Wis. AG reaches agreement with concrete manufacturer

Nick Rees Apr. 14, 2011, 7:29am

Van Hollen

ROTHSCHILD, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced on Thursday that his office had resolved a civil environmental enforcement action against a concrete manufacturing facility.

The facility allegedly committed violations of state air pollution and hazardous waste management laws. Wausau Tile Inc., which owns and operates a specialty concrete manufacturing facility in Rothschild, Wis., agreed to a court order to pay the state forfeitures, surcharges, attorney fees and costs totaling $250,000.

Volatile organic compounds are emitted from the Wausau Tile facility during production processes that use stains, finishes and color agents for molded and set cornet mixtures, Van Hollen says. Hazardous wastes are also generated during production and by cleaning equipment used to coat the surfaces of molds and to spray paints on concrete products, Van Hollen says.

Under state law, the company is required to obtain and follow construction and operation permits to control the emissions of air contaminants from the facility. It must also follow state regulations governing the management of hazardous wastes generated at the facility.

According to Van Hollen's complaint, filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, Wausau Tile was operating in violation of its state air pollution permits and state hazardous waste regulations between 2004 and 2007. The company allegedly used materials that had a higher than permitted number of pounds of volatile organic compounds per gallon and emitted too many pounds of those compounds per day.

Wausau Tile also allegedly failed to document compliance with regulations, failed to prepare and follow a malfunction and abatement plan and failed to record usage of volatile organic compounds.

The complaint alleges that other failure included not submitting annual compliance certification, not keeping an accurate emission inventory and operating new sources without a permit.

The company allegedly did not conduct weekly inspections of areas containing stored hazardous waste, lacked a training program, failed to limit accumulation of hazardous waste and failed to submit reports for out-of-state shipments of hazardous wastes.

A Marathon County judge granted Van Hollen's motion for summary judgment of Wausau Tile's liability on all but one of the state's claims in February. An agreement was then reached for a judgment of $250,000.

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