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MADISON - Under the terms of a stipulation and plea, Thiry Daems Cheese Factory, Inc. pled guilty to four counts of spreading wastewater on an unapproved site and four counts of falsification of documents. Scott Ratajczak, an officer to Thiry Daems Cheese Factory, Inc., pled no contest to one count of spreading wastewater on an unapproved site. Judge Dennis J. Mleziva accepted the pleas and fined them a total of $100,000.
According to the criminal complaint, filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, for four days, Thiry Daems Cheese Factory, Inc. spread whey permeate on an unapproved site and did not document that spreading in the Daily Land Spreading Log. On one occasion, Scott Ratajczak directed an employee of Thiry Daems Cheese Factory, Inc. to spread whey permeate on that same site.
If whey permeate gets into surface bodies of water, then it can seriously deplete dissolved oxygen in the water and destroy aquatic invertebrates, such as frogs, salamanders and fish. It can also raise levels of coliform bacteria causing drinking water to become unsafe for human or animal consumption.
"To protect the public and to ensure that drinking water is safe, it is important for individuals and businesses to apply such waste products only on approved sites and maintain accurate records," said Van Hollen. "We will continue to work with the DNR to make sure that Wisconsin's environmental laws are followed."
Assistant Attorney General Mary Batt prosecuted the lawsuit for the State.