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MADISON - Under the terms of a stipulation and judgment settling a lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Miami Stone of Milwaukee, Inc., of Sussex, and Wood-Land Contractors, Inc., of Lannon, must pay $50,000 for violations of Wisconsin water pollution laws. The judgment resolves charges relating to a flood control project along a stream in Sussex in September 2006.
According to the complaint, filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, Wood-Land Contractors orally contracted to do a project on property owned by Halquist Stone Co., Inc., and Miami Stone of Milwaukee, Inc., in a wetland, floodplain and stream in a conservancy area and environmental corridor in Sussex. During the project, wood chips were placed in the wetland, heavy equipment was driven on the bed of the stream, a ramp was placed on the stream bed, as well as over 10,000 square feet along the bed, and banks of the stream were disturbed on property owned by Halquist and Miami Stone.
The complaint charges the companies with doing all of this work without required water or grading permits, or certifications of compliance with state water quality standards, and without required erosion control measures.
Under the terms of the settlement, Miami Stone and Wood-Land Contractors must pay $50,000 in penalties, costs and fees for the 4 days of violation charged in the complaint. In addition, Halquist Stone is dismissed as a defendant, but together with Miami Stone must fully restore the site pursuant to a plan approved by both Waukesha County and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
The Department of Justice obtained a judgment against Halquist for $35,000 in 2003 for discharges to a stream without a permit.
In announcing the judgment, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen stressed how important it is for property owners and contractors to consult with DNR before proceeding with a project that affects the state's navigable waters, in order to ensure that no work proceeds without permits required by state law.
The settlement was approved by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Michael Bohren.
Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the lawsuit for the State.