State sues property owner, firms in July 2004 fish kill
Written by The Business Journal of Milwaukee   
Wednesday, 18 May 2005 09:33
The state of Wisconsin has filed an environmental lawsuit against a Richland County property owner and two businesses for a manure spill last year that killed all of the fish in a nearby creek.

The lawsuit charges that the defendants violated water pollution control and hazardous substance spill remediation laws in the July 2004 incident, recovery from which is expected to take years, according to the Department of Justice.

According to the Justice department, Dennis Fuller and Ful-Century Farm L.L.C. operate a farm on Fuller's Richland County property. Last July 15, Fuller and Ful-Century hired Sauk County custom manure hauler Cook's Countryside Trucking to pump manure from the Fuller farm manure storage pit and apply the manure to a saturated Fuller farm field in the town of Willow.
Rainfall on the following day washed the manure into Smith Hollow Creek, stripping the oxygen from the water and killing all of the fish in Smith Hollow Creek and an 8-mile stretch of Willow Creek. The Justice department alleges that more than 7,000 trout were killed in the trout stream.

The Department of Natural Resources estimates it would take eight years for the waterway to recover on its own, and three years under a fish restocking plan that would cost about $13,000.

The lawsuit, brought on behalf of the DNR, seeks unspecified forfeitures, damages, the cost of investigation and fish restoration and other fees.

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