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Caltrans contractor Ghilotti Bros. is in a bit of a hot spot after Sonoma County officials discovered the company likely filled in wetlands at a staging area for construction materials for its Highway 101 widening projects in Petaluma.

Ghilotti Bros. says its environmental consultants reported no wetlands at the site across the highway from Kastania Road that the contractor has been using to stockpile 50,000 cubic yards of dirt and crushed concrete since November 2012.

But a county inspection of the site found evidence of wetlands and triggered a review from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state water quality board, which have jurisdiction over wetlands.

Caltrans says it won’t accept material that comes from sites that are not permitted. Ghilotti Bros. is no longer active on the site — the company had its lease on the property terminated. They need to move the dirt off the site, and, without the permits they need, they are facing the prospect of having to ship it to a site miles away before being able to use it in the construction zone that is less than a mile from the stockpile site.

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