Wilfs settle with fed environmental claims

The Wilfs have reached a settlement with federal officials claiming their real estate company failed to control stormwater discharges.

Federal environmental officials have settled claims with a New Jersey homebuilder owned by the family of the Minnesota Vikings’ owner that the firm failed to control stormwater discharges, possibly polluting rivers in the state.

Garden Homes will provide 108 acres of land for preservation within the Highlands Preservation Area in Morris County, protecting it from possible future development. This includes about 23 acres of wetlands adjacent to the Berkshire Valley Wildlife Management Area, one of the state’s critical drinking water protection areas.

The company also will pay a $225,000 fine.

Garden Homes is owned by the Wilf family, including Zygmunt “Zygi” Wilf, the principal owner of the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings.

Officials say the company failed to control storm water discharges, which potentially allowed contaminants to flow into the Passaic, Hackensack, Rahway, Raritan, Saddle and Delaware River watersheds.

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