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Court Orders Village Of Cleveland To Pay $10,000 In Forfeitures, Surcharges, And Costs To Resolve State's Environmental Case Alleging Unpermitted Discharges From Wastewater Treatment Facility


MADISON - Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced today that his office has settled an environmental case with the Village of Cleveland located in Manitowoc County.  Circuit Court Judge Patrick L. Willis entered judgment in favor of the State and against the defendant Village of Cleveland in the amount of $10,000, which is comprised of forfeitures, statutory surcharges, and costs.  Judgment was entered after the Village of Cleveland agreed to a stipulated judgment.   


“Municipalities, like private actors, must follow the state's environmental laws,” said Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.  “We will continue to work with the Department of Natural Resources to make sure these laws are enforced.”


In a civil complaint filed in Manitowoc County in November of 2008, the State of Wisconsin alleged that the Village of Cleveland violated their pollution discharge elimination system permit on February 21 and 22, 2007, when a release of waste activated sludge occurred from their wastewater treatment facility into an unnamed tributary of Fisher Creek.  The Complaint also alleged that the Village of Cleveland violated its permit by failing to properly operate and maintain its treatment system.  The Village of Cleveland's permit authorized it to discharge wastewater to Lake Michigan, however, the unscheduled release was a violation of their permit and state water pollution laws. 


The case was investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Assistant Attorney General Cynthia Hirsch prosecuted the case.