Michigan Man Sentenced for Violating Environmental Protection Act

By Armando Duke

Detroit - Michigan Attorney General, Mike Cox, brought a first-of-its-kind charge against a Remus Michigan man for violating the state's Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act (NREPA).

The Remus man must serve two years probation, pay $21,000 in fines, and restore a wetland to its original condition, Cox said.

The sentence marks the first time a defendant has been ordered to restore the property under Part 301 of the Act, which covers inland lakes and streams.

"By the court calling out the defendant's action of damming up a stream and bulldozing a protected wetland in order to create a private lake for his own use, the court underscored both the defendant's complete disregard for state law and the environmental impact of his actions," said Cox. "Michigan's natural resources must be protected and I will continue to prosecute those who threaten them."

Nile Young, 66, of Remus was sentenced Tuesday by 77th District Court Judge Carr after Young pled guilty to one count of creating, enlarging, or diminishing an inland lake or stream without a permit from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). As part of his probation, Young must restore the property to its original condition under the DEQ's supervision.

Cox charged Young after a 2001 DEQ investigation revealed that Young had hired contractors to create a private lake on his Remus property by bulldozing wetlands and damming a nearby stream without obtaining a permit from the DEQ.

Source: Michigan Attorney General