Bryan Cohen May 31, 2013, 7:29pm

MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced an $80,000 settlement Thursday with a Winnebago County dairy operation and its principals to resolve allegations of state water pollution violations.

Thistle Dairy LLC and its owner/operators, Jim Thompson and James Thompson, allegedly violated the conditions of the company's facility-specific pollution discharge permit. The alleged violations include failure to follow nutrient management restrictions when applying land waste, failure to collect and treat contaminated runoff, failure to notify the Department of Natural Resources when its manure storage facilities exceeded their maximum operating level, failure to maintain adequate waste storage capacity to prevent discharges and overflows and failure to take preventative maintenance actions to divert uncontaminated runoff from storage areas, containment areas and outdoor animal lots.

"Wisconsin's pollution discharge elimination program relies on permitted operations to ensure compliance with permit terms and to ensure that manure and waste water is properly managed," Van Hollen said. "The Department of Justice will continue to work with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that all of Wisconsin's large dairy operations comply with the law."

The DNR initiated an enforcement action against Thistle Dairy in June 2011. The company responded by re-engineering parts of its production area to prevent discharges to tile lines, increasing its manure storage capacity and moving its manure and waste feed storage piles to stop future discharges into state waters.

Under the terms of the settlement, Thistle Dairy agreed to pay $80,000 worth of assessments, penalties and costs and document the completion of its feed storage area leachate collection and runoff control system during the summer.

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