VERNON COUNTY - Claire O’Connell, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) Wastewater Specialist based in Dodgeville, has confirmed that there has been a discharge of manure and a fish kill in Vernon County.
“This is currently an active investigation, and was originally handled by local WDNR staff and county staff,” McConnell said. “Now, as of this morning, I can confirm that I have been made the point for communication about this event.”
McConnell confirmed that the subject of her investigation is “a discharge of manure from East Town Dairy.” She said that she expects that more details will become available later in the week.
For anyone who has questions about the incident, McConnell can be reached at: 608-963-1463, or via e-mail at Claire.OConnell@wisconsin.gov.
2019 fish kill
The East Town Dairy is located in Monroe County, just north of the border with Vernon County, to the east of Cashton. It is at the headwaters of Brush Creek, and the Knapps Creek tributary of the West Fork of the Kickapoo River. The dairy is owned by the Nick Mlsna.
There was a large fish kill in Brush Creek, in close proximity to the dairy’s location, in 2019. In that incident, which according to WDNR remains “cause unknown,” the area had experienced a high volume of rainfall, reporting of the incident by two fishermen did not happen until some time after the incident, and the fish found were in an advanced state of decomposition.A subsequent investigation of the dairy’s facility and fields by WDNR reported a manure storage structure on the verge of overtopping, manure in a nearby pond in Vernon County, and improper storage of leachate from the silage storage pad, which was observed to be running off onto the landscape.