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EPA FINES THE COUNTRY CLUB OF ASHEVILLE $2,000 FOR WETLANDS VIOLATIONS IN ASHEVILLE, BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C.

 EPA FINES THE COUNTRY CLUB OF ASHEVILLE $2,000
 FOR WETLANDS VIOLATIONS IN ASHEVILLE, BUNCOMBE COUNTY, N.C.
 ATLANTA, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has fined The Country Club of Asheville $2,000 for the unpermitted ditching and filling of wetlands in March 1992 in Buncombe County, N.C.
 In addition to the fine, restoration of the site has been ordered.
 The penalty was 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, 290,000 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 North Carolina is located in Wilmington (Regulatory Division, P.O. Box 1890, Wilmington, N.C. 28402-1890) and can be contacted at 919-251-4511.
 -0- 10/6/92
 /CONTACT: Charlis Thompson of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Region IV, 404-347-3004/ CO: United States Environmental Protection Agency; The Country Club
 of Asheville ST: North Carolina IN: SU: EXE


BR-EA -- AT010 -- 7160 10/06/92 14:55 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 6, 1992
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