Browns lineman and seven-time Pro Bowler is accused of 11 environmental violations
Joe Thomas of the Cleveland Browns, a native of Wisconsin, received a letter from the Department of Natural Resources accusing him of 11 violations to the property he purchased three years ago. Also named in the letter were a developer and a contractor hired by Thomas to work on his land.
Some of the charges include building bridges and dams without a permit, tearing down a barn without notice of intent, and discharging manure into a wetland. Some of the violations carry fines of $10,000 per day in violation.
In a statemet Thomas said, “I bought a farm and in the process of trying to clean it up the people who were helping me clean it up didn’t get the right permits and we’ve been working four months with the agency on getting the right permits and getting everything in order and that’s where it stands right now.”
Thomas didn’t want to go into detail about each offense, but did say pertaining to the manure distribution violation that the farm had previously been a dairy, but that the manure pit had been empty for some time.
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Joe Thomas tried to hire professionals to get the job done as environmentally friendly as possible. Along the way, some mistakes were clearly made. But it is good to see that he is working with officials to try and correct the situation. Thomas is scheduled to meet with DNR officials to discuss the violations further on January 6th, 2015.