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For immediate release Monday, October 13, 2008.
Contact Bob Brammer 515-281-6699.

$10,000 Penalty for Open Burning and
Solid Waste Violations Near Lake Okoboji

State lawsuit alleged Bernard Cohrs and Cohrs Construction, Inc., illegally dumped and burned solid waste in Dickinson County.

Bernard Cohrs and Cohrs Construction, Inc., have been ordered to pay a $10,000 civil penalty for solid waste and open burning violations at the Cohrs Gravel Pit located in Dickinson County about five miles west of Lake Okoboji, Attorney General Tom Miller said Monday.

The Attorney General’s Office filed a lawsuit last year after the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) responded to a complaint alleging Cohrs Construction was burning solid waste at an old gravel pit. DNR officials confirmed open burning was taking place in a small pit located on the property. DNR also discovered evidence of past open burning on the property.

“The lawsuit was filed to enforce basic laws and regulations that protect our land, air and water, and people’s health and safety,” Miller said.

The State’s lawsuit alleged Bernard Cohrs and Cohrs Construction illegally deposited and burned solid waste at the gravel pit including commercial waste, household waste, a bike, an air conditioner, a recliner, beverage containers, and a window frame. The lawsuit alleged that the open burning occurred despite a prior DNR Administrative Order issued against the defendants in 2003 for similar violations. [Go to lawsuit filed 9-20-07.]

Dickinson County District Court Judge John P. Duffy on Monday entered a Consent Order, Judgment and Decree ordering Bernard Cohrs and Cohrs Construction to pay a $5,000 civil penalty for the open burning violations, and a $5,000 civil penalty for the solid waste violations. The court also prohibited any further solid waste and open burning violations. [Go to Consent Order entered 10-13-08.]

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