For Immediate Release
August 31, 2010
Assistant Attorney General Daniel J. Licata
Attorney General Michael Delaney and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES") announce that, on August 31, 2010, the Merrimack County Superior Court issued a "Notice of Decision" regarding the merits of the State's petition for injunctive relief and civil penalties against developer Kevin M. Guay of Concord, NH. The Court's decision arises out of a three-day bench trial occurring in June 2010.
In its decision, the Court found that Mr. Guay violated the State's water quality protection law on twenty-two separate occasions in 2008 by allowing sediment-laden waters to flow off a site he was developing and eventually enter Penacook Lake. Penacook Lake is the City of Concord's primary water supply. The Court also found Mr. Guay violated the State's wetland protection law on five separate occasions in 2008 for allowing sediment to fill jurisdictional wetlands, located in the Penacook Lake watershed, without a permit.
The Court found that the "egregious nature" of Mr. Guay's violations and his "persistent effort to evade responsibility" warranted imposition of the maximum civil penalty amount ($10,000.00 per violation) allowed by law. Accordingly, the Court imposed a penalty of $220,000 for the water quality violations and $50,000 for the wetlands violations.
The Court also granted the State's request for permanent injunctive relief against Mr. Guay. The Court's permanent injunction will require Mr. Guay to hire a qualified professional to restore the impacted wetlands and to refrain from any further violations of New Hampshire's water quality and wetland laws. The Court described Mr. Guay as "wetlands challenged." In order to ensure that Mr. Guay "devote[s] his resources to [wetlands] restoration and refrain[s] from further violations," the Court indicated that it would suspend a substantial portion of the civil penalty imposed. The Court stated that amount of civil penalties to be suspended will be based on an affidavit submitted by the State "quantifying the cost to the state of its enforcement actions in this case."
Attorney General Michael Delaney stated, "The waters of this State are a precious resource and this Office will seek to deter and punish those who compromise that resource for their own personal gain. This is especially true when it comes to drinking water supplies".
DES Commissioner Thomas S. Burack said, "The Court's decision serves notice to developers throughout the State that we will enforce this State's water quality and wetlands protections laws."
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