Developer Slapped With Fine Of $50,500, Plus $1,000 Per Day, For East Brainerd Dumping

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The City Stormwater Board has assessed its stiffest penalty by far on a Chattanooga developer, handing Don Walker a fine of $50,500 per day after a lengthy hearing on Monday.

He is also to be assessed an additional $1,000 per day until the problem is abated on Gunbarrel Road near Davidson Road.

City public works officials said Mr. Walker met with them on Tuesday morning and has begun addressing the problem.

Bill Payne, city engineer, said Mr. Walker had a small narrow lot near Mackey Branch and in September began adding fill at the site. He said he went far beyond what would have been allowed into a floodway and did so without getting a city or state permit.

He said the developer kept expanding the fill though public works began sending him weekly warning letters starting on Sept. 20.

The developer may also face financial penalties from the state. An official of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation testified at the hearing before the citizen board.

Mr. Payne said the fill included dirt, stumps, wire and other debris.

He said Mackey Branch is a protected stream with an endangered species in its waters.

Steve Leach, public works administrator, told City Council members, "We really became concerned about what he was doing and wondered what would make the guy stop. It was pretty egregious, and he continued on with it."


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