Legislature’s finance committee approves settlements totaling more than $500K

Settlements proposed by state Department of Justice were mostly tied to environmental violations

State legislators sit at a long table.
Rep. Shannon Zimmerman listens with other legislators during a Joint Finance Committee public hearing Wednesday, April 12, 2023, at the Wilderness Resort in Wisconsin Dells, Wis. Angela Major/WPR

The Joint Committee on Finance unanimously approved five settlements with businesses that were proposed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, the vast majority of which stemmed from environmental violations.

The settlements totaled more than $500,000 in penalties. The largest will be paid by Wisconsin Whey Protein, Inc. in Darlington for violating the state’s wastewater laws and terms of its wastewater discharge permit. The company will pay a total of $350,000 in fines and attorney fees.

Wisconsin Whey runs a whey and cheese making facility and a wastewater treatment plant. The DOJ alleged the company violated its permit by exceeding limits set for its wastewater. State justice officials said it also violated stormwater laws by failing to properly obtain a stormwater permit.

Other DOJ settlements approved by the committee:

Kerry, Inc., a liquid smoke and manufacturing facility in Beloit, will pay a penalty of $85,000 for violating its air permit.

Pioneer Metal Finishing, an Ashwaubenon company that removes defects from metal surfaces, will pay a $65,000 penalty for its alleged failure to properly handle hazardous waste at two facilities in Brown and Winnebago counties. The DOJ claims the company failed to properly store, label and track where it kept hazardous waste at its facilities.

B2D2, LLC in Milwaukee will pay a penalty of $6,000 for violating state laws about petroleum underground storage tanks. The company owns an abandoned storage tank, and it will remove and permanently close it.

Clyde Masten of No More Timeshare Fees, LLC in Portage will pay $11,000 in fines and attorney fees along with $36,000 in restitution to customers related to a fraudulent scheme for exiting their timeshares. The state alleged that some consumers experienced damage to their credit ratings after being told they no longer needed to pay their timeshare fees.

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