Bradley J. Kolpin, Jr. of Marquette County Ordered to Pay $8,000 for Violations of State Waterway and Wetland Protection Laws

Oct 17 2014
Bradley J. Kolpin, Jr. of Marquette County Ordered to Pay $8,000 for Violations of State Waterway and Wetland Protection Laws

MADISON — The Wisconsin Department of Justice has obtained a judgment against Bradley J. Kolpin, Jr., for violating state wetland and waterway protection laws by filling wetlands without a permit, grading more than 10,000 square feet on the banks of a navigable waterway without a permit, and placing fill on the bed of a navigable waterway without required permits.


According to the complaint filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the request of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Kolpin was told by DNR staff in 2009 that he would need permits for the clearing and grading activities he desired to undertake in wetlands next to a stream on his Marquette County farm.  In 2012, Kolpin proceeded with his project without first obtaining those permits.  When the violations were discovered by the DNR, Kolpin indicated that he had not wanted to pay the $500 permit fee, and that he was just “cleaning out a ditch.” Kolpin's project involved grading 2.33 acres of wetland adjacent to a navigable tributary of Chaffee River, thus the impacted wetlands are waters of the United States regulated under Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act. He filled in a 0.15 acre irrigation pond that was connected to the creek, and he placed debris in the wetland. 


In October 2012, the DNR directed Kolpin to apply for an after-the-fact permit for the pond fill, and it directed him to voluntarily restore the wetlands on the property. Kolpin eventually complied, but he did so approximately a year after being directed to do so and after he had been referred to the DOJ for prosecution. The $8,000 judgment consists of forfeitures, court costs and surcharges, and includes $1,000 for the state's investigation and enforcement costs, including attorneys’ fees.


“It is against the law to fill wetlands and navigable waterways without first obtaining permits,” Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen said.  “The Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to enforce water and wetland protection laws.”


Assistant Attorney General Diane L. Milligan prosecuted the case.  The order for judgment and judgment were approved by Marquette County Circuit Court Judge Bernard Bult on October 15, 2014.


Copies of the Summons and Civil Complaint, Judgment, and the Stipulation and Order for Judgment are available here.