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Dubuque County Woman Pleads Guilty To Destroying A Federally Protected Wetland

A woman who discharged pollutants into a wetland pled guilty on March 13, 2012, in federal court in Cedar Rapids.

Elaine Kelly, age 65, from Dubuque, Iowa, was convicted of one count of violating the Clean Water Act.

In a plea agreement, Kelly admitted that, from about March 2009 continuing through June 2010, while building a campground, she discharged dredged spoil, biological materials, dirt, rock, sand lime, trees, into a wetland that was adjacent to a tributary of the Mississippi River, near Dubuque, Iowa. She also admitted she had been repeatedly instructed to stop her continuous actions.

Sentencing before United States District Court Chief Judge Linda R. Reade will be set after a presence report is prepared. Kelly remains free on bond previously set pending sentencing. Kelly faces a possible maximum sentence of 3 years’ imprisonment, a fine of between $5,000 to $50,000 per day of violation, a $100 special assessment, and one year of supervised release following any imprisonment.

The case was investigated by the United States Corp of Engineer, and the Environmental Protection Agency and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Forde Fairchild.

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