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Menard, Inc. Ordered to Pay $30,000 to Resolve Complaint of Illegal Hazardous Waste Disposal in Onalaska


ONALASKA – Menard, Inc. has been ordered to pay $30,000 in forfeitures, court costs and attorney fees for illegal hazardous waste disposal at its store in Onalaska, LaCrosse County.


Wisconsin law provides for the safe and proper handling and disposal of all types of hazardous waste. According to the complaint, Menard generated hazardous waste at its Onalaska store in January of 2007 when it allowed a pallet of containers of herbicide to freeze and crack open. Instead of properly packing the leaking containers into leak-proof containers for safe and legal disposal, Menard staff illegally disposed of the herbicide by dumping it onto a snow-covered island in the parking lot in front of the Onalaska store. This action violated Wisconsin's laws that provide for hazardous wastes to be managed and disposed of pursuant to regulations designed to safeguard the public from coming into contact with the wastes.


In addition to the payment of forfeitures and costs, Menard Inc. retained a consultant to perform an investigation of the site where the herbicide was disposed, and no further work in that regard is necessary. Menard has also sent a posting to all of its store managers to remind them that all staff must comply with appropriate measures for packing and disposal of any defective or damaged containers of pesticides or herbicides.


"Wisconsin law requires that all stores that handle pesticides and herbicides must comply with the hazardous waste regulations that govern the handling and ultimate disposal of any damaged and leaking containers of these substances," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "Violations of these laws can pose a potential risk to the public who may come into contact with hazardous wastes that are not properly handled and disposed. The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that the public is protected by requiring compliance with hazardous waste laws."


Assistant Attorney General Lorraine C. Stoltzfus prosecuted the case for the State. LaCrosse County Judge Scott L. Horne signed the order imposing the forfeitures.