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DNR Assisting With Clean-Up Of Butter Spill Following Fire In Columbia County

Editor's Note: The fire happened on Jan. 2, 2023, not Jan. 3 as stated in the previous release. The DNR was notified of the fire on Jan. 3. 

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is helping local government and applicable parties clean up a butter spill that resulted from a fire at the Associated Milk Producers, Inc. (AMPI) facility in Portage, Wisconsin. The fire happened on Jan. 2. 

DNR staff report that approximately 20 gallons of butter entered the adjacent canal via a storm sewer. Absorbent booms were deployed in the canal to contain the discharged material. The butter has since been removed.

The storm sewers are currently clear due to the volume of fire suppression water that flushed through them during the firefighting efforts. 

Most of the butter that left the facility exited via the sanitary sewer and traveled to the wastewater treatment plant. Wastewater plant personnel have been clearing butter out of the plant since the incident. The treatment plant has operated effectively without disruption, though some temporary exceedances are anticipated.

So far, environmental impacts are minimal. The investigation is ongoing. No further details are available at this time.