Northern California farmer who plowed wetlands is fined $1.1 million

1 Los Angeles

Los Angeles News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search

A California farmer will pay $1.1 million for plowing federally protected wetlands and streams, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday, closing a years-long legal battle that made him a rallying figure for critics of environmental regulation.

The government announced the consent decree for John Duarte, who owns land and a nursery in the Northern California town of Red Bluff. The settlement with federal authorities, who had been due to start the penalty phase in Duarte’s legal case Tuesday, includes civil penalties and money to restore wetlands and streams.

The case began after Duarte bought fallow land within federally protected wetlands and streams in 2012, and paid a contractor to deep till it, or rip it. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers cited Duarte. A federal court found against Duarte last year, saying the wetlands that Duarte tilled hadn’t been plowed for at least 24 years.

Duarte’s lawyers argued that he was simply a farmer plowing a wheat field, and they said the seasonal wetlands survived the tilling.


1 Los Angeles

Los Angeles News & Search

1 News - 1 eMovies - 1 eMusic - 1 eBooks - 1 Search


Leave a Reply