SugarHouse settles with U.S. Govt. over Clean Water Act violations

By Jon Campisi | Apr 16, 2013

SugarHouse HSP Gaming, which operates the SugarHouse Casino along the Delaware

River in Philadelphia, has reached a settlement agreement with the federal government over claims that the company performed unauthorized work at the site of the gaming hall in violation of the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act.

SugarHouse has agreed to pay the United States $650,000 for its violations, which included failing to obtain a permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers before discharging dredged and/or fill material into federal waters.

The Rivers and Harbors Act requires companies to obtain an Army Corps permit for all work in or affecting navigable waters of the United States.

The settlement was announced on April 15 by the office of Zane David Memeger, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

“This case reinforces our commitment to protecting the environment by ensuring that corporations either follow environmental laws or face serious sanctions,” Memeger said in a statement.

The Army Corps contended that from 2009 to 2010, during the period when the casino was being constructed, SugarHouse ignored three cease and desist letters issued by the Army Corps relating to dredged and fill material being sent into the Delaware River, which separates Pennsylvania from New Jersey.

The Army Corps also claimed that despite the warnings, SugarHouse continued to perform unauthorized work on several occasions at areas immediately surrounding the casino site.

The unauthorized work remaining at the final location of the casino, however, is permitted pursuant to the terms of the settlement agreement.

The settlement requires SugarHouse to pay most of the fine money to the Brandywine Conservancy, an Army Corps-approved nonprofit organization that deals in land and water conservation.

The remaining $25,000 of the $625,000 will go to the federal government as a civil penalty in accordance with the Clean Water Act and the Rivers and Harbors Act.

SugarHouse is Philadelphia’s newest casino.

It offers both slots play and table games but no overnight lodging.

Pennsylvania legalized gambling in 2004.

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