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Rocky Mountain Enterprises Of Athens Agrees To Pay $75,000 To Settle State Environmental Enforcement Lawsuit

MADISON The State of Wisconsin has settled a lawsuit against Rocky Mountain Enterprises, Inc. (RME) for violations of state environmental protection laws at its Marathon County quarry. The Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) filed and settled the case following an investigation by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).


"The state's permitting process is designed to protect Wisconsin's environment while enabling individuals to conduct lawful enterprises," said Van Hollen. "For this process to work individuals who are required to obtain permits must obtain them in a timely manner and follow them."


According to the complaint, filed at the request of the DNR, the defendants' rock quarrying and crushing operations are an air pollution source requiring a permit, which the company failed to obtain until February, 2006, even though it commenced operations two years earlier. The complaint also alleges that RME failed to conduct the required air pollutant emissions tests on time, and violated emissions limits on the thickness of light-obstructing smoke or steam.


RME violated water pollution control laws in late 2006, according to the complaint, when it discharged a large quantity of sediment laden process wastewater into an unnamed tributary to the Rib River that runs through its property, and failed to curtail operations or report the discharge to DNR. Finally, the complaint alleges that RME violated another permit by mining down approximately 25 feet lower than authorized.


"We will continue to work with the DNR to make sure that Wisconsin's environmental laws are followed," said Van Hollen.


Under the terms of the settlement agreement, the defendant will pay penalties, fees, and costs totaling $75,000 for the violations. It will also hire an environmental compliance specialist and will bring the lower grade of its pit up to the previously authorized pit bottom elevation unless it obtains a new or modified permit from DNR authorizing a different elevation.


Assistant Attorney General Shari Eggleson prosecuted the case. The settlement was approved by Marathon County Circuit Court Judge Vincent K. Howard.