Jackson County Property Owner Sentenced for Violating Clean Water Act
TOPEKA, KAN. – A man who owns property in Jackson County, Kan., was sentenced Friday for violating the federal Clean Water Act, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said.
Rodney Heinen, 38, Dawson, Neb., was fined $20,000 and ordered to complete restoration of two properties in Jackson County pursuant to a professional restoration plan that estimated the cost at more than $500,000.
Heinen pleaded guilty to one count of discharging pollutants into a stream without a permit. In his plea, he admitted he caused earthen fill and wood debris to be placed in streams flowing through properties he owns in Jackson County.
A regulatory specialist with the Corps of Engineers discovered the violations on one of Heinen’s properties on Feb. 2, 2012. Heinen refused to allow the Corps of Engineers access to the property to make an environmental assessment. The violation affected several unnamed tributaries to Straight Creek, which drains into the Delaware River, which is classified as a Traditionally Navigable Water.
In 2013, the Corps of Engineers found a similar violation on another property in Jackson County owned by Heinen. The violation affected two unnamed tributaries to North Cedar Creek, which drains into the Delaware River.
Grissom commended the Environmental Protection Agency and Assistant U.S. Attorney Rich Hathaway for their work on the case.