Contacts: Carole Piszczek-Sheffield, Sierra Club, Sedona (928) 204-1517
Brian Myers, RRRCA, Sedona (928) 204-1703
Tom Slaback, Sierra Club, Prescott (928) 778-4233
Howard Shanker, Shanker Law Firm, PLC, Flagstaff (928) 226-0560
Army Corps Orders Sedona Developer to Cease “All Work” Pending
Resolution of Clean Water Act Violations
(Sedona, AZ) The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has ordered BySynergy, LLC, and its contractors to cease all work in the Section 404 jurisdictional areas on the Bella Terra project until they resolve violations of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act. The Corps acted in response to documents provided to them by the RRRCA and the Sierra Club, including three authoritative reports that detail infractions of the Clean Water Act and violations of jurisdictional waters of the United States.
Attorney Howard Shanker of the Shanker Law Firm, representing the Sierra Club and the Red Rock Rural Community Association (RRRCA), documented Bella Terra’s abuses and provided the reports to the Army Corps in January 2007. The engineering, environmental, and geologic reports detail infractions committed by the developer regarding flood plains and disregard for jurisdictional waters that influence and are influenced by Oak Creek. Subsequent to receiving the reports, the Corps conducted an onsite investigation.
In a letter dated February 22, 2007, the Corps stated “…BySynergy was found to be in violation of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act on February 20, 2007 for discharging dredged and/or fill material into unnamed washes on the property, at two discreet locations.”
“The Corps’ action is a step in the right direction,” said Carole Piszczek-Sheffield, vice chair of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club. “This project is affecting both a vital riparian area and the washes that drain into Oak Creek, and the drinking water for many area residents. The Red Rock Loop residents have been and will continue to be vigilant in protecting the Oak Creek area.”
The Sierra Club is America’s oldest, largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization. Inspired by nature, the Sierra Club’s 750,000 members, including more than 13,000 members in Arizona, work together to protect our communities and the planet.
RRRCA is comprised of property owners and residents who live along rural portions of Oak Creek just outside Sedona, AZ. RRRCA takes action to protect the integrity of the riparian environment, wildlife habitat and local aquifers.
The reports and the Army Corp letter can be found at www.shankerlaw.net or www.RRRCA.org.