In his search to find alleged environmental boogymen it appears that Madison lawyer Carl Sinderbrand doesn’t have to look any further than his own employer.
Carl Sinderbrand is a lawyer well known for speaking out against Gov. Scott Walker and Attorney General Brad Schimel concerning environmental issues. But what is not well know is that Axley Brynelson, LLP – the same firm that employs Sinderbrand – has also acted as the defense counsel for alleged “environmental polluters” and frac sand mining operations.
According to publicly available Wisconsin circuit records, attorneys from Axley Brynelson, LLP have been the defense attorneys in several cases involving companies who were alleged polluters of Wisconsin’s air and water.
In 2008, Charles “Buck” Sweeney defended Prairie Ready Mix when they were charged with 28 counts ranging from pollution-water discharge without a permit to noncompliance with state water quality standards, a case that resulted in a $125,000 settlement with the state of Wisconsin.
Later in 20011-2012, Sweeney defended Rolling Meadows Development LLC and Triple P Inc. for violating air pollution rules and violating water and sewage rules. Both cases were settled for a total of $350,000 in fines.
Axley Brynelson also has an entire department consisting of 6 lawyers dedicated to defending companies engaged in frac sand mining.
Frac sand mining has been a constant issue with liberal environmental activist groups including Clean Wisconsin, where Sinderbrand is a board member, and Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters. One of the environmentalists chief complaints against the mining operations is their use of high capacity wells.
According to these groups, high capacity wells are responsible for shrinking the supply of groundwater and serious contamination of water resources.
Sinderbrand himself has made no secret of his disdain for AG Brad Schimel’s decision to limit the powers of the Wisconsin DNR to regulate high-capacity wells, a decision that Axley Brynelson’s other lawyers appear to take advantage of.
It appears that Sinderbrand’s feigned outrage over the alleged destruction of the environment doesn’t extend to his own company.