Digging A Pond in Pennsylvania? Get those permits! Here is why...
One homeowner in western Pennsylvania is being fined $137,000 for messing with wetlands in creating his pond. Read below for a press release from the Pennsylvania DEP today.
The Department of Environmental Protection announced that Francois Bitz, of Baden, Beaver County, will pay $137,000 in civil penalties as part of a consent order and agreement for violating the Pennsylvania Clean Streams Law and the Dam Safety and Encroachments Act. Bitz will also pay cost-recovery and oversight costs to DEP and the Allegheny County Conservation District.
From 2009 to 2010, Bitz excavated approximately two acres of wetlands and impacted approximately 1,100 feet of stream while constructing a recreational pond on his property in Marshall Township, Allegheny County, without the necessary permits.
“Our regulations exists to protect the quality and vitality of our streams and wetlands,” DEP Southwest Regional Director Susan Malone said. “The department’s permitting process allows for responsible development, but the regulations must be respected and enforced.”
DEP issued Bitz two compliance orders in July 2010 after inspections to the Marshall Township property revealed he had excavated portions of a stream channel of an unnamed tributary to Big Sewickley Creek, which is classified as a trout stocked fishery. Bitz also disturbed significant portions of earth in the surrounding wetlands without developing or implementing an erosion and sediment control plan. The compliance orders outlined Bitz’s failure to comply with regulations that protect wetlands and mitigate erosion during construction activity.
As a condition of the consent order and agreement, Bits must submit a revised permit application for remediation and restoration of the impacted stream and wetlands. The agreement also stipulates that the restoration must begin within two months and be completed within six months of the issuance of the permit.