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ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT LAWSUIT SETTLED AGAINST BROWN COUNTY DEVELOPER AND HIS EXCAVATING CONTRACTOR

 

Timothy J. Parins and M&L Excavating, LLC. To Pay $20,000 For Re-Routing Stream and Filling Wetlands

 

MADISON - A developer and his excavating contractor are going to have to pay a penalty for not getting permission to re-route a stream and depositing the excavated soils into wetlands, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said today. Under the terms of agreements settling two cases brought in Brown County by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) against Timothy J. Parins and his Pulaski excavating contractor, M&L Excavating, LLC, Parins and M&L will be paying a total of $20,000 in penalties and costs.

 

The civil lawsuits alleged that Parins employed M&L in February 2005 to re-route a stream on a parcel of Parins' land in the Town of Pittsfield in Brown County. The stream is a tributary to the Suamico River. The state alleged approximately 900 feet of the stream was re-routed and defendants deposited excavated soils into adjacent wetlands. The defendants did not apply for or obtain the necessary permits and water quality certifications. According to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the defendants' project "resulted in significant adverse impacts to the wetlands and the stream system, two important resources that must be protected for recreational users, water quality conservation and flood protection."

 

Wisconsin law prohibits the creation or re-routing of navigable streams without a permit from the DNR. Wisconsin law also prohibits filling wetlands without first obtaining from the DNR a certification of compliance with state water quality standards.

 

After the violations were discovered, the defendants removed the fill material from the wetlands and stabilized the new stream bed at the DNR's direction.

 

"The protection of Wisconsin wetlands and our water is a critical responsibility of the Department of Natural Resources," Van Hollen said. "If development projects or other activities are going to alter streams or deposit soil in wetlands, then DNR must first be contacted and all necessary approvals obtained. It is the responsibility of those undertaking these projects to obtain proper permits in advance of the project, abide by those permits if they are issued, and refrain from illegal conduct if the permit applications are denied. The permitting process protects Wisconsin's resources, and DOJ works with DNR to enforce the law to protect natural resources and prevent further violations."

 

The Department of Justice filed the lawsuits at the request of the Department of Natural Resources. Assistant Attorney General Thomas L. Dosch prosecuted the cases. Brown County Circuit Judges Peter J. Naze and Sue E. Bischel approved the settlements.