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Kewaunee County man to pay $225k for violating manure management laws

A civil judgment was secured against Johannes Wakker of Kewaunee County requiring him to pay $225,000 in monetary penalties for violations to Wisconsin’s manure management laws, Attorney General Josh Kaul announced.

Wakker operated a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) and violated several provisions of his wastewater discharge permit between November 207 and April 2020.

The complaint indicates that on 20 occasions, manure spread on Wakker’s farm fields either ran off the application site or discharged to waters of the state, such as a stream or a wetland, through subsurface drains. Wakker failed to minimize or prevent adverse impacts of discharges to waters of the state on five occasions. Another 17 other incidents were cited where Wakker failed to follow regulations for manure spreading.

In addition, Wakker failed to submit a nutrient management plan to DNR that identified all the environmentally sensitive areas within several farm fields he sought approval to spread manure on.

Working with the Department of Natural Resources, Assistant Attorney General Bradly Motl represented the state to obtain a judgement. The Order for Judgement was signed by Circuit Court Judge D. Todd Ehlers, with the Joint Committee on Finance approving the settlement.

“Mismanagement of manure can lead to water contamination and endanger public health,” said Kaul. “To protect safe and clean water, Wisconsin’s manure management laws must be followed.”

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