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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced that Randy L. Tesch and John Hollatz have agreed to pay penalties and costs totaling $8,000 for their alleged unlawful excavation of two ponds and their disposal of excavated soils in wetlands on a parcel of land Tesch owned in the Town of Neshkoro in Marquette County, Wisconsin.
After the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducted an investigation and referred the matter to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution, Tesch and Hollatz, his contracted excavator, were named as defendants in a civil enforcement action for these alleged 2006 violations of wetland protection laws.
Both defendants agreed not to contest the civil charges, and to pay these penalties. Before the case was filed, and at the DNR's request, the defendants agreed to try to restore the wetlands by filling in the excavated ponds.
On March 6, 2007, Marquette County Circuit Court Judge Richard O. Wright approved the settlement agreement entered into between the defendants and DOJ. In addition to paying penalties, the two defendants have agreed to employ a consultant to inspect the site on an annual basis as part of their efforts to prevent the introduction of undesirable invasive plant species in the disturbed areas of the wetland.
"For the protection of Wisconsin citizens and our natural environment, DOJ will continue to work with DNR to ensure that Wisconsin environmental laws are followed," Van Hollen said.
Assistant Attorney General Thomas L. Dosch represented the state.