MADISON, Wis. (Legal Newsline) -- Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen announced Thursday a $65,000 judgment against an Opitz heifer operation, resolving allegations of state water pollution control law violations.
Opitz Custom Heifers LLC, a heifer-raising business classified as a concentrated animal feeding operation, allegedly violated its water pollution discharge permit by failing to prepare and submit a heifer lot management plan to properly manage manure generated at its four properties.
Opitz Custom Heifers allegedly failed to prevent or minimize groundwater contamination by placing large numbers of heifers on open lots with no vegetation. Opitz Custom Heifers also allegedly contaminated a neighboring private well with its activities.
Under the terms of a settlement, Opitz Custom Heifers agreed to pay $65,000 in penalties, costs and assessments, pay up to $10,000 to replace the replace the contaminated private well, remove all animals from the open lots, properly abandon the lots, monitor the groundwater at the abandoned lots and adjacent private wells for at least two years, and plant a crop to uptake nutrients from the soil.
Burr Oak Heifers LLC, the successor corporation to Opitz Custom Heifers, agreed to upgrade the facility and submit an annual adequate and updated nutrient management plan.
"Wisconsin's pollution discharge elimination system permit program works to ensure that CAFOs comply with their permit terms and properly manage manure and waste water," Van Hollen said in a statement.
"The Department of Justice will continue to work with the Department of Natural Resources to ensure that all of Wisconsin's large livestock operations comply with the law."