Attorney General Van Hollen Announces Judgment Requiring Former Crawford County Gas Station Owner to Complete Site Investigation and Pay $10, 885 in Forfeitures, Fees and Costs

Nov 24 2014
Attorney General Van Hollen Announces Judgment Requiring Former Crawford County Gas Station Owner to Complete Site Investigation and Pay $10, 885 in Forfeitures, Fees and Costs

MADISON — Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced that his office has obtained a judgment against David D. Mageland of Viroqua requiring Mageland to investigate the nature and extent of petroleum product and diesel range organic contamination found in the soil of the former Gays Mills BP gas station he had operated, and to take any action necessary to restore the environment.  In addition, the judgment requires Mageland to pay $10,885.70 in forfeitures, court costs, surcharges and attorneys’ fees for violating a July 17, 2013, administrative order requiring him to take responsibility for the site.


According to the Complaint filed by the Department of Justice upon referral by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Mr. Mageland's now-defunct LLC owned the gas station in question from 2001 until April 2011. Mageland operated the station until November 2010, when he emptied the gasoline and diesel tanks. In February 2011, he negotiated the sale of the gas station property to the Village of Gays Mills, which was relocating buildings and businesses out of the Kickapoo River floodplain. The Village paid more than $350,000 for the gas station property. A contingency in its offer required the seller to complete all site remediation, and it provided for the creation of a $14,500 escrow to cover remediation costs.


The Complaint states that petroleum product contamination was found in October 2011.  DNR directed Mageland to retain a consultant to complete a site investigation and follow the remediation requirements provided by law, but Mageland refused.  He stated that while his insurance company would cover the costs of the release, he was responsible for a $10,000 deductible that he had no intention of paying.  The DNR attempted to work with Mageland, but when he refused to take action, the DNR ordered compliance and Mageland did not appeal DNR's order.

Wisconsin's hazardous waste substances spills law requires that persons who possess or control hazardous substances discharged to the environment take responsibility for the discharge and take actions necessary to restore the environment to the extent practicable and to minimize the harmful effects from the discharge to the air, lands or waters of the state. The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure that responsible parties fulfill their obligations under the law.


Assistant Attorney General Diane L. Milligan represented the State.  The Judgment was signed by Crawford County Circuit Court Judge James P. Czajkowski on November 14, 2014.


Copies of the Summons and Complaint, Order for Default Judgment, and Default Judgment are available at the following links:

Summons and Complaint

Default Judgment and Order for Default Judgment