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MADISON - Under the terms of a stipulation, Linda K. Kenkhuis, doing business as Hen-Lin Dairy, and the estate of her deceased husband, Henk Kenkhuis, settled a state action alleging violations of Wisconsin's environmental laws related to the protection of navigable waters from the discharge of pollutants and related violations of their Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit. On May 15, 2008, Lafayette County Circuit Court Judge William D. Johnson accepted the stipulation and ordered that the defendants pay $70,000 in forfeitures, court costs, and costs of investigation.
According to the civil complaint, filed at the request of the Department of Natural Resources, in February 2005, the employees of Hen-Lin Dairy, in violation of their WPDES permit, spread manure on snow covered fields. The manure then flowed into an unnamed tributary to Madden Branch Stream when the snow melted shortly after the spreading. This discharge to the stream and the dairy's failure to stop the run off violated state law and their WPDES permit. The complaint also charged the defendants with a series of failing to submit required reports to the DNR.
In addition to paying forfeitures and costs, the defendants also stipulated to a list of penalties for any future violations of their WPDES permit or related state laws. Kenkhuis is also required to retain a professional nutrient manager to oversee compliance with WPDES permits and to delay herd expansion until permit compliance can be demonstrated for one year.
"Water quality is protected in Wisconsin through a permitting process that requires applicants to apply for and abide by permits issued by the Department of Natural Resources," said Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen. "We will continue to work with the DNR to make sure that permit safeguards are honored and Wisconsin's environmental laws are followed."
Assistant Attorney General Steven Tinker prosecuted the lawsuit for the State.