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Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen Announces Judgment Against Dodge County Landowner and Excavating Business Requiring Landowner to Pay $70,000 In Forfeitures, Fees and Costs

 

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announces that his office has obtained a judgment against Carl Schmitt and Schmitt Challenges, Inc., requiring Carl Schmitt to pay $70,000 in forfeitures, court costs, surcharges and attorney fees for violations of Wisconsin’s solid waste, open burning, landfill environmental monitoring and wetland laws. The violations occurred at Carl Schmitt’s Town of Lowell, Dodge County property where he previously operated a licensed landfill.

 

According to the complaint, Carl Schmitt and Schmitt Challenges, Inc. accumulated solid waste without a solid waste facility operating license. Solid waste accumulated on the property was burned in an on-site concrete bunker in violation of the State’s open burning laws. In addition, the defendants placed fill material into a wetland without first obtaining approval from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR). With respect to the closed landfill on the property, Carl Schmitt failed to conduct groundwater sampling and gas probe monitoring as prescribed by the landfill closure plan and failed to properly maintain the groundwater monitoring wells and gas probes in violation of state law.

 

Illegal waste disposal can cause groundwater contamination, destroy wildlife and endangered species habitat and devalue neighboring property. Illegal open burning of solid waste contaminates the air that all Wisconsin citizens breathe and can result in hazardous ash, hazardous air pollutants and airborne asbestos. Clean air and drinkable water are resources that impact all Wisconsin citizens and no person or entity is allowed to pollute those resources by illegal disposal or open burning of solid waste. Proper solid waste disposal using licensed solid waste haulers and licensed, engineered and regulated solid waste disposal facilities greatly reduces the risks to the State’s groundwater and air resources.

 

In addition to the monetary judgment described above, the defendants agreed to: neither accumulate nor store solid waste without a permit or license from the DNR; remove all fill and restore the wetland fill area; bring all groundwater monitoring wells and gas probes into compliance with Carl Schmitt’s landfill closure plan; and conduct groundwater sampling and gas probe sampling in accordance with a modified landfill closure plan issued by the DNR.

 

To ensure future compliance with the State’s environmental laws, Carl Schmitt agreed to pay future forfeitures of $10,000 for each failure to conduct groundwater sampling or gas probe monitoring as prescribed by the modified landfill closure plan. Carl Schmitt and Schmitt Challenges, Inc. agreed to pay future forfeitures of $20,000 each time solid waste is burned on Carl Schmitt’s Town of Lowell property.

 

Assistant Attorneys General Bradley J. Motl and Cynthia Hirsch represented the State. The settlement was approved by Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi.

 

Copies of the Civil Complaint, Judgment, and the Stipulation and Order for Judgment are available at the following links:

 

Stipulation and Order for Consent Judgment, Consent Judgment

 

Complaint