Wis. AG earns $12K judgment

Bryan Cohen Sep. 27, 2011, 12:58pm

Van Hollen

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a judgment on Monday against an individual who allegedly serviced hundreds of septic systems without a valid certification or license.

Mikel Plautz, serviced these systems in Fond du Lac, Green Lake and Columbia counties as "PNP Septic Service." Plautz will pay $12,000 for alleged violations of Wisconsin laws aimed at protecting public health, groundwater and surface water. As part of the settlement, Plautz will cease servicing septic systems in the future.

Under Wisconsin law, companies and people who remove and dispose of scum, sludge, liquid or other wastes from private sewage systems such as holding tanks, septic tanks and portable restrooms must be certified.

Plautz has allegedly not possessed a valid certification to engage in septic servicing since June 1, 2002. He paid a citation of $803 in 2006 for servicing without a valid certification. He then allegedly proceeded to service at least 183 systems in Columbia County from 2007-2010 and at least 10 in Green Lake County in 2009-2010. Plautz also allegedly serviced 34 systems in July 2008 for a company that did not have a certified operator, signing either his name or another man's name on the maintenance cards that homeowners are required to submit to county officials. There were allegedly more than 200 violations in all.

According to the complaint, Plautz allegedly charged between $125 and $200 to inspect and/or pump each septic system he serviced. Homeowners had no knowledge Plautz put an invalid certification number on their forms.

"Every time Plautz illegally serviced and certified a system, he was taking business from licensed operators while putting the environment and the public's health at risk." Van Hollen said. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that all environmental contractors comply with the law."

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