A Wisconsin man, who owns a local inactive landfill, is facing charges after authorities allege that he has been polluting a nearby creek.
Earlier this week, charges were filed again Daniel Joseph Burns III. Burns is facing four misdemeanor charges of discharging pollutants into waters of the state.
The criminal complaint reveals that Burns is the operator and sole member of Riley Fiontar, LLC., and is listed as the owner of the former Plainwell Tissue landfill which closed in 2007. After the closure, more than $2 million was set aside for long-term care of the site.
The money was to be used for environmental monitoring and disposing of leachate, the contaminated product of rainwater mixing with contaminates in landfills. Allegedly, after Burns took over the landfill, the reported amount of leachate removed dropped from over 520,000 gallons per year to roughly between 18,000 and 38,000 gallons.
The Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin surveilled the landfill for several days in 2020 and, according to the complaint, each day they observed Burns using a pump to discharge leachate from the collection system down a hill into a nearby creek.
If convicted, the charges carry maximum penalties of six months in prison and a fine of up to $25,000 for each day violations occurred. Burns is set to appear in court at the end of July.