Developer ordered to fix wetland damage

April 13, 2000|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

A Wicomico County developer must pay a fine and repair the environmental damage he did when he illegally dug a ditch through a wetland near Parsonburg, west of Salisbury, a federal appeals court ruled this week.

Developer James Deaton did not get a permit from the Army Corps of Engineers before digging the ditch in 1989 to drain a 12-acre site on Morris Leonard Road, where he planned to build houses, according to Justice Department officials.

When corps inspectors discovered what he was doing in 1990, they ordered Deaton to stop development and restore the land. He stopped work but did no restoration, and the U.S. attorney's office brought a civil lawsuit against him in 1995.

Neither Deaton nor his attorney was immediately available for comment.

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