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about Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.
for a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permit.
Contact information
For information on the Pinnacle Dairy, LLC. WPDES permit, contact
Mark Cain

Pinnacle Dairy, LLC.

On April 25, 2018, the Department of Natural Resources issued a Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit to Pinnacle Dairy, LLC, a proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Green County. The issued WPDES permit and the department’s Notice of Final Determination on its decision to issue a WPDES permit to Pinnacle Dairy are included in the document table below. The Notice of Final Determination includes a summary of all comments received during the public comment period and the department’s response. It also includes a list of all changes made from the public noticed version of the permit to the issued permit. WPDES permits are water quality protection permits designed to ensure proper storage and handling of manure and process wastewater from larger-scale livestock operations. The WPDES permit program does not address odor, noise, traffic or other issues not related to water quality.


The department public noticed its intent to issue a WPDES permit to Pinnacle Dairy in The Monroe Times on August 11, 2017, and in the Brodhead Independent Register on August 16, 2017, and held an informational hearing, on September 15, 2017. The comment period remained open until September 25, 2017.

The operation proposes to house approximately 5,800 milking and dry cows. This is equal to 8,294 animal units. Proposed buildings at the site include six sand-bedded freestall barns, a milking parlor, a cow holding area, and a building for sands and manure solids separation and storage. Liquid manure will be stored in one liquid tight concrete lined waste storage facility pond and three high density polyethylene (HDPE) lined waste storage facility ponds, designed to provide more than 360 days of liquid manure storage. The three HDPE ponds are proposed to be covered. The operation will also include feed storage structures. Manure will be removed from storage and land applied according to an approved nutrient management plan.

In January 2016, the department completed review of engineering plans and specifications for the production area reviewable structures (e.g., manure and feed storage) and groundwater quality monitoring plans and specifications for the production area. The production area phase 1 groundwater quality monitoring plan was approved. The production area engineering plans were rejected because the department did not believe that the minimum required separation distance from saturation had been demonstrated for key facilities. In February 2016, the department completed review of a groundwater investigative monitoring plan for the production area, intended to determine if the near surface saturation at the site is perched (separated from regional groundwater). In August 2016, the department responded to the results of the groundwater investigative monitoring. The decisions issued by the Department provide additional explanation:

October 2016 plans and specifications

On October 4, 2016, the department received a new set of plans and specifications for the dairy site facilities. In December 2016, the department completed review of the plans and specifications, and an approval for the dairy site facilities was issued. The decision issued by the department provides additional explanation and is listed below.

» December 28, 2016 - Approval of plans and specifications for reviewable structures [PDF DNR FTP]

Construction progress and site management

Construction at the site began in spring 2017 and is anticipated to continue through most of 2018. Construction to date is summarized as follows.

  • Some of the first work at the site was dewatering to remove perched water, and this work continued through 2017.
  • Construction of a berm around the site has been completed to prevent storm water from flowing onto the site, and to provide secondary containment in the event of a spill of manure or process wastewater.
  • Much of the feed storage facility has been completed and harvested feed has been put into the facility. Runoff from the feed storage facility is currently being collected and transferred, with DNR approval, to a CAFO in Rock County (operated by the owners of Pinnacle Dairy), or land applied to fields in Pinnacle Dairy’s Nutrient Management Plan. Feed storage facility runoff will be directed to a manure storage facility at Pinnacle Dairy once construction of the storage facility is completed.
  • Construction of the barns, parlor, waste storage facilities, and storm water controls is underway.

WPDES permit application and related documents

Document/document type Description Contact
WPDES permit documents
  • Notice of Final Determination
  • 2018 WPDES permit
Mark Cain
WPDES permit application forms [DNR FTP]

WPDES permit application forms and general operation information including:

  • Forms 3400-25 & 25A
  • Environmental Review Questionnaire
  • Site maps
  • 180-day storage calculation
Mark Cain
Design plans [DNR FTP]

Design plans for manure storage, feed storage and other structures.

Gretchen Wheat
Nutrient management plan [DNR FTP] Nutrient management plans, including:
  • NMP dated October 1, 2015
  • NMP revisions dated December 2016
  • NMP revisions dated March 2017
  • NMP revisions dated May 2017
Aaron O’Rourke
Last revised: Wednesday April 25 2018