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Developer pleads not guilty to wetlands damage in Delaware

(AP) Delaware developer Joseph Capano has pleaded not guilty to charges he and his company damaged New Castle wetlands and lied to environmental regulators. The News Journal reported Capano appeared Thursday in federal court in Wilmington. A grand jury indicted Capano last month. The indictment says Capano and Riverbend LLC expanded a causeway and placed utilities through marshy land. Federal investigators say that was a Clean Water Act violation, releasing sediments and runoff into protected area. Capano’s lawyer, Vincent Ramunno, says the causeway was there when Capano bought the property, that he was working to utilize the site and that Capano “may have put a pipe right near the causeway.” Capano faces up to 20 years in prison and $1 million in fines. The company could be fined up to $500,000.

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