Wis. AG wins $49K judgment in storm water lawsuit

By Bryan Cohen | May 30, 2012

Van Hollen

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced a $49,000 judgment on Friday against Progressive Rail Incorporated for allegedly violating state storm water management and wetland protection laws during an expansion project.

Progressive Rail Incorporated and its Wisconsin Northern Railroad division must pay $49,000 in forfeitures, assessments, fees and costs for alleged violations it engaged in while constructing new spur and side tracks in Eagle Point and Chippewa Falls in October. The project was meant to expand a transloading facility for truck-rail transfer of frac sand and other types of commodities.

Progressive Rail must also obtain an after-the-fact wetland water quality certification for its project and will fund a wetland creation project. The project will be managed by the Chippewa County Department of Land Conservation & Forest Management under the Little Lake Wissota Stewardship Project.

"Wisconsin law requires that property owners obtain and follow permits designed to prevent pollution and to protect public rights in the state's wetlands and navigable waters," Van Hollen said. "The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that Wisconsin's water resources are safeguarded through compliance with the law."

State law requires that companies discharging pollutants to wetlands must have a certification from the DNR to ensure the discharges comply with Wisconsin water quality standards. In addition, the owners of construction sites where an acre or more of land will be disturbed must submit to the DNR a notice of intent and obtain coverage as part of a water pollutant control permit to regulate storm water runoff prior to construction. The permits require that the property owners put best management practices into action to protect state water resources from storm water runoff.

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