Wisconsin Attorney General Lautenschlager Announces Settlement of Environmental Lawsuit Against Watertown Tire Recyclers

Wisconsin Attorney General Lautenschlager Announces Settlement of Environmental Lawsuit Against Watertown Tire Recyclers

Source: http://www.envirovaluation.org, June 8, 2006

Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager announced today that her office has filed a complaint and settlement in an environmental protection enforcement lawsuit against Watertown Tire Recyclers LLC for violations of the state’s solid waste management laws. The Dodge County company will pay $320,000 in penalties and costs for violations at its tire recycling facility (now closed) on Provimi Road in the Town of Shields. The settlement is a global agreement that resolves claims by the State as well as by Citizens for a Safe Environment, the Town of Shields, the City of Watertown, Dodge County and 94 other local entities that responded to a fire at the Watertown Tire Recyclers facility last July. The settlement provides for payment of $267,893.21 to the local responders, $31,000 to the Department of Natural Resources for its fire response costs, and $21,106.79 to the State in forfeitures and surcharges. The settlement provides that Thomas Springer shall guarantee the payments, and binds Springer and Springer Express Freight, which currently operates a tire collection and transportation business at the Provimi Road site, to the essential terms of the settlement. The settlement sets limits on the hours of operation of the current business at the Provimi Road site, and provides for quarterly unannounced inspections of the site by the Department of Natural Resources. According to the settlement, the tire collection and transportation business will end by 2010, and all existing rights to non-permitted uses at the Provimi Road site, which is in an A-1 agricultural zoning district, will also end in 2010. … In addition to paying the $320,000, Watertown Tire Recyclers and Thomas Springer have agreed to remove all contaminated soil remaining on the Provimi Road site after the fire, and to dispose of it at an area landfill. According to Lautenschlager, the proper disposal of that soil will cost Springer $75,000. “Mr. Springer’s agreement to complete the cleanup of the property, his extensive cleanup efforts since the fire, and his participation in this settlement signal his commitment to operate in compliance with state and local laws that protect public health and safety and the environment,” she said. According to the Department of Justice’s complaint, prior to the fire in July 2005, Watertown Tire Recyclers exceeded its allowed volume of tires, failed to maintain adequate fire lanes, stored tires improperly, and failed to submit required reports and to notify the Department of Natural Resources of problems and changes. According to DOJ, the facility is currently in compliance with DNR requirements.

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