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FOND DU LAC - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced that his office has resolved a civil environmental prosecution it brought against Stan Johnson and Mark Schultz. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice to prosecute Johnson and Schultz for violating state wetland protection laws on Mr.Johnson's rural Fond du Lac County property, a 40-acre parcel of hunting land that is almost entirely classified as wetlands. The complaint charged Johnson and Schultz with dredging a pond and placing dredged spoils in .65 acres of wetland, and charged Schultz with hauling in and placing crushed rock in wetlands on Johnson's property to make a driveway to the pond.
In Wisconsin, Van Hollen said, it is illegal to dump or place dredged spoils, rock or other fill in wetlands without first obtaining authorization for such activities from the DNR in the form of a certification that the proposed activity will comply with state water quality standards for wetlands. Johnson and Schultz did not apply for or receive such authorization, he said.
Johnson worked with DNR to remove the illegal fill, and retained an environmental consultant to develop a restoration and monitoring plan for the property. He agreed to pay $7,500 in penalties, surcharges and costs, and agreed to pay an additional $7,500 if he failed to fulfill his agreement to annually document the restoration monitoring over the next four years. Mr.Schultz agreed to pay $5,000 in penalties, surcharges and costs.
Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Dale L. English approved the State's settlement with Johnson in November, 2010, and the State's settlement with Schultz on May 6, 2011.
"For the protection of Wisconsin citizens and our natural environment, the Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with DNR to ensure that Wisconsin's wetland protection laws are followed," Van Hollen said.
Assistant Attorney General Diane Milligan represented the State.