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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued an administrative compliance order directing Allen Marine, Inc. of Sitka, Alaska to restore tidelands five miles north of Sitka, Alaska, in Sitka Sound, adjacent to the Alaska Marine Highway ferry terminal. The Order is to resolve a Clean Water Act violation for unauthorized dredge and fill activities that occurred between June and August 2005. The Order requires Allen Marine to complete restoration in 60 days or face fines up to $32,500 per day.
The EPA alleges that Allen Marine, Inc. used heavy equipment and placed approximately 3,700 cubic yards of rock and gravel into Sitka Sound’s intertidal area in violation of the of the Clean Water Act (CWA). Allen Marine never obtained a permit from the Corps of Engineers. The property is owned by Mr. David C. Allen, Mr. Robert E. Allen, Jr., and Allen Marine, Inc.
According to Marcia Combes, EPA’s Director of Alaska Operations, this action demonstrates the importance of obtaining a CWA permit before working on shorelines or in wetlands. Allen Marine is very familiar with the CWA permitting program having obtained nine permits in the past.
“Inter tidal nearshore habitats and wetlands are vital links in nature’s ability to purify water and provide habitat for fish and wildlife,” said Combes. “Anytime someone is thinking of altering a shoreline or wetland, they have to contact the Corps of Engineers, request a permit, and find out if it can be done without harm to the environment.”