CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The Environmental Protection Agency announced a $1.8 million Clean Water Act settlement Tuesday with the owners and operators of Pikewood National Golf Club.

A consent decree filed in federal court in Wheeling says the club owners and operators have agreed to restore about 6,400 linear feet of stream at the golf course. The decree also includes the agreement to complete wetlands mitigation work on the golf course or near it.

Pikewood National Golf Club released a statement saying, “Although we deny any liability in this matter, we have determined, as a responsible corporate citizen, that it is in everyone’s best interest to enter into the consent decree to avoid the costs and uncertainties of litigation.”

Greer Industries, Deckers Creek Limestone and Pikewood Inc. were the defendants in the complaint by the EPA and the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection. Greer Industries is the parent company of MetroNews.

The plaintiffs claimed that the golf course developers filled and altered waters and wetlands on the property without first obtaining a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers as required by the Clean Water Act. That affected Laurel Run, which flows to Deckers Creek, a tributary of the Monongahela River, according to the EPA.

“Wetlands serve essential ecological functions that protect sources of drinking water and our communities as well as natural habitat,” EPA Regional Administrator Shawn Garvin stated in a release about the settlement.

The statement on behalf of Pikewood National says that the developers of the golf course relied on professional experts:

“It was our understanding that at all times during the construction process, our companies and the construction of the golf course were in compliance with all laws and that all necessary federal, state or local permits had been obtained. At the time we were not advised that any additional permits or actions were required, including the permit addressed in the civil complaint and consent decree.”

The Clean Water Act claim got national attention as Raese, a Republican, ran for U.S. Senate in 2012, with coverage appearing in places like The Hill and Politico.

 

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