AG Van Hollen: Milltown tire companies and owner ordered to remove tire pile and pay penalties

For More Information Contact:

Bill Cosh 608/266-1221

MADISON – Donald L. Michaelson, the Don Lee Company, Inc., and the Tire & Auto Center LLC, all from Milltown, Polk County, have agreed to remove a pile of 5,000 tires and to pay $3,000 to settle state claims brought under Wisconsin’s solid waste management laws.

Wisconsin law prohibits the long-term storage of tires without a solid waste storage facility operating license and plan approval from the Department of Natural Resources, and prohibits the disposal of tires at an unlicensed facility. According to the complaint, Donald Michaelson, the Don Lee Company and the Tire & Auto Center have both stored and disposed of tires on property owned by the Don Lee Company in Milltown without a license, since at least 1996. There are currently approximately 5,000 tires on the Don Lee property.

As part of the settlement, Donald Michaelson, the Don Lee Company and the Tire and Auto Center will remove all of the tires by April 2010, and will pay $3,000 in forfeitures and costs.

The accumulation of thousands of tire poses a risk of disease including mosquito-born diseases like West Nile virus and encephalitis, and also poses a fire threat to neighboring residences and businesses. In announcing the settlement, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen recognized the Village’s concerns about the tire pile. “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that Wisconsin’s citizens are protected through compliance with the law.”

Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case. Polk County Circuit Court Judge Robert H. Rasmussen approved the settlement.