb. 5, 2007.
The fill, approximately 10feet deep, covers approximately 12 acres of the company's property on an unincorporated part of Smith Island, west of SR 529. The company made no application to federal, state or local agencies for permits to cover wetlands.
The filling began as early as January 2006, and was reported to Ecology in October, 2006.
"Hundreds of businesses and homeowners obtain permits for projects in or near wetlands each year," said Gordon White, who managers Ecology's shorelines program. "Skipping out on the process can create an unfair business advantage and undermines the many efforts under way to protect and restore these important resources."
Healthy wetlands and shorelines play an especially important part in protecting and restoring the Snohomish River delta and Puget Sound region. Wetlands improve water quality, supply habitat for fish and wildlife, and provide flood protection.
Pacific Topsoils may apply to Ecology for a penalty reduction or appeal the penalty to the Washington State Pollution Control Hearings Board within 30 days.
Media contact: Curt Hart, public information officer, 360-407-6990
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