AG Van Hollen: Announces settlement in Marinette County wetlands violations case

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Bill Cosh 608/266-1221

MADISON – Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen today announced that Richlen Excavating, Inc., and Steven W. Stock have agreed to pay penalties and costs totaling $45,000 for their alleged unlawful dredging and enlargement of two ponds and their disposal of eroded soils into the North Branch of Beaver Creek, a Class I brook and brown trout stream in Marinette County.

After the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) conducted an investigation and referred the matter to the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) for prosecution, Stock and Richlen Excavating, Inc., Stock’s contracted excavator, were named as defendants in a civil enforcement action for these alleged 2006 violations of environmental protection laws.

Both defendants agreed not to contest the civil charges, and to pay these penalties. Before the case was filed, and at the DNR’s request, the defendants cooperated with the DNR and agreed to restore the stream and wetland areas.

On August 24, 2009, Marinette County Circuit Court Judge Tim Duket approved the settlement agreements entered into between the defendants and DOJ. In addition to paying penalties, the two defendants have agreed to monitor the site on an annual basis as part of their efforts to prevent the introduction of undesirable invasive plant species in the disturbed areas of the wetland.

“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 environmental laws are followed,” Van Hollen said.

Assistant Attorney General Mary Batt represented the state.