For Immediate Release
March 17, 2011
Assistant Attorney General Evan J. Mulholland
Attorney General Michael A. Delaney and Commissioner Thomas S. Burack, of the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services ("DES"), announce that the Grafton County and Merrimack County Superior Courts approved two settlement agreements between the State and Gary Bardsley, David Porter, Jr. and Linda Griffin, ("Defendants"), to resolve violations of the State's wetlands laws and regulations. The settlement imposes a $100,000 penalty on the Defendants, half of which will be permanently suspended if the Defendants do not significantly violate State wetlands laws again within five years of the entry of the settlement agreement. Defendants Porter and Bardsley have also agreed to enroll in and complete coursework toward the NH Timberland Owners Association's Professional Logger Certification Program.
In its lawsuit, the State described how the Defendants violated State wetlands laws and regulations by failing to follow Best Management Practices for Erosion Control at two logging sites in Webster (off Little Hill Road) and Groton (off Halls Brook Road). As a result, numerous wetlands and streams were filled with mud and sediment, and other wetlands and streams were damaged through the use of logging equipment on improperly designed crossings.
The settlement is the culmination of a collaborative enforcement effort by the Department of Justice, the Department of Environmental Services and the Department of Resources and Economic Development - Division of Forests and Lands.
"Everyone who disturbs land in New Hampshire must comply with the wetlands laws," said Attorney General Delaney. "Wetlands impacts should be avoided or minimized as much as possible."
"Streams and wetlands play important roles in channeling, filtering and absorbing runoff," said Commissioner Burack. "Improper logging practices can alter natural runoff conditions and degrade the quality of our state's surface waters and wetlands."
Copies of the settlement agreements are available upon request.
New Hampshire Department of Justice | 33 Capitol Street | Concord, NH | 03301