Camp Company Fined $38,000 for Filling Wetlands in North Carolina

Camp Clearwater Enterprises Inc. will pay $38,000 for illegally filling wetlands on its property in White Lake, N.C., in violation of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The affected wetlands are adjacent to Colly Creek, a tributary of the Black River in Bladen County.

“By taking this action, we are sending a strong message about the importance of protecting wetlands across the Southeast,” said Gwendolyn Keyes Fleming, EPA region four regional administrator. “Wetlands are important, yet diminishing resources that serve as habitats for critical fish and wildlife and also help control floods, recharge groundwater and capture pollutants.”

From approximately March 2009 through May 2010, Camp Clearwater or those acting on its behalf, illegally discharged fill material into approximately 0.75 acre of wetlands while using earth moving machinery to clear a site for commercial development. Camp Clearwater did not obtain the required CWA Section 404 permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers prior to performing this work.

Congress enacted the CWA in 1972 to protect the nation’s rivers, lakes and stream, as well as some of the more fragile and vital wetland habitats. Section 404 of the CWA establishes a program to regulate the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States, including wetlands. Activities in waters of the United States regulated under this program include fill for development, water resource projects (such as dams and levees), infrastructure development (such as highways and airports) and mining projects. Section 404 requires a permit before dredged or fill material may be discharged into waters of the United States, unless the activity is exempt from Section 404 regulation (e.g. certain farming and forestry activities).