County Materials Corp.'s Rock County site is near the corner of Prairie and La Prairie-Turtle Townline roads.


A Rock County plant that makes concrete blocks and girders must pay the state of Wisconsin $171,750 as part of a lawsuit settlement.

The state on Jan. 19 alleged County Materials Corp. violated air-pollution laws at its plant at 1104 E. La Prairie-Turtle Townline Road, according to Rock County Court records.

Rock County Judge Jeffrey Kuglitsch approved the settlement Jan. 29.

The state alleged County Materials did not obtain the required air-pollution permits for the plant, did not report annual air emissions from the facility to the Department of Natural Resources and did not pay annual air emission fees.

The $171,750 settlement includes $81,722 in past-due fees to the DNR and $90,027 in forfeitures, surcharges and court costs.

The plant emits volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, particulate matter and other contaminants, according to the complaint.

If County Materials complies with the judgment, it and its employees are released from any civil liability for the alleged violations.

A contractor for County Materials submitted an application for an air pollution control construction and operation permit for the plant in October 2015, but construction of the concrete block plant began in 2011, according to the complaint.

County Materials also failed to get an operating permit for the plant, which began production in March 2013, according to the complaint. The plant operated without a permit until Jan. 16, 2018.

County Materials did not submit a timely emissions inventory for 2014, when plant emitted 22,878 pounds of reactive organic gases, according to the complaint.

County Materials also was accused of exceeding the maximum permitted emissions of 0.2 pounds per hour. A 2018 test on Stack 11 at the plant showed emissions of 0.37 pounds per hour.

A news release from state Attorney General Josh Kaul calls the settlement a compromise that avoided a civil suit.

“Companies must do their part to protect communities from air pollution, not flout the rules that protect clean air,” Kaul said in a news release.

The Marathon-based County Materials Corp. employs more than 1,500 people at nearly 40 sites in six states, according to its website.

The case was prosecuted by the state Department of Justice Public Protection Unit attorney Emily Ertel.


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