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Settlement reached in wetlands violation

An Illinois resident who illegally filled wetlands during three separate years in Oneida County has agreed to pay $30,000 plus the cost of environmental restoration, the Wisconsin Department of Justice announced Monday.

In 2005, 2009 and 2010, defendant Jerome Untiedt filled more than 41,500 square feet of wetlands on his property on the banks of Lake Minocqua without permission from the Department of Natural Resources, according to a civil complaint filed in October in Oneida County Circuit Court at the DNR’s request.

According to the complaint, Untiedt graded more than 10,000 square feet of lakeshore without first obtaining a DNR certification or waiver, and without taking steps to stop erosion.

Wisconsin’s waterway and wetland protection laws require people to get permission from DNR before filling wetland areas and to obtain a state permit before filling a lakebed or grading more than 10,000 square feet on the bank of a navigable waterway. The law also requires people to take site-specific steps to prevent erosion before they begin grading.

According to the complaint, Untiedt violated all those requirements in all three years.

The DOJ news release stated that, as part of the court settlement, Untiedt agreed not to disturb land on his property before consulting with DNR and the county. He will also obtain the correct permits and work with a qualified third-party contractor as part of the settlement. Untiedt also consented to re-seeding the higher graded areas, letting wetlands plants grow in the lower regions and having an environmental expert ensure the wetland was properly restored.

Assistant Attorney General Diane Milligan represented the state, according to the news release from DOJ. The settlement was approved by Oneida County Circuit Court Judge Michael H. Bloom.

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