Attorney General Kaul Announces $320,000 Settlement with Ledgeview Farms to Resolve Violations of Wisconsin's Wastewater Laws
MADISON, Wis. – Attorney General Josh Kaul announced a settlement with Ledgeview Farms LLC, Ledgeview Facility LLC, Roy Pansier, Glen Pansier, and Jason Pansier requiring them to pay $320,000 to resolve violations of Wisconsin’s wastewater laws at their concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in De Pere. The settlement was approved by the Brown County Circuit Court on February 28, 2023.
“Those who break our laws and pollute Wisconsin water should be held to account,” said Attorney General Kaul. “Thank you to the DOJ and DNR public servants that fought for clean water in Brown County.”
The defendants operated their large CAFO for years without the legally required Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES permit). During that time, the defendants repeatedly allowed manure and wastewater from their farm to enter nearby waterways. After Ledgeview Farms obtained a WPDES permit for the CAFO, Ledgeview Farms violated numerous requirements in that permit, including by continuing to have discharges of manure and wastewater to nearby waterways from the CAFO. Ledgeview Farms also did not have adequate manure storage and failed to upgrade or stop using numerous facilities that did not comply with applicable engineering standards. Defendants were either found liable by the court or admitted their liability on all 19 violations alleged by the state in the amended complaint.
The settlement agreement requires the defendants to pay $320,000 in forfeitures, surcharges, court costs, and attorney fees. The defendants are also required to stop using a feed storage area that does not adequately capture wastewater runoff. Wastewater from this feed storage area contaminated a waterway that flows through a residential neighborhood at least twice during October 2019.
The investigation of many of the violations alleged by the state began with a tip from a member of the public. The public can report tips anonymously to the DNR Tip Hotline at 1-800-TIP-WDNR (1-800-847-9367).
Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) Public Protection Unit Assistant Attorney General Emily M. Ertel represented the State of Wisconsin. DOJ worked closely with the DNR to obtain this result.
The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance approved the proposed resolution on February 15, 2023.