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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) has filed and settled an environmental protection enforcement lawsuit against the Town of Lisbon for the unlawful filling of a wetland, destruction of a stream that is a tributary to Pewaukee Lake, and grading of more than 10,000 square feet of the bank of the stream, on land owned by the Town near the CTH K and CTH KF intersection in Lisbon.
Under the terms of the settlement, the Town of Lisbon must pay $25,000 in penalties and complete the measures it has begun to remediate the damage.
Wisconsin law prohibits the filling of a wetland, altering of a stream, or grading of more than 10,000 square feet of the bank of a stream, without a certification of compliance with state water quality standards or a permit.
According to the DOJ complaint, the Town of Lisbon filled more than an acre of wetlands in July and August 2005, without applying for or obtaining the necessary permit. In June 2005, the Town had filled a different wetland without a permit and at the direction of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) promptly removed the fill. Along with the second fill, the Town also filled in a stream and disturbed the stream bank without applying for or obtaining the necessary permits. After several meetings with the DNR, the Town proceeded to remove the fill and restore the wetland, stream and bank.
"Municipalities are required by Wisconsin law to properly and lawfully manage projects that affect the state's wetlands and navigable waters," Van Hollen said. "DOJ will continue to work with DNR to ensure the protection of the state's natural resources through compliance with the law."
The Department of Justice filed the lawsuit at the request of the Department of Natural Resources. Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case. Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge James R. Kieffer approved the settlement.