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Court Orders Village Of Cambridge To Pay $15,000 To Resolve Environmental Case Alleging Water Pollution Control Violations


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced that his office has resolved a civil case it has brought against the Village of Cambridge, Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) to prosecute the Village and its contractor, Henshue Construction, Inc. (Henshue) for water pollution control violations alleged to have occurred in the course of the construction of improvements to the Village's sanitary sewer system, a project which involved, among other things, constructing six crossings of Koshkonong Creek for sanitary sewers. 


The case filed in Dane County Circuit Court alleged that on various occasions in 2006, 2007, and 2008, the Village failed to comply with state erosion and stormwater control laws applicable to construction sites, including the requirements:


  • To implement what are known as "best management practices" (BMPs) for the control of erosion from such construction sites;
  • To regularly inspect and to timely make necessary repairs to any BMP devices, such as failing silt fences; and
  • To treat water pumped from a construction site to reduce the amount of sediment in the water before letting it flow into surface waters like Koshkonong Creek.


Under the terms of the settlement agreement which now has been approved by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Daniel R. Moeser, the Village of Cambridge has agreed to pay penalties totaling $15,000.  "The erosion of sediments from construction sites like this one can damage our state's waterways," Van Hollen said.  "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with DNR to ensure that the law is followed." 


Earlier this year (on January 16, 2009) Henshue filed receivership proceedings in Dane County Circuit Court.  The DOJ filed a claim for penalties against Henshue in that proceeding after getting the prosecution request from the DNR.  That claim remains pending and is unaffected by the State's settlement with the Village in this case.


Assistant Attorney General Thomas L. Dosch represented the State.