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UNITED STATES FILES SUIT AGAINST COMMONWEALTH AND TWO RHODE ISLAND COMPANIES FOR ILLEGAL WETLANDS FILLING DURING CONSTRUCTION OF JAIL

 BOSTON, Feb. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- U.S. Attorney A. John Pappalardo and the Department of Justice, on behalf of the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), filed a complaint today in U.S. District Court against the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Dimeo Construction Company of Providence, R.I., and Rocchio & Sons, Inc. of Smithfield, R.I., for the illegal filling of almost 12 acres of wetlands during the construction of the Bristol County House of Correction in Dartmouth, Mass. Dimeo Construction Company and Rocchio & Sons were the general contractor and subcontractor, respectively, on the Commonwealth's jail construction project. EPA is seeking both compensatory mitigation and civil penalties as allowed under the federal Clean Water Act.
 The EPA alleges that the new jail, which currently houses approximately 300 inmates, was constructed on a 105-acre plot of state-owned land beginning in the fall of 1988. According to the complaint, during the course of the construction dredged soil, topsoil, crushed stone and gravel were used to fill approximately 11.56 acres of protected wetlands located on the site. Under the federal Clean Water Act a permit is needed for the discharge of dredged or fill material into wetlands; the permit program is jointly administered by the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers. As stated in the complaint, the Commonwealth and its contractors failed to apply for or obtain the permit to fill the wetlands, in violation of the Clean Water Act.
 The complaint seeks relief in the form of an injunction against additional filling of wetlands at the site, a mitigation project to replace the environmental values of the destroyed wetlands, and a civil penalty not to exceed $25,000 for each day of each violation of the Clean Water Act. The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Roberta T. Brown, of the Civil Division of the U.S. Attorney's Office; Daniel Pinkston, Trial Attorney at the Environmental Defense Section of the U.S. Department of Justice, and Dianne Chabot, Assistant Regional Counsel for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
 -0- 2/9/93
 /CONTACT: Press Officer in the U.S. Attorney's Office, 617-223-9445/


CH -- NE021 -- 4799 02/09/93 15:53 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Feb 9, 1993
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