LENEXA, KAN. — Landowner Stan Jost of Newton will pay a $50,000 civil penalty to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Water Act, according to a media release from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The agency said Jost placed felled trees and other debris in approximately 4,155 feet of Mud Creek and approximately 1,800 feet of Sand Creek in 2021 without obtaining a Clean Water Act permit.
“The unauthorized placement of fill material into streams and other water bodies degrades watershed health, increases downstream erosion, and creates loss of wildlife habitat,” said David Cozad, director of EPA Region 7’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Division. “These acts also deprive downstream landowners and the public from the use and enjoyment of public waters.”
In response to EPA’s findings, Jost removed the materials from the stream.
Under the Clean Water Act, parties are prohibited from discharging fill material into federally protected streams and other water bodies unless they first obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). If parties place fill material into water bodies without a permit, the USACE may elect to refer an enforcement case to EPA. The USACE’s Kansas City District referred this case to EPA in January 2022.