For Immediate Release
October 1, 2009
Assistant Attorney General K. Allen Brooks
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack, of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES"), announce that the Belknap County Superior Court (McGuire, J.) approved a settlement between the State and the defendant, Ames Farm Inn ("Defendant"), to resolve violations of the State's wetland laws. The settlement imposes a $60,000 penalty on the Defendant, half of which will be permanently suspended if the Defendant does not violate the settlement or State wetland laws again within two years of the entry of the settlement agreement.
In its lawsuit, the State alleged that the Defendant violated State wetland laws by constructing a retaining wall along Lake Winnipesaukee, by placing docks in the water in excess of those allowed by the Department, and by altering other wetland areas near the lake shore, all without required permits. In order to resolve the lawsuit, the Defendant restored all of the areas that the Department determined were altered without authorization. This included the complete removal of a large retaining wall over one hundred feet in length and stabilization of the bank with vegetation.
"Alterations of the shoreline of Lake Winnipesaukee, or any water body, must be done in conformance with State laws," said Attorney General Delaney.
"For a long time, non-compliance was a significant issue, but Ames Farm Inn has now turned a corner and committed itself to environmental restoration," said Commissioner Burack. "The Defendant has expressed a desire to meet or exceed all environmental standards in the future as well as to demonstrate environmental leadership in the community. We sincerely hope this will occur."
Copies of the settlement agreements are available upon request.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301