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Chippewa Falls Man Ordered To Pay Additional $20,000 To Fund Tank Removal And Contaminated Soil Remediation Costs

MADISON - A Chippewa Falls man was found in contempt of court earlier this week after failing to remove underground fuel storage tanks as required by Department of Commerce orders, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today. Judge Steven Cray of Chippewa County issued the contempt order at the request of the Department of Justice, following a hearing at which the defendant, Brad Rihn, failed to appear.


According to the court's order, Rihn failed to remove the tanks at his 304 W. River St. property as required by a previous court order. The Department of Commerce estimates that removal could cost $10,000 to $20,000, depending on whether the tanks leaked and contaminated surrounding soils which will need to be cleaned up. The court's order required that Rihn pay, in addition to the $9,000 in penalties and costs awarded to the State earlier this year, an additional $20,000 to fund the tank removal and any necessary contaminated soil remediation.


Under the court's order, if Rihn does not pay these amounts September 5, 2008:


  • the Department of Commerce is authorized to act as receiver of the West River Street property to retain consultants to do the tank removal and other site work.
  • the State is authorized to initiate collection procedures to take possession of and/or sell the defendant's property in order to procure the funds necessary to fund the tank removal and other site work and pay the previous judgment.


Assistant Attorney General Shari Eggleson is prosecuting the case, which was referred to the Department of Justice by the Department of Commerce.