The state Justice Department has collected more fines from polluters this year than in all of 2016. Attorney General Brad Schimel said Tuesday his agency took in almost 487-thousand dollars in fines and related charges for environmental violations from January through June. That’s more than the 449-thousand collected in all of last year, the lowest in at least 22 years. The Walker administration has gotten heat for reduced environmental enforcement since taking office in 2011, and Schimel insists his agency “actively enforces” those laws. Unlike previous attorneys general, Schimel has downplayed environmental cases until now — and former D-N-R Secretary George Meyer who heads the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation says he’s pleased with both Schimel’s announcement and the higher fines, noting that the public has a “strong interest” in these cases.