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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice has filed and settled an environmental lawsuit in Marinette County Circuit Court. The State of Wisconsin brought this case against Hoffman Construction Company for violations of state laws that protect navigable water.
The violations occurred during the completion of a highway construction project in Marinette County -- violations related to agreed-upon terms and rules for highway projects overseen by the state Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
In addition to violating the state agreements specific to this project, the state alleged in its complaint that Hoffman Construction, while operating as a prime road-building contractor on a U.S. Highway 141 highway project in southern Marinette County, violated state laws governing wastewater permit requirements, erosion control, depositing materials into a navigable water, and permissible uses for motor vehicles in a stream bed.
Under the settlement stipulation, which the court has now adopted as its judgment in this case, Hoffman Construction agrees to pay a total of $100,000 in forfeitures, surcharges, and costs for violations of Wisconsin environmental law.
"Wisconsin's laws protecting navigable waters are in place for the safety of our citizens and preservation of our natural environment," Van Hollen said. "Highway construction projects must comply with the rules and regulations adopted by DOJ and DNR, consistent with the law."
The complaint alleged that in July 2005 Hoffman Construction violated Wisconsin laws on navigable waters when it:
The complaint further alleged that in July 2005 Hoffman Construction violated its DNR-issued water quality certification when the company discharged wastewater directly into the Beaver Creek tributary. The complaint also alleged that Hoffman Construction violated Wisconsin law by failing to adopt and implement an appropriate erosion control plan.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources investigated the case and referred it to the Wisconsin Department of Justice for enforcement. Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Philip Peterson represented the state. Marinette County Circuit Court Judge David G. Miron approved the settlement.