Mullins Cheese Pays for Discharges, to Install New Process

The Wisconsin Department of Justice has settled a civil wastewater violations case with Mullins Cheese, Inc., of Marshfield, which operates cheese making facilities in Mosinee and Marshfield, according to a Feb. 24 press release.

The complaint, which was filed in Marathon County, alleges that in the summer and fall of 2005 Mullins Cheese was shifting to a new wastewater disposal system and land-spread more wastewater on its fields than allowed under its permit, spread on unapproved fields, spread wastewater too close to inhabited homes, and failed to accurately record this disposal. The complaint also alleges that in late 2005, Mullins illegally discharged wastewater to Lake du Bay because of problems within the Mosinee plant.

These violations were investigated by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and referred to the Department of Justice for prosecution.

On February 12, the Honorable Vincent K. Howard approved an agreement between the state and Mullins Cheese and judgment was filed on Feb. 18. The court ordered Mullins Cheese to pay forfeitures and costs totaling $120,000, implement a sludge dewatering process at the Mosinee facility, and increase its wastewater storage capacity. Mullins Cheese also agreed to a schedule of penalties for wastewater and land-spreading violations during the next two years.