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MADISON - Michael Hagens, Hagens Land Investments, Inc., Timber Trail Investments, LLC, and Woodland Developments, LLC, all from Appleton and Carl Bowers and Sons Construction Co. from Kaukauna, have agreed to pay $150,000 and to implement permanent post-construction best management practices at two sites in Outagamie and Calumet Counties, to settle state claims brought under Wisconsin's environmental protection laws.
Wisconsin law requires permits and the implementation of best management practices for land disturbance activities in, adjacent to or near wetlands and navigable waters, to ensure that state water resources are protected from polluting erosion and storm water runoff.
According to the consolidated complaints in this action, Michael Hagens, Carl Bowers and Sons Construction Co., and two companies owned by Hagens undertook land disturbance activities near a pond and filled a wetland without permits and without protecting the pond or adjacent wetlands at the Woodland Hills Condominium site in Menasha, Calumet County. Hagens and Bowers and two companies owned by Hagens undertook land disturbance activities, including clearing, grading, and constructing a culvert, and built an artificial pond, all without permits and without protecting the adjacent Bear Creek, at the Timber Trail site in the Town of Ellington, Outagamie County. Most of the violations took place in 2006 and 2007, and some have continued into 2009.
As part of the settlement, Hagens, Bowers and the Hagens companies will pay $150,000 in forfeitures, costs and fees, will restore the wetland at the Timber Trail site, and will complete the permitting processes and implement permanent post-construction best management practices at both sites.
Runoff pollution is the major source of polluted waters in Wisconsin. "Wisconsin law requires that developers and contractors properly manage construction sites to protect state waters," Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said. "The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that Wisconsin's natural resources are protected through compliance with the law."
Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg prosecuted the case. Outagamie County Circuit Court Judge Harold V. Froehlich approved the settlement.