Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Boat Track Owner Settles Water Pollution Charges

By Mark Edward Nero

Sprint boat racetrack operator A2Z Enterprises reached an agreement with the US Environmental Protection Agency on July 24 to resolve violations of the federal Clean Water Act. Through the settlement with the EPA, A2Z Enterprises has agreed to pay a $14,000 penalty and restore wetlands on its property in Port Angeles, Washington, that were filled in conjunction with the construction of a sprint boat racetrack.

A2Z Enterprises used mechanized construction equipment from July to September 2011 to build a sprint boat racetrack and a gravel road. The violation, according to the EPA, occurred when fill material was placed in wetlands that were outside of the project’s original boundaries without the required permit, resulting in the illegal placement of fill materials into adjacent wetlands.

Fill materials were placed into about 1.31 acres of wetlands that connect to the Strait of Juan de Fuca through Dry Creek. The Clean Water Act requires a permit before dredged or fill material may be discharged into US waters.

Wetland and stream ecosystems within the Puget Sound play a critical role in the health of the Pacific Northwest waterways by trapping floodwaters, recharging groundwater, removing pollution, and providing fish and wildlife habitat. Salmon depend on the clean waterways that wetlands help to buffer and protect.

Under the settlement, A2Z Enterprises is responsible for removing the fill and restoring the 1.31 acres of wetlands by Sept. 30.