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DOJ collects $1.5 million in environmental forfeitures

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin Department of Justice officials say they’ve collected about $1.5 million from polluters in 2017.

The agency issued a news release Wednesday saying it had completed 49 environmental-enforcement cases during the year, resulting in $1.45 million worth of forfeitures and surcharges. The release says the agency also secured another $18.6 million for environmental-improvement projects.

During the last quarter of the year, the DOJ obtained judgments in 15 state enforcement cases and in one federal Superfund case.

According to the release, that case secured $332,000 for projects that restored wild rice on the Wisconsin side of the St. Louis River estuary near Superior.

Environmentalists have criticized Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel for not extracting more money from polluters and not publicizing environmental-enforcement actions.

Schimel will be running against the Democrat Josh Kaul in the elections scheduled for November.

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