San Francisco Chronicle reporter Bob Egelko digs into a development company that has been ordered to pay $1 million after polluting a pond that supported the threatened California tiger salamander and forging documents to hide its actions.

James Tong and his company, Wildlife Management, pleaded guilty in January to a criminal violation of the Endangered Species Act. They admitted that while doing grading work for the Dublin Ranch North real estate project, they caused sediment to run into the nearby Standard Pacific Pond, which provides habitat for breeding and shelter of the tiger salamander, reports Egelko.

In a sentencing agreed to by both sides, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar of San Francisco ordered Tong and the company on Friday to pay $1 million in restitution to fish and wildlife commissions in Alameda and Contra Costa counties, the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

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