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Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Monday, April 15, 2013

United States Settles With SugarHouse Casino Over Environmental Violations

PHILADELPHIA - SugarHouse HSP Gaming, LP, has agreed to pay the United States $650,000 to resolve claims that it performed unauthorized work at the SugarHouse casino and entertainment complex along the Delaware River in Philadelphia, in violation of the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act.  The resolution was announced by United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. 

The Clean Water Act requires SugarHouse to obtain a United States Army Corps of Engineers (“Army Corps”) permit before discharging dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States.  The Rivers and Harbors Act requires SugarHouse to obtain an Army Corps permit for all work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States.    

As a result of an investigation by the Army Corps, the United States asserts that from 2009 to 2010, SugarHouse, and or persons acting on its behalf, conducted work and discharged dredged and/or fill material into waters of the United States, at the SugarHouse site, without an Army Corps permit, in violation of the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act.  Specifically, despite three cease and desist letters by the Army Corps, SugarHouse performed unauthorized work on several occasions at areas immediately surrounding the casino that included along Piers 42 and 43.  The settlement agreement attaches an aerial photo showing the location of each alleged violation, and contains more information regarding when each violation occurred, and when subsequent remedial measures were taken.  The unauthorized work remaining at the final location is permitted pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement. 

“This case reinforces our commitment to protecting the environment by ensuring that corporations either follow environmental laws or face serious sanctions,” Memeger said. 

To ensure that the environment receives the maximum benefit from this resolution, the settlement requires SugarHouse to pay the majority of the money, $625,000, to the Brandywine Conservancy, which is an Army Corps-approved non-profit conservation organization with demonstrated experience in land and water conservation.  The Army Corps will ensure that the $625,000 will be used towards protecting waters and wetlands in the five county area.  The remaining $25,000 payment will be made to the United States as a civil penalty in accordance with the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act. 

This case was handled by Assistant United States Attorney Stacey L. B. Smith.  United States Army Corps of Engineers agency counsel, Barry Gale, and surveillance and enforcement biologists, Jeffrey Steen and Kevin Maley, conducted site visits, and shared technical and legal expertise. 

Click here to view the indictment

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Updated December 15, 2014