Ecology levies $21,600 fine for unpermitted development on Palmer Lake shoreline

DOE Photo An illegal hard rock bulkhead on Palmer Lake in Okanogan County can cause harm to natural shoreline functions, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology.

DOE Photo
An illegal hard rock bulkhead on Palmer Lake in Okanogan County can cause harm to natural shoreline functions, according to the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Landowner ordered to remove fill, restore lakebed

OROVILLE – The Washington State Department of Ecology has issued an administrative order and $21,600 civil penalty to Greg Newmarch of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, for unauthorized shoreline construction on Palmer Lake in Okanogan County.

Without permits or authorization to work in the shoreline, Newmarch removed all vegetation and created a building pad for a new residence by installing fill and retaining walls above and below the ordinary high-water mark on waterfront property he owns on Palmer Lake.

The penalty cites Newmarch for violating the state’s Shoreline Management Act and the Okanogan County Shoreline Master Program, which includes regulations and criteria of allowed uses and development on protected and important shorelines such as that along Palmer Lake.

Water quality is threatened when development occurs without proper measures in place to protect shoreline functions and prevent dirt, fill and other pollutants from entering state waters.

The administrative order requires Newmarch to remove the unpermitted development and restore the lakebed and shoreline of Palmer Lake, and obtain necessary environmental permits before doing so. The order and penalty follow a notice of correction issued in November 2016, numerous technical assistance efforts, and site visits.

“Shorelines are a valuable resource in the state of Washington, and we want property owners to be aware of the permitting processes and procedures that are in place to ensure uses and development align with governing regulations,” said Gary Graff, a Shoreline and Environmental Assistance section manager at Ecology. “Violations such as these can result in costly restoration work and penalties.”

Newmarch has 30 days to file an appeal with the state’s Shoreline Hearings Board.

For related article: Ecology issues $20,000 fine for failing to remove illegal bulkhead.