Richford farm owners fined over wetlands fill

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says the owners of a Richford farm will be fined and ordered to make amends for illegally converting 40 acres of wetlands into hay fields.

The EPA alleges the owners of Pleasant Valley Farm, Mark and Amanda St. Pierre, filled in the wetlands without obtaining permits or environmental reviews. The St. Pierres say they’ve now settled with the EPA to avoid a legal fight, but they didn’t knowingly violate regulations.

The St. Pierres agreed to spend more than $100,000 on mitigation and fines, including restoration of 29 acres of wetland.

The  regional EPA administrator Robert Varney says wetlands are ecologically important and productive.

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