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Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery to pay $250K for violating wastewater discharge permit

WCCO digital headlines: Morning of Sept. 29, 2023
WCCO digital headlines: Morning of Sept. 29, 2023 01:08

MADISON, Wis. — A Wisconsin creamery must pay $250,000 for allegedly violating its wastewater discharge permit and polluting a nearby creek, according to the state's Department of Justice.

The state sued Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery in late 2022 for allegedly violating its permit. 

Between October of 2017 and August of 2022, the company's permit violation negatively impacted the quality at Isabelle Creek, which is used by local anglers, Attorney General Josh Kaul said. The lawsuit alleges that a 3-mile portion of the stream was harmed and the violation caused a fish kill.

The facility, located in Pierce County, processes milk into barrel cheese, cheese curds, and dried milk products.

In addition to the $250,000, the company must install additional pollution control equipment.

In a statement, Ellsworth CEO Paul Bauer said the "Any wastewater effluent discharged over permit limits was completely unintentional and addressed immediately, with complete follow-up reporting to and cooperation with the DNR. We are proud to have been a part of the Ellsworth community for more than 100 years thanks to our farmer-workers who share our deep commitment to environmental responsibility, and we will remain dedicated to protecting the environment and its natural resources."

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