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Eagle Cliff appeals MPCA fine in District Court

Fri, Jul 14th, 2006
Posted in Court

Ivan and Harold Naber, owners of Eagle Cliff Campground near Whalan, have filed an appeal in Fillmore County District Court against a Minnesota Pollution Control Agency penalty of $6250 assessed against the campground for violation of storm water discharge regulations. The petition was filed on June 30, 2006.

In 2005 Eagle Cliff obtained permits to do bank erosion control and restoration work on the shoreland along the Root River. They obtained permits from the DNR and the Army Corps of Engineers. The DNR, in turn, notified area officials of the permits, including Fillmore County Zoning and Soil and Water. Work on the site began on August 1, 2005.

On August 15, 2005, a cease and desist order was issued by the DNR on the grounds that the Nabers had exceeded their permit in carrying out shoreline stabilization. Fillmore County issued a similar cease and desist order the same day claiming that Eagle Cliff had violated the countys shoreline ordinance. In addition, the owners of Eagle Cliff were advised that day that they needed a MPCA storm water permit.

The Nabers claim that this was the first time they were aware that they needed the permit from the MPCA.

The MPCA claims that the Nabers failed to notify them immediately of any discharge which may cause pollution to the waters of the state.

According to the MPCA:

The Regulated Party [Eagle Cliff] disturbed approximately 1000 liner feet of river bank, leaving soils on positive slopes leading into the Root River exposed. The slopes remained exposed to rainfall through the months of August and September 2005. According to the University of Minnesota Precipitation Data, approximately 7.57 inches of rain fell during the months of August to mid-September 2005, with six events greater than .5 inches.

In the petition, the Nabers ask that the penalty be rescinded. They claim that they acted in good faith in not obtaining a storm water permit and that they took adequate measures to control erosion in a timely manner.

The cease and desist orders were recently lifted by the DNR and Fillmore County after Eagle Cliff carried out a restoration plan which included planting trees and shore grasses.

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