Wis. AG victorious against pair of companies

Keith Loria Jan. 18, 2011, 5:00am

Van Hollen

LAKE NEBAGAMON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Tuesday that he has received a default judgment against a well drilling company accused of violating Wisconsin well drilling and safe drinking water laws.

Pepper R. Craft, doing business as Gary Lind Well Drilling, allegedly drilled 10 wells even though he and his company were unlicensed to do so.

Van Hollen filed the complaint on behalf of the Department of Natural Resources, alleging that the defendant submitted four inaccurate well reports, 144 late well construction reports and 127 late water samples.

The complaint further alleged that Craft failed to submit 28 well construction reports and 23 water samples.

When Craft didn't respond to the charges against him, the default judgment was entered, requiring him to pay $13,937.10 in forfeitures, costs and surcharges. Craft is also expected to submit all missing reports to the DNR.

"We will continue to work with the DNR to make sure that Wisconsin's environmental laws maintaining safe drinking water are followed," Van Hollen said.

Van Hollen also announced on Tuesday that a store that handles hazardous pesticides has been ordered to pay $30,000 for allegedly disposing of hazardous waste illegally.

Menard Inc. allegedly generated hazardous waste at its Onalaska, Wis.-based store in January 2007. The waste was caused by a pallet of containers of herbicide that froze and cracked open, Van Hollen said.

By law, the store was responsible for packing the leaking containers into leak-proof containers for safe and legal disposal. Instead, the store allegedly disposed of the herbicide by dumping it onto a snow-covered island in the parking lot.

Under state law, all stores are responsible for the safe and proper handling and disposal of all types of hazardous waste. The regulations are designed to safeguard the public from contact with harmful materials.

The $30,000 payment will go towards forfeitures and costs associated with the litigation.

The company is also required to hire a consultant to perform an investigation of the site where the herbicide was disposed.

"Wisconsin law requires that all stores that handle pesticides and herbicides must comply with the hazardous waste regulations that govern the handling and ultimate disposal of any damaged and leaking containers of these substances," Van Hollen said.

"Violations of these laws can pose a potential risk to the public who may come into contact with hazardous wastes that are not properly handled and disposed."

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