Wetlands violations settled with N.H. attorney general

Nick Rees Oct. 2, 2009, 4:40pm

CONCORD, N.H. (Legal Newsline) - Violations of state wetland laws landed a New Hampshire company a $60,000 penalty.

Ames Farm Inn is alleged to have constructed a retaining wall along Lake Winnipesaukee, placed docks in excess of those allowed by the Department of Environmental Services in the water, and altered other wetland areas near the shore in violation of state wetland laws. All of Ames Farm's violations were performed without the required permits.

"Alterations of the shoreline of Lake Winnipesaukee, or any water body, must be done in conformance with State laws," Attorney General Michael Delaney said.

As part of the lawsuit, Ames Farms has restored all of the areas that were altered without the Department of Environmental Services' authorization, including performing a complete removal of a more than 100-foot long retaining wall and a stabilization of a bank with vegetation.

"For a long time, non-compliance was a significant issue, but Ames Farm Inn has now turned a corner and committed itself to environmental restoration," Commissioner Thomas Burack of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services said. "The Defendant has expressed a desire to meet or exceed all environmental standards in the future as well as to demonstrate environmental leadership in the community. We sincerely hope this will occur."

Half of the $60,000 penalty, which was approved by the Belknap County Superior Court, will be permanently suspended if Ames Farms does not violate the settlement or the state's wetland laws within the next two years.

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