EPA, Coffey County landowner, company reach settlement in alleged clean water act violations – Osage County Online | Osage County News

EPA, Coffey County landowner, company reach settlement in alleged clean water act violations

USACE enlists EPA for enforcement action over Neosho River bank stabilization project near Burlington

COFFEY COUNTY, Kan. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has reached a settlement with Thomas Robrahn, Burlington, Kan., and Skillman Construction LLC, New Strawn, Kan., to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act that occurred on property along the Neosho River. Under the settlement, the parties will pay a $60,000 civil penalty.

The EPA alleged Robrahn and Skillman Construction violated the CWA by placing approximately 400 cubic yards of broken concrete into the river adjacent to Robrahn’s property in an attempt to stabilize the riverbank. The EPA alleged the work impacted about 240 feet of the river and was completed without first obtaining a required CWA permit. The site was on a section of the river that has known populations of Neosho Madtom, a federally listed threatened fish species.

As part of the settlement with EPA, the parties agreed to remove the concrete and restore the impacted site to comply with the CWA.

Under the CWA, parties are prohibited from discharging fill material into water bodies unless they first obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. If parties place fill material into water bodies without a permit, the Corps can refer an enforcement case to EPA.

The penalty settlement is subject to a 30-day public notice and comment period. Anyone interested in reviewing the settlement or making a comment about the settlement, can do so here: www.epa.gov/ks/region-7-table-clean-water-act-public-notices.

The Neosho River traverses Coffey County from the northwest to southeast, entering the county near Hartford and the Flint Hills National Wildlife Preserve; it feeds John Redmond Reservoir, which outlets above Burlington, and flows past LeRoy before entering Woodson County near Neosho Falls.

Information thanks to the Environmental Protection Agency.

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