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Waukesha Developer Settles State Environmental Lawsuit Over Construction Site Violations For $240,000

 

WAUKESHA - Richard D. Herr and Stoneridge Associates LP have settled state claims brought for violations of Wisconsin's environmental protection laws at a development site in the Village of Dousman, Waukesha County. 

 

Wisconsin law requires permits and the implementation of best management practices for land disturbance activities at construction sites of one acre or more and at construction sites in, adjacent to or near wetlands and navigable waters, to ensure that state water resources are protected from pollution caused by erosion and storm water runoff.   

 

According to the complaint, landowner and developer Stoneridge Associates LP undertook land disturbance activities that included clearing and grading, excavating, dredging and filling, construction of an artificial pond and installation of pipes discharging through channels to School Section Lake, all resulting in a constructed site very different from approved plans, at a site south of the intersection of School Section Lake Road and Mill Pond Road in the Village of Dousman. 

 

The complaint charges Stoneridge Associates LP with: 

 

  • failing to follow the construction site sequence
  • constructing ponds and channels not authorized by approved plans
  • filling a navigable ditch and changing the flow of water through and from the site contrary to their permitted plans
  • failing to restore impaired Best Management Practices
  • constructing a lake, channels and ponds not authorized by the approved plans
  • pumping water out of the lake while operating heavy equipment in the lake, so as to cause the discharge of sediment-laden water from the site to navigable waterways tributary to School Section Lake
  • failing to follow required corrective action
  • failing to stabilize the site
  • draining water to a navigable creek and constructing artificial pond without a permit  
 

The violations took place from 2006 to 2009. 

 

The settlement provides for the dismissal of Richard D. Herr and the payment by Stoneridge Associates LP of $240,000 in forfeitures, assessments and costs.  In addition, Richard Herr personally guarantees payment of a portion of the judgment.   

 

Runoff pollution is the major source of polluted waters in Wisconsin.  "Wisconsin law requires that developers and landowners properly manage construction sites to protect state waters," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.  "The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that Wisconsin's natural resources are protected through compliance with the law." 

 

Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case.  Waukesha County Judge Michael O. Bohren approved the settlement.