Two Minnesota companies will pay $80,000 to settle a pollution case in which sediments from a Burnett County frac sand mine infiltrated the St. Croix River in April 2012, according to a news release from Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen.
The two companies are Interstate Energy Partners, LLC, which owns a sand and gravel mining facility in the Town of Grantsburg, and the Tiller Corporation, which operates the site.
The civil complaint states that sometime between April 19 and April 22, 2012, a discharge of fine grained sediment ran into a wetland complex, into a creek, and downstream into the St. Croix River.
The St. Croix River is designated as an Area of Special Natural Resource Interest and part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System.
The Department of Natural Resources discovered the discharge by responding to a citizen complaint on April 26, 2012, and production at the mining facility was immediately shut down.
Judgment has been entered for failure to maintain necessary dikes and berms and discharging outside the conditions of their permit, in violation of Wisconsin environmental protection laws.
“Wisconsin will continue to ensure our high quality rivers and streams are protected, and operators will be required to adhere to the laws and regulations designed to prevent pollution of our precious natural resources,” Van Hollen said.
Last month, Preferred Sands in Trempealeau County and Completion Industrial Materials in Wood County settled suits for $200,000 and $80,000, respectively, for air and water pollution violations.