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MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced that his office has resolved two civil cases it had brought earlier this year against Mann Bros., Inc., a construction and excavation company based in Elkhorn, Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute the company for water pollution control violations alleged to have occurred at five sites in two counties. The case filed in Walworth County Circuit Court alleged that at three different construction project sites Meadow View Estates in the Town of Linn, East Town Market in the City of Whitewater, and Fair Meadows in the City of Elkhorn charged that Mann Bros. had failed to comply with state erosion and stormwater control laws applicable to construction sites, in particular its alleged failures to implement what are known as "best management practices" intended to minimize sediment and other pollutants from flowing off the construction sites into waterways. In the companion case filed in Waukesha County, the complaint alleged that Mann Bros. committed similar offenses at two Waukesha County sites Grandview Plaza in the city of Waukesha, the Highlands of Lake Country in the Town of Oconomowoc.
Under the terms of the settlement agreements which now have been approved by Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge Kathryn W. Foster and Walworth County Circuit Court Judge Robert J. Kennedy, Mann Bros. has agreed to enter pleas of no contest in both cases. It has also agreed to pay penalties totaling up to a maximum of $150,000, with opportunities for offsetting some amount of penalties if the company avoids a recurrence of such problems and implements a DNR-approved corporate compliance program for the next 5 years.
"The erosion of sediments from construction sites like this one can damage our state's waterways," Van Hollen said. "To this defendant's credit, it has undertaken a program to try to prevent a recurrence of similar violations." The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with DNR to ensure that the law is followed."
Assistant Attorney General Thomas L. Dosch represented the state.