Brown County farm fined $320,000 in wastewater settlement

Colleen Kottke
Wisconsin State Farmer
An investigation by the DOJ and DNR found that Ledgeview Farms LLC, owned by the Pansier family, found that the operation committed multiple violations on the federal, state, and town levels.

A DePere dairy farm has agreed to pay the state $320,000 to resolve wastewater law violations.

Attorney General Josh Kaul made the announcement of the settlement with Ledgeview Farms LLC, Roy Pansier, Glen Pansier, and Jason Pansier on March 10, 2023. The settlement was approved by the Brown County Circuit Court on February 28, 2023.

Kaul says the farm operated its 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 the farm obtained the necessary permit, Kaul says it violated requirements in the permit including by continuing to have discharges of manure and wastewater to nearby waterways, not having adequate manure storage and failing to upgrade or stop using 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.

“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 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).