Wisc. company settles wetlands suit

Nick Rees Oct. 8, 2009, 4:00pm

Van Hollen

MANITOWOC, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin's attorney general has reached a settlement with a company that allegedly filled in wetland areas without a permit.

Knox Ventures, LLC, and its owner, Gerald M. Knox, were accused of violations of state laws protecting wetlands.

The complaint filed against Knox, which came at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, alleged that Knox hired various contractors to place fill into wetlands on South Alverno Road owned by Knox Ventures, LLC, in the city of Manitowoc.

"The law is clear. Those wishing to place fill in wetlands must first seek and obtain a permit from the DNR," state Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.

"This process ensures the state's waters are protected for the benefit of Wisconsin citizens and the environment. Unpermitted activities can seriously harm aquatic life and the quality of our waterways and wetlands. The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure compliance with the law."

The fill has been removed from the wetland area by Knox under the terms of the agreement. Knox Ventures, LLC, and Gerald M. Knox has also agreed to pay penalties and assessments totaling $120,000 for the violations.

In addition to restoring the wetland area, the company must also monitor it for the next five years to make certain that the wetland revegation is healthy. Where necessary, agreement requires the replanting of wetland revegatation.

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