Federal Environmental Laws Violated

Gulfport, MS- The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi ruled that Hancock County Development, LLC violated the federal Clean Water Act when it began construction of a large residential and commercial development in approximately 700 acres of wetlands near Bay St. Louis. The company violated the law by discharging storm water from its project to area streams without an EPA permit, and also by conducting “dredge and fill” activities in wetlands without a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Court also found that Hancock’s violations have caused flooding of neighboring property.The Gulf Restoration Network brought the lawsuit to protect its members’ interests in protecting clean water and in Gulf area wetlands.Chrissy Schuengel, a local homeowner said, “Having walked away from the destruction of Hurricane Katrina with little to nothing left, I never once thought theillegal activities of a large corporation could devastate my life as it has over the last several years. I am grateful to know that we can hold faith in our justice system to right these types of wrongs.”Elizabeth Livingston de Calderon, a supervising attorney with the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic said “We are very happy for our client and proud of the student attorneys who worked on this case.””The Gulf Restoration Network’s mission is to protect and restore the resources of the Gulf Region for future generations. We are grateful to the Tulane Environmental Law Clinic and their students for helping us protect the waters of Mississippi and now we will be working hard to get the damage repaired,” says Casey DeMoss Roberts, Assistant Director of Science and Water Resources.Copy of the Court’s Ruling available here: http://www.tulane.edu/~telc/assets/pdfs/2-22-11_GRN_v_Hancock.pdfCasey DeMoss Roberts is the Assistant Director of Science and Water Policy for the Gulf Restoration Network.

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