September 27, 2022
LENEXA, KAN. (SEPT. 27, 2022) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has ordered a New Strawn, Kansas, man and his excavating company to cease dumping materials into wetlands adjacent to a tributary to the Neosho River.
According to EPA, Michael Skillman, who owns Victory Excavating LLC, placed debris into at least 3.7 acres of wetlands in violation of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA). The Agency says the illegal fill continued even after a Cease and Desist Order was issued by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in October 2021.
Skillman has a history of CWA violations, according to EPA. Last summer, he paid a $60,000 civil penalty to the federal government for the unauthorized placement of broken concrete into the Neosho River.
The Compliance Order, issued by EPA on August 25, 2022, requires Skillman and Victory Excavating to remove the debris from the wetlands and submit a plan to restore the site. Failure to comply with the order could subject the parties to further enforcement, including penalties.
Under the CWA, parties are prohibited from discharging fill material into wetlands and other water bodies unless they first obtain a permit from the Corps of Engineers. If parties place fill material into water bodies without a permit, the Corps may elect to refer an enforcement case to EPA. The Kansas City, Missouri, Corps District referred this case to EPA in 2021.
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