October 6, 2007


As reported in the October 6, 2007, Minneapolis StarTribune, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is expanding efforts to identify landowners who are illegally altering or filling wetlands. This fall the DNR is targeting 25 counties in west and central Minnesota. The DNR will conduct surveillance in the Twin Cities metropolitan area with helicopter overflights. Larger areas in outstate Minnesota will be overflown by small aircraft.


The StarTribune reported that last year the DNR used aerial enforcement to identify over 170 cases of illegal dredging or filling or other wetland destruction on private property. Landowners who alter or fill wetlands without a permit or who do not qualify for an exemption may be charged with violating federal or state laws and face hefty administrative fines and civil or criminal enforcement.


For example, on September 25, 2007, U. S. District Court Judge Patrick Schiltz found that aprivate landowner in Lake of Woods County Minnesota had illegally filled a wetland without a permit. Judge Schiltz enjoined the further discharge of pollutants into the wetland. Judge Schiltz ordered the defendant to restore the wetland that had been filled. A copy of the Judge Schiltz’s opinion is found below.


Hessian & McKasy’s Environmental Law Attorney Practice Group has extensive experience indefending enforcement actions brought by federal and state authorities as well as analyzing the regulatory status of land that may be classified as wetlands by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineersor state environmental agencies.


Hessian & McKasy’s environmental attorneys handle the full spectrum of environmental issuesencountered by landowners and business owners. We are regularly involved in real estate transactions where we help assess the environmental condition of property and recommend cost effective cleanup strategies. Hessian & McKasy’s environmental attorneys also have substantial experience in litigating cases involving environmental matters including private costs recovery claims and defense of federal or state enforcement actions.


Please feel free to contact any of the following individuals for more information on about the issues discussed here by contacting us directly or going to the Contact page on thewww.EnviroAttorney.net site:


Joseph G. Maternowski 612-746-5754 jmaternowski@hessianmckasy.com



Sources: Minneapolis Star Tribune, October 6, 2007


Wetlands Case


The views expressed here are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer, Hessian & McKasy P.A.


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