Thursday February 15, 2024


A Soldotna property is the subject of an Environmental Protection Agency violation, after the owner did excavation work that agencies say disrupted salmon habitat and violated the Clean Water Act. Now, the owner and agencies are locked in a battle about how to restore it.

In 2021, an Anchorage-based developer named Mohammed Ali, as administrator of the Bengal Family Trust, bought a 30-acre undeveloped Soldotna property south of the Sterling Highway, near the Soldotna Animal Hospital. The parcel contained a small tributary of Soldotna Creek, a salmon-bearing stream that’s the namesake of the city.

Ali says the goal was to build a recreation spot on the peninsula for his family. But he drained a wetland to do that, and dug an unpermitted ditch that the EPA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Alaska Department of Fish and Game and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service say disrupted salmon-bearing waters and caused major habitat damage.

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