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Property Damage

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Live in Mississippi. Have a house on a lake. A new subdivision developed across the road. Our lake has been filled in some and is always muddy. Talked to developer and states "natural drainage", not his problem. Talked to county engineer who has told developer he has to put up silk screens and provide erosion control, i.e., hay, etc. to new pads for new homes being built. County engineer not sure what they can do as far as existing dirt in lake from subdivison. Do I have legal rights to get them to dig the lake out and make as before?


Third Party

Adverse Environmental Impacts

Construction companies sometimes need to get EPA permits as well as other environmental compatibility permits. It is possible that they are in violation and/or not living up to their permit requirements. I suggest that you call your local EPA office and inquire about it. If this is a public late, they should be able to do something about it.

You can inquire about the following:
When construction occurs and affects waterways, it has adverse impacts on the environment. When these environments are altered the fauna suffer. The muddy water that you are speaking of is also dangerous to aquatic life. Depending on the periods of time involved, the muddy water does not permit sufficient access to the sun, making aquatic plant life suffer and/or die. Obviously a reduction in plant life has impacts on aquatic animals. This is due to everything from lack of food to the water's chemical balance, since most of these plants filter the water. Altered chemical balance = adverse impacts to aquatic life.

Your local EPA will be interested. My past dealings with the EPA have not been to promising though. It is difficult to get them to do anything. Check if your waterway has any special interests species, which would also be helpful to your complaint. And if your state contains any other agencies like a wildlife agency, speak with them as well.

Normally EPA permits require that these erosion controls be included prior to construction. But the case really depends on whether they qualified for an EPA permit.

You said it was "our lake". If this lake is totally yours, then the construction is altering your land, hence you can seek damages. And if this is the case, the construction company will definitely be interested, for environment reconstruction can be extremely expensive. With this in mind, I am sure they will be changing their work methods promptly.

A$$ Saver aka…
I hope this is tidbit of fiction is helpful. I am not an attorney. Do not perceive this as legal advice. You should consult an attorney to answer your questions. Do not rely on this advice. Forget you ever read it. You are not a client. I am not an attorney. This is merely babble in the wind. Never use the advice as reasoning in court.

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