MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a judgment Monday against a Clark County-based non-metallic mine operator for allegedly operating without stormwater discharge permits.

Opelt Sand & Gravel LLC, which operates mines in and around Neillsville, allegedly presented a potential threat to the Black River by operating without the permits. No discharges are known to have occurred in recent years.

Opelt Sand & Gravel and Michael Opelt, the company's owner, allegedly failed to submit required discharge monitoring reports, failed to perform effluent sampling, failed to prepare and implement a stormwater pollution prevention plan, failed to provide required documentation to the state and failed to obtain a permit for constructing ponds. Van Hollen's office filed a lawsuit against the defendants Aug. 29.

In recent months, Opelt Sand & Gravel worked with the Wisconsin Department of Resources to bring its non-metallic mining sites into compliance with state laws. All of the sites now have stormwater discharge permits and are managing the discharges in a way that does not put local natural resources at risk.

Under the terms of the judgment, Opelt Sand & Gravel agreed to pay penalties and forfeitures of $30,000. The defendants did not admit liability as part of the judgment.


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