A Kewaunee County farmer and two associates will have another month to prepare for their upcoming case involving their manure handling procedures.
According to court records, the complaint against farmer Johannes Wakker, manure hauler Gregory Stodola, and crop consultant Benjamin Koss were amended on Wednesday. The amended complaint only applies to Stodola and his company, Stodola Ag Transport. Stodola is the only one of the three facing misdemeanor charges for polluting a waterway. Wakker, Koss, and Stodola are all facing felony charges for conspiring to commit a crime and falsifying written records related to the farm’s nutrient management plan. On Friday, additional correspondence was submitted, and the court date was moved from February 1st to March 7th.
The original complaint alleged Stodola far exceeded the manure spread on his farmland in late 2019. The amount so far exceeded what Wakker’s permit allowed, resulting in pollution discharges into tributaries leading to Lake Michigan with E. Coli bacteria readings as much as 100 times that would result in the closure of a public beach. The DOJ complaint further states that Stodola created a document that grossly underreported the manure spread by over 1.9 million gallons.
The court case will begin with an initial hearing with Judge David Weber presiding on March 7th at 10:30 a.m.