SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Feb. 8 that Martin Nygaard and Nygaard Land LLC will begin a major wetland restoration effort on 72 acres of formerly wooded property that Nygaard owns and cleared.
The property is east of Airport Lane and west of U.S. Highway 101 in Warrenton, Oregon. Wetlands on the property lead to the Lewis and Clark River, which, in turn, flows into Youngs Bay before meeting the Columbia River and flowing into the Pacific Ocean.
The restoration work on the property comes as part of a settlement between Nygaard and Nygaard Land and the EPA. The EPA alleged Nygaard violated the federal Clean Water Act by improperly discharging dredged or filled material into wetlands without having approval via an Army Corps of Engineers Clean Water Act Section 404 permit.
Nygaard will pay an EPA fine of $62,924 in addition to the restoration effort.
EPA notes that wetlands are vital to Oregon’s ecosystem in that they provide benefits to people, fish and wildlife. Benefits include protecting and improving water quality, providing fish and wildlife habitat, storing floodwaters, and maintaining surface water flow during hot, dry summers.