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Oshkosh Contractor Must Pay $40,000 for violating Wisconsin Pollution Discharge Laws

 

MADISON - Under a settlement stipulation and judgment that ends a lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Fluor Bros. Construction Co., Inc., of Oshkosh must pay $40,000 in forfeitures, surcharges, and costs for its violating Wisconsin's water pollution discharge laws. In addition, under the judgment entered by Waupaca County Circuit Court Judge Philip Kirk, Fluor Bros. must incur additional expenses to train its employees to obey Wisconsin's applicable environmental requirements.

 

According to the complaint filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Flour Bros. violated Wisconsin's environmental laws while under contract with the City of Waupaca to construct a sewage lift station. Under the contract, Fluor Bros. removed water from a wetland and discharged it near a tributary of the Waupaca River. In performing its contractual obligations, however, the company failed to abide by multiple permit requirements. These alleged permit violations include:

 

  • Fluor Bros. pumped sediment-laden wastewater into an area surrounded only by a small silt fence and hay bales, but the silt fence and hay bales failed to contain or treat the discharged wastewater before it entered a tributary of the Waupaca River;
  • The Fluor Bros. treatment basins were too small to contain the wastewater effluent flowing into them, so untreated effluent flowed over the sides of the treatment basins and directly into the adjacent wetland and then into a tributary of the Waupaca River;
  • The Fluor Bros. overflowing discharges had total suspended solids exceeding the daily maximum allowed under the general permit;
  • Fluor Bros. failed to sample for either total suspended solids or oil and grease; and
  • Fluor Bros. failed to submit mandatory discharge reports to DNR summarizing its monitoring results.

 

"Under Wisconsin law, the Department of Natural Resources is responsible for issuing permits that control wastewater discharge, protect Wisconsin's waters, and protect human health," Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen stated when announcing the settlement. "These permits are to be followed, and when they are not, my office will work with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that the law is appropriately enforced."

 

The Wisconsin Department of Justice filed the lawsuit against Fluor Bros. at the request of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Philip Peterson represented the State of Wisconsin in this case.