7 ELR 20145 | Environmental Law Reporter | copyright © 1977 | All rights reserved

State v. Courtney

No. 75-479-CR (247 N.W.2d 714, 74 Wis. 2d 705) (Wis. December 14, 1976)

ELR Digest

The Wisconsin Supreme Court upholds the conviction of an airplane pilot who sprays pesticides for not disposing of open chemical drums. Wisc. Admin. Code Sec. Ag. 29.12(6) prohibits persons from disposing of pesticides or containers in any way that may create a hazard to persons or property, including fish and wildlife. Defendant's premises were visited by a state conservation warden, who found empty, open pesticide containers lying about. The trial court affirmed defendant's conviction.

Defendant's assertion that the rule is unconstitutionally vague is without merit.The rule is sufficiently precise to give notice to those affected of prohibited conduct. State v. Woodington, 31 Wisc.2d 151, 142 N.W.2d 810 (1966). Similarly, defendant's contention that the evidence at trial was insufficient to sustain a conviction is incorrect. The evidence showed that the pesticides are hazardous and that the containers were attractive enough to pose a visible hazard to children and wildlife. The jury was not required to find that the pesticides actually caused injury but only that they constituted a hazard.

Order affirmed.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (8 pp. $1.00, ELR Order No. C-1102).

Counsel for Plaintiff
Bronson C. La Follette, Attorney General
Marguerite M. Moeller, Asst. Attorney General
Department of Justice
114 East State Capitol
Madison WI 53702
(608) 266-1221

Counsel for Defendant
Thomas W. Bertz
Peickert, Anderson, Fisher, Shannon & O'Brian
1007 W. Ellis St.
Stevens Point WI 54481
(715) 344-0890

Abrahamson, J.


7 ELR 20145 | Environmental Law Reporter | copyright © 1977 | All rights reserved