Progressive Rail and Wisconsin Northern Fined For Violating Wetland Laws

The state Justice Department announced that Progressive Rail Inc. and Wisconsin Northern Railroad will be forced to pay $49,000 in forfeitures and other fees. The railroad has been accused of violating state water and wetlands laws after a construction project in October of 2011.

The railroad built new tracks in order to expand a truck-rail line for the already controversial sand mining operation in Chippewa County. Sand mining is a process used for oil and gas extraction that is becoming increasingly popular in Western Wisconsin. However, some critics oppose the process entirely, believing that sand mining poses far too many environmental threats.

While Progressive Rail is not being held responsible for the consequences of sand mining, the company is being fined for not obtaining proper permits for regulating storm water runoff during the construction of the rail lines. Wisconsin law requires companies to secure permits from the Department of  Natural Resources in order to ensure pollutants are discharged in compliance with state water quality standards. In addition to the fines, the rail company must obtain an after-the-fact permit for the project from the Department of Natural Resources. They will also be funding a wetland creation project with the Chippewa County Department of Land Conservation and Forest Management. The complete judgment and stipulation can be read online.


{ 1 comment }

wxyz123 June 21, 2012 at 3:00 pm

Progressive Rail is headquartered in Lakeville, MN where they were also fined a year ago for hazardous spills in 2005/2008. They have also been storing rusty, old, graffiti-filled trains in residential neighborhoods for three years straight. One of our city’s 2012 Legislative policy priorities is to get rid of this residential railcar storage business. Please follow us at http://www.facebook.com/ProgressiveRailMoveYourTrain or on Twitter @ProgressiveRail.

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