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EPA penalizes Alaska homebuilder $107,000 for violations of Clean Water Act

Aug 03, 2023

SEATTLE – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that Robert Yundt Homes, LLC and Mr. Robert Yundt, based in Wasilla, Alaska, were penalized $107,000 for violations of the Clean Water Act.

From 2019 through 2021, Robert Yundt Homes, LLC and Mr. Yundt are accused of using heavy earthmoving equipment to relocate and discharge material into Wasilla Lake and Cottonwood Lake, resulting in environmental impacts along the shorelines and adjacent wetlands.

In response, EPA issued multiple administrative compliance orders on consent requiring Robert Yundt Homes, LLC to perform certain restoration and mitigation activities to remedy the harms to the environment. Robert Yundt Homes, LLC also agreed to pay $29,500 in penalties.

After Robert Yundt Homes, LLC failed to comply with the administrative compliance orders on consent, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska against Robert Yundt Homes, LLC and Mr. Yundt. To resolve the violations of the administrative compliance orders and the underlying Clean Water Act violations, Robert Yundt Homes, LLC, Mr. Yundt, EPA, and the U.S. Department of Justice have agreed to a Consent Decree that requires the Defendants to conduct fill removal and habitat restoration activities along the shoreline of Wasilla Lake, restore and preserve wetlands adjacent to Cottonwood Lake in perpetuity through an environmental covenant, and pay an additional $77,500 in penalties.

“In order to protect human health and the environment it is absolutely vital that building and construction companies obtain the appropriate permits and comply with EPA administrative orders” said EPA Region 10 Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Director Ed Kowalski. “As this case demonstrates, the secondary and tertiary effects of unauthorized discharges associated with construction activities can be felt by the entire community.”

“Violations of the Clean Water Act can significantly affect the lives of Alaskans, and those who partake in these unlawful actions will face consequences,” said U.S. Attorney S. Lane Tucker for the District of Alaska. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to support our partners across the nation to protect our communities and ecosystems from the effects of illegal environmental degradation, as in the case of Robert Yundt Homes, LLC.”

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Wasilla Lake and Cottonwood Lake are catalogued by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game as waters important for anadromous fish, including spawning habitat for coho and sockeye salmon.

 

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There is a total of 72,288 Causes of Water Impairment, 28,679 of these impairments are caused by construction and construction related activities.


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