The state Attorney General says it was a former employee, concerned with Menard's practices at the distribution center where he worked, that sparked he inquiry.
Peg Lautenschlager says the allegations involved paint solvent, hydraulic fluids, battery acid, and other fluids being dumped into a floor drain. The criminal complaint says the drain emptied into a storm sewer that eventually flowed into the Chippewa River.
A spokesperson for Menards says only snow melt from pallets and wash water from a nearby sink were disposed of in the drain. They also say the drain was plumbed incorrectly and they have since sealed it. They also say they weren't aware of the drain until last September. That's the same time the D.N.R executed a search warrant to look into the allegations.
Officials at Menards say the charges aren't about the DNR's concern for the environment. Instead they say, it's "the DNR's flagrant attempt to funnel money into their own pockets and the attorney general's willingness to play along in a pathetic attempt to resurrect her own embattled political career."
A court appearance is scheduled for September 20 in Eau Claire.