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DoJ: Lautenschlager Announces Complaint Filed Against Alliant Energy and Wisconsin Power and Light For Wastewater Discharge Violations at The Columbia County Generating Station


For Immediate Release

For More Information Contact: Brian Rieselman 608/266-7876

MADISON - Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager announced today that her office has filed a civil complaint in Columbia County against Alliant Energy and Wisconsin Power and Light for violating the terms of the wastewater discharge permit for the Columbia Generating Station located south of Portage in Columbia County.

Alliant Energy owns Wisconsin Power & Light, which operates the Columbia Generating Station. The generating station discharges domestic wastewater into a wetland adjacent to the Wisconsin River, and discharges industrial wastewater into a drainage ditch that ultimately flows into the Wisconsin River. According to the Department of Justice's complaint, the defendants allegedly violated state water pollution laws by:

* From 2000 through May of 2003, exceeding effluent limitations for biological oxygen demand a total of 51 times;
* ∑ * From 2000 through May of 2003, exceeding effluent limitations for total suspended solids a total of 11 times;
* ∑ * Failing to pass the whole effluent toxicity test for its industrial wastewater twice in 2001 and three times in 2002; and
* ∑ * Failing to comply with schedule that required the facility to achieve compliance with the whole effluent toxicity limitations by June 30, 2001.

"Wisconsin citizens have the right to expect electric utilities to comply with our water pollution laws, violations of which can threaten the health and safety of our communities, our clean water and animal habitat," said Lautenschlager.

The complaint asks the court for an order requiring Alliant Energy and Wisconsin Power and Light to fully comply with the wastewater discharge permit that governs the Columbia Generating Station, and forfeitures for the violations. Wisconsin law provides for forfeitures of up to $10,000 for each violation.

The Department of Justice brought the case at the request of the DNR. Assistant Attorney General Lorraine Stoltzfus is representing the state.

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