Mir Co.: Settles with the state for $17,000 for open burning and asbestos violations

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Bill Cosh 608/266-1221

MADISON – A civil environmental enforcement action arising from the razing and burning of a barn in the Town of Linn, Walworth County, Wisconsin has been filed and partially resolved, Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today. In late spring of 2009, the Town of Linn ordered Mir Co., the owner of the barn, to demolish it. After the local fire department declined to burn the barn because of asbestos in it, Voltz Trenching and Excavating, Inc. (Voltz) agreed to raze, burn, and bury the barn where it stood.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) responded to the property in response to a citizen complaint and found the demolished barn in flames. The fire debris included asbestos-containing transite and other solid waste that should not have been burned. Voltz employees had started the fire without any local or state permits. The site was subsequently cleaned up to the DNR’s satisfaction.

Mir Co., an Illinois business corporation, has agreed to pay forfeitures and costs totaling $17,000 for being party to the open burning of the barn and various asbestos violations including: failing to thoroughly inspect the facility for asbestos, failing to remove all asbestos from the facility prior to demolition, discharging visible emissions of asbestos-containing waste material into the air, and failing to have trained, certified personnel present at the site during demolition. This settlement was approved by the Honorable Judge John R. Race, Walworth County Circuit Court Judge, on March 2, 2011. Voltz has stipulated to liability for the same violations and the parties will argue sentencing to the court at a later time.

The violations were investigated by the DNR, who referred the matter to the Wisconsin Department of Justice. Assistant Attorney General Steven Tinker represented the State.