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Winneconne Contractor Ordered to Pay $18,500 for Placement of Waste Material in the Rat River


WINNECONNE – Winneconne contractor Radtke Contractors, Inc., has been ordered to pay $18,500 in forfeitures, assessments, costs and fees for placing and failing to remove material in the Rat River in Winnebago County during a bridge construction project in 2006. The order resolves an enforcement action commenced by the Department of Justice at the request of the Department of Natural Resources.


According to the complaint filed in the case, the Department of Transportation contracted with Radtke Contractors to replace the County Highway M bridge over the Rat River in the Town of Winchester in Winnebago County in 2006. The Department of Natural Resources granted water quality certification for the bridge reconstruction project over the Rat River and adjacent wetlands. Both the contract and the water quality certification prescribed that Radtke minimize and remove the amount of rubble falling into the water. State law also prohibits the placement of material on the bed of a navigable water without a permit.


In June 2006, Radtke Contractors let large pieces of concrete fall into the Rat River during the removal of the existing bridge's decking. The Department of Natural Resources received a complaint in 2008 that Radtke had deposited concrete debris from the bridge decking in the Rat River during the removal in 2006. After investigation and with the concurrence of the Department of Transportation, the Department of Natural Resources sent a Notice of Violation to Radtke Contractors in July 2009. Radtke removed the concrete debris from the river at the bridge project site in November 2009.


"Wisconsin law requires that contractors manage construction projects so as to protect public use of the state's navigable waters," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that navigation of Wisconsin's waters is safeguarded through compliance with the law."


Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case for the State. Winnebago County Judge Karen L. Seifert signed the order imposing the forfeitures.