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La Crosse area manure spills reach $242K settlement with state, despite GOP lame-duck law

Associated Press



FILE - Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul speaks at Gundersen in La Crosse.

Wisconsin’s attorney general has reached settlements with factory farm and a manure applicator blamed for three manure spills in the La Crosse area.

Attorney General Josh Kaul reached agreements with K&D Manure Handling, Inc., which was responsible for a spill in Bostwick Creek in La Crosse County in 2019. The agreement also included spills in 2017 and 2019 in Vernon County’s Otter Creek by Wild Rose Dairy LLC.

K&D will pay $185,000. Wild Rose will pay $57,000.

According to the state, K&D did not report the manure spill to the DNR or take action to contain it. Owner Kevin Hintz hoped nothing would come of the spill. The DNR found out because of an anonymous tip alerting regulators.

Both resulted in significant fish kills.

Republican lawmakers passed a lame-duck law in 2018 that requires Kaul to get permission from the Legislature’s GOP-controlled budget committee before he can enter into settlements. Kaul got around that requirement by brokering the deals without filing a lawsuit.

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