Livestock Farm Faces Penalties After Manure Spill Contamination
Wisconsin Ag Connection – 09/23/2011
A concentrated animal feeding operation in Kewaunee County has been ordered to pay over $55,000 in fees and restitution for violating Wisconsin’s environmental protection laws. According to the state justice department, a manure spill in April 2009 at Stahl Brothers Dairy, LLC near Luxemburg reached the nearby Kewaunee River and spread for 13 miles.
According to the complaint, at least 100,000 gallons of manure was discharged through a tile line in the sidewall of the dairy’s manure storage pit and into the river. The spill adversely affected the waters and required emergency response action to clean up.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen says Stahl Brothers operates under a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit, which requires all manure storage facilities be operated and maintained to prevent discharges to navigable waters. State law also requires that those who possess or control a hazardous substance such as manure, which is discharged, to reimburse the Department of Natural Resources for actual and necessary expenses incurred in taking corrective action in response to the discharge.
“The settlement of this case provides assurance to the public that large livestock operations will take the steps necessary to ensure compliance with Wisconsin permit requirements that are designed to protect state water resources,” Van Hollen said. “The Wisconsin Department of Justice will continue to work with the DNR to ensure Wisconsin’s citizens and natural resources are protected through compliance.”
The order requires that Stahl Brothers pay over $15,000 in forfeitures, assessments, costs and fees, as well as $24,500 in reimbursement for the DNR’s response costs. The farm also faces an additional $15,000 in restitution.