State tells D’Amico he ‘may’ have violated law on Tarboo Lake property

PORT TOWNSEND — The state Department of Ecology has sent a letter to Fort Discovery Corp. citing several possible violations of the Revised Code of Washington at its planned complex known as the Cedar Hills Recreation Facility at Tarboo Lake.

The action was prompted by a complaint filed by attorneys for the Tarboo Ridge Coalition (TRC) based on photographic images obtained by drone flyovers.

D’Amico plans to build a civilian gun range and military and law enforcement training facility on 40 acres on Tarboo Lake.

Fort Discovery and Joe D’Amico were notified that, based on the provided evidence, Ecology “believe(s) you may have violated the provisions of Chapter 9.49 of the RCW by clearing and grading in excess of one acre of land without receiving a Construction Stormwater Permit (CSWGP) from Ecology.

“You are required to obtain a CSWGP if your site has one or more acres of disturbance or if it is determined to be a significant contributor of pollutants to water of the state of Washington.”

The department also believes that “clearing, grading, and filling in wetlands causing a pollution discharge into waters of the state” has occurred.

In addition to Ecology, the Army Corps of Engineers and Jefferson County Department of Community Services notified Fort Discovery of its suspected unpermitted clearing and grading action.

“We have received informal inquiries, without any legal requirements, from several state agencies and are working on a coordinated response, said Joe D’Amico, president of Fort Discovery Corp., in a written response.

“We intend to welcome representatives of the state agencies to our property, if they so choose, because we have nothing to hide.

“The Tarboo Ridge Coalition has made hysterical conclusions based on photos made from their drone overflights,” D’Amico continued.

D’Amico said that the Jefferson County Critical Areas Map shows no wetlands or streams on his 40-acre property.

“The TRC got it wrong and are wasting the time of the county and state agencies which instead could be investigating the many property owners in Jefferson County who actually create environmental and human safety hazards with their collections of junk vehicles, illegal business activities, unpermitted activity near streams and wetlands, unpermitted bridges, unpermitted commercial kitchens, unregulated septic systems and the improper handling of solid waste,” D’Amico said in the written response.

Greg Overstreet, attorney for Fort Discovery, said the company plans to file complaints with the agencies “against one, and probably several more leaders of the Tarboo Ridge Coalition for environmental violations on their properties.”

Fort Discovery filed in December an anti-harassment order against Teri Hein for allegedly sending drones onto the property, something Hein denies, and has filed a lawsuit claiming “aerial trespass” against the Tarboo Ridge Coalition.

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Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Jeannie McMacken can be reached at 360-385-2335 or at jmcmacken@peninsuladailynews.com.

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