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Contractor, land owner settle with state for depositing fill in wetlands

A property owner and a contractor have agreed to pay the state $12,500 to resolve a civil environmental lawsuit.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources had asked the Wisconsin Department of Justice to prosecute Stan Johnson and contractor Mark Schultz for violating state wetland protection laws on Johnson’s rural Fond du Lac County property, a 40-acre parcel of hunting land that is almost entirely classified as wetlands.

The complaint charged Johnson and Schultz with dredging a pond and placing dredged soils in .65 acres of wetland, and charged Schultz with hauling in and placing crushed rock in wetlands on Johnson’s property to make a driveway to the pond, according to a news release from Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen’s office.

According to the complaint, Johnson and Schultz did not apply for or receive an authorization from the DNR to dump or place dredged spoils, rock or other fill in wetlands.

According to the release, Johnson worked with DNR to remove the illegal fill, and retained an environmental consultant to develop a restoration and monitoring plan for the property. He agreed to pay $7,500 in penalties and agreed to pay an additional $7,500 if he failed to fulfill his agreement to annually document the restoration monitoring over the next four years.  Schultz agreed to pay $5,000 in penalties.

Fond du Lac County Circuit Court Judge Dale L. English approved the state’s settlement with Johnson in November 2010, and the state settled with Schultz on Friday.

Assistant Attorney General Diane Milligan represented the state.

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