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Oconto County Property Owners Agree to Pay $21,000 to Settle State Environmental Enforcement Lawsuit


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that his office has reached a settlement with Andrew Dorn and Jerome Wink, both of Oconto County.  The civil complaint filed in Oconto County alleges that both defendants own property on White Potato Lake and were responsible for the discharge of Simazine in the water of Walkers Bay Lagoon at White Potato Lake.  Simazine, a harmful herbicide, is not to be applied directly to water or to areas where surface water is present.  The defendants discharged the substance into White Potato Lake on two occasions, in the summer of 2006 and again in April of 2007.  The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) collected several dead and dying fish from the lake in April 2007 which laboratory analysis indicated the samples contained Simazine.


The stipulated judgment totals $21,000 inclusive of restitution, forfeitures, and penalties.  Each defendant has agreed to pay $1,000 in forfeitures and penalties, $1,500 in restitution to the White Potato Lake Sportsman's Club for restocking the lake, $5,270 as restitution to DNR for reimbursement for the emergency response that was necessary, $1,986 to the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection for its enforcement costs relating to laboratory analysis, and $744 in attorney's fees to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. 


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


Assistant Attorney General Cynthia R. Hirsch prosecuted the case.  The settlement was approved by Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael T. Judge.