San Francisco Bay Area island owner broke law in destroying marshland to build duck-hunting ponds: Judge

California
Suisun Bay, a tidal channel and marsh area northeast of San Francisco, is seen in a Google Earth image.

Suisun Bay, a tidal channel and marsh area northeast of San Francisco, is seen in a Google Earth image.

A federal judge says the owner of a San Francisco Bay Area island violated the federal Clean Water Act when he destroyed marshland by building a levee and dumping dredged material while building duck-hunting ponds.

Wednesday’s ruling is the latest in a years-long battle between regulators and John Sweeney, who owns an island in Suisun Bay, a tidal channel and marsh area northeast of San Francisco.

In the ruling, the judge said Sweeney harmed wetlands by building a nearly mile-long levee without a permit and dumping dredged material while building duck-hunting ponds.

Any penalty must await further hearings. The next hearing is scheduled for October.

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