A federal grand jury on Wednesday indicted an Independence man for allegedly filling in a wetlands area near Shoal Creek and the Missouri River, in violation of the Clean Water Act.
David Obermeyer, 60, is accused of being responsible for fill material being deposited at the site from 2011 to 2014 despite a cease-and-desist order from the Army Corps of Engineers in 2013.
The indictment says 6.6 acres of wetlands were filled at the site, on the north side of the Missouri River. The indictment says Obermeyer is developing the property but does not own it and did not apply for a permit for the work.
Special agents of the Criminal Investigation Division of the Environmental Protection Agency conducted surveillance of the site in March 2014 and said they observed 23 trucks bringing debris into the site in less than four hours.
Obermeyer said Wednesday he is willing to remove the fill from the river side of the levee, but federal authorities will not cooperate with him or his engineer.
“They say it’s a wetlands, I say it isn’t,” said Obermeyer, who was unaware of the indictment until contacted by reporters.
The fill site is at River Bend, an old channel of the Missouri River. Obermeyer said he was filling both sides of the levee to bring the land above the floodplain so it can be developed. He said he has stopped placing fill on the river side of the levee.