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EPA FINES SHELBY CONCRETE INC. OF ALABASTER, ALA., $2,500 FOR WETLANDS VIOLATIONS

 ALABASTER, Ala., April 5 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined Shelby Concrete, Inc. of Alabaster $2,500 for unauthorized discharge of fill material into approximately three acres of wetlands adjacent to the concrete factory.
 The wetlands impacted by the violation are adjacent to a part of the "Forrest Crim Swamp," a well-known, unique tupelo gum swamp in Shelby County. In addition to the penalty, Shelby Concrete, Inc. will be required to restore one acre of the violation area where a sinkhole is located, and preserve in perpetuity the one acre, as well as five acres of wetlands adjacent to the violation area.
 "Let EPA's action be a clear signal to potential violators throughout the Southeast that this agency will not hesitate to enforce the law and prevent the unnecessary destruction of these very valuable resources," said EPA Regional Water Division Director W. Ray Cunningham.
 The $2,500 penalty is being assessed by the EPA Atlanta office under a provision of the 1987 Clean Water Act which grants EPA authority to assess administrative penalties for violations of the act. Under this authority, EPA can assess administrative penalties of up to $125,000 for the destruction of wetlands. For more serious violations, EPA may refer cases to the U.S. Department of Justice where greater civil penalties and criminal sanctions can be sought.
 Wetlands are among the most environmentally beneficial areas in the nation. They include marshes, swamps, bogs and similar areas that have developed between open water and dry land. Wetlands harbor unique soils and plants that provide food and habitat for fish and wildlife, water purification, erosion control, flood control during major storms, and recreation. Although wetland areas exist throughout the Southeast, they rapidly are being destroyed. Each year, 458,000 acres of wetlands are destroyed in the United States.
 The EPA and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE) are working together to implement Section 404 of the Clean Water Act, which requires that a permit be obtained before filling wetland areas. EPA strongly encourages all property owners desiring to excavate or fill wetlands to contact the COE prior to beginning work. The COE office which administers the Section 404 permit program in Alabama is located in Mobile (Regulatory Division, P.O. Box 2288, Mobile, AL 36628-0001) and can be contacted at 205-690-2658.
 -0- 4/5/93
 /CONTACT: Charlis Thompson of EPA Region IV, 404-347-3004/


CO: United States Environmental Protection Agency; Shelby Concrete,
 Inc. ST: Alabama IN: ENV SU: EXE


RA-BN -- AT008 -- 3144 04/05/93 15:26 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 5, 1993
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