Connecticut Attorney General's Office
Press Release



Attorney General, DEP Win $100,000 Fine Against Montville Couple For Failing To Restore Damaged Tidal Wetlands

July 28, 2009

Attorney General Richard Blumenthal today announced that his office has won a $100,000 fine against a Montville couple who failed to comply with a 2006 agreement to remove an illegal boat ramp they constructed on the Thames River and restore wetlands they destroyed to build the landing and an adjacent beach.

Blumenthal won the fine, one of the largest ever for a tidal wetlands law violation, against Michael and Terry Lynn Liebig on behalf of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). The court ordered the Liebigs of the Uncasville section of Montville to remove the ramp and restore damaged tidal wetlands as well as pay the fine.

The couple, who live at 24 Massapeag Point Road, destroyed about 4,500 square feet of tidal wetland on the Thames River to create a beach and construct an 11-foot wide, 50-foot long concrete boat ramp into the waterway. The couple never sought local, state or federal permits for the work.

In October 2006, DEP issued a cease and desist order against the Liebigs, who agreed to rip out the landing and restore the wetland. When they failed to do so, the DEP asked Blumenthal's office to sue the couple to enforce the order.

Blumenthal said, "This major victory for the environment imposes one of the largest fines ever for tidal wetland lawbreaking. This couple defied the law, despoiling a significant section of irreplaceable wetland. After agreeing to fix the damage, they reneged -- failing to remove the ramp and restore the wetland. The court rightly fined them $100,000, a powerful penalty compelling the couple to rip out the landing and repair the damage."

DEP acting Commissioner Amey Marrella said, "We applaud this judgment issued in Superior Court in response to the unwarranted destruction of pristine tidal wetlands. The Liebigs failed to apply for appropriate permits for the construction of a boat ramp, carelessly excavated tidal wetlands, and then failed to obey a Cease and Desist Order issued by the DEP to stop all work and restore the site. The Superior Court judgment makes it very clear that the state's beautiful shoreline must be respected and protected by all."