DoJ: Lautenschlager Announces Environmental Suit Against Minnesota-Based 3M Over Discharge Into River at Wausau Plant


For Immediate Release For More Information Contact:
Brian Rieselman 608/266-7876

MADISON – Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager announced today that the Department of Justice has settled an environmental enforcement lawsuit in Marathon County against Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M)
for alleged water pollution violations.

According to the complaint, which was filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), 3M owns a plant in Wausau, at which it manufactures crushed mineral granules for roofing materials, and generates a byproduct referred to as “grey sand.” On May 27, 2003, more than 2000 gallons of water containing approximately 490 pounds of grey sand, which had spilled at the plant, were discharged into the Wisconsin River through a storm sewer on the property. Under the terms of the settlement agreement, 3M will pay $7,500 for the violation.

“Thanks to the quick response of a conservation warden who happened to be on the river at the time, this violation was discovered, or the damage might have gone unnoticed by authorities,” said Lautenschlager. “Although the penalty is not large, I hope this action will serve as a reminder to scrupulously implement measures to prevent such discharges in the future.”

Assistant Attorney General Shari Eggleson represented the state in this matter.