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DOJ: Lautenschlager Announce Milwaukee County Company to Pay $66,661 in Air Pollution Case Settlement

MADISON - Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager announced today that her office has reached a settlement in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with a Milwaukee County corporation over alleged violations of state air emission control regulations and asbestos-handling laws.

The settlement was reached with Briggs & Stratton Corporation, 12301 West Wirth Street, Wauwatosa, Wisconsin 53222. Briggs & Stratton Corporation manufactures small engines at its Wauwatosa facility.

The complaint filed against Briggs & Stratton alleged:

* In August and September 2002, Briggs & Stratton removed approximately 400 linear feet of asbestos-containing insulation from pipes and electrical fixtures. In the course of the removal work, Briggs & Stratton failed to adequately wet the material during removal, failed to file a notice of demolition with the DNR, and also failed to adequately inspect the affected portion of its facility for asbestos-containing materials prior to commencing demolition or renovation work. * On September 25, 2002, Briggs & Stratton's production facility emitted black smoke in violation of opacity limits. * Between July 15, 2002, and February 11, 2003, on 66 days, Briggs & Stratton exceeded its chromium emission limit due to an upset condition with its chromium scrubber.
* From 1994 to 2001, Briggs & Stratton failed to report Polycyclic Organic Matter hazardous air pollutant emissions emanating from its die casting process.

To settle the case, Briggs & Stratton agreed to pay $66,661 in forfeitures, penalties and assessments.

"Wisconsin law is very clear about the procedures and standards that must be followed to protect our air, and avoid risks to the natural environment and to the health of the public," Lautenschlager said. "This settlement with Briggs & Stratton reflects our commitment to enforce and uphold this law -- for everyone's best interest."

The Department of Justice filed the lawsuit at the request of the Department of Natural Resources. Briggs & Stratton cooperated with the Department of Natural Resources in the investigation and proper clean up of the asbestos-containing debris discovered at the site, according to officials.

Assistant Attorney General Jeff Gabrysiak prosecuted the case for the Department of Justice.

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