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MADISON - Under the terms of a stipulation and judgment settling a lawsuit filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, Spring Brook Farm LLC of the Town of Polar, Langlade County, must pay $27,500 for violations of Wisconsin water pollution laws. The judgment resolves charges relating to two manure discharges in March 2002 and 2005.
Spring Brook Farm operates a concentrated animal feeding operation (a livestock facility with over 1,000 animal units), which between 2002 and 2004 land spread 14 to 19 million gallons of liquid manure annually. Spring Brook Farm's operation is regulated by a wastewater discharge permit issued under Wisconsin law, which prohibits the runoff of land applied manure to protect state waters from contamination.
According to the state's complaint, in March 2002, a Spring Brook contractor spread 85,000 gallons of liquid manure on a field, and the manure with snow melt ran off the field into the adjacent property owner's foundation. In March 2005, a Spring Brook contractor spread 250,000 gallons of liquid manure on a field, and the manure with snow melt ran off the field into a drainage way tributary to the Spring Brook Creek.
Spring Brook Farms has since constructed additional manure storage capacity onsite, to minimize the need for winter land spreading of manure and to ensure that manure runoff events will not happen again.
Under the terms of the settlement, Spring Brook Farm must pay $16,553 in penalties and surcharges, and $10,947 in costs.
In announcing the judgment, Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen stressed how important it is for large livestock operations to take the steps necessary to ensure compliance with Wisconsin permit requirements that are designed to protect state water resources.
The settlement was approved by Langlade County Circuit Court Judge Fred W. Kawalski.
The Department of Justice filed the lawsuit at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, and was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General JoAnne F. Kloppenburg.