Contact: Forrest Peterson, (320) 214-3789
Marshall, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) for the proposed construction of a new dairy in Kandiyohi County west of Willmar. The EAW, which describes potential impacts on land use, water quality and air quality, is open for public review and comment through Aug. 27, 2008.
Meadow Star Dairy plans to build a 9,590-head facility in Section 8 of St. John's Township about two miles southwest of Pennock. Milking of 4,754 cows will begin in summer 2009; 906 dry cows, 340 heifers and 3,590 calves will comprise the remainder, for a total of 9,590 head (8,880 animal units). Buildings will include one 1,360-foot-by-512-foot free-stall barn, one 360-foot-by-276-foot calf barn, one 288-foot-by-80-foot calf barn and one 425-foot-by-95-foot milking parlor/holding pen.
Manure will be stored in two 575-foot-by-500-foot clay-lined earthen basins 20 feet deep. In addition, an 800-foot-by-690-foot feed storage pad will be covered. Manure will be scraped from the alleys of the free-stall barn twice each day and flushed to a fully enclosed concrete holding tank. From there the manure will be pumped to an anaerobic digester, producing gases that will fuel engines to produce electricity that will be sold to the local grid. Solids will be separated for re-use as bedding, and the remaining effluent will then be pumped to the lagoon system. A bio-filter will be installed to filter gases from the concrete holding tank. Manure will be removed from the lagoons once a year in the fall, after crops have been harvested, and injected into cropland as fertilizer.
The EAW provides basic information on how a proposed project could potentially affect the environment. During the 30-day period it is open to public review and comment. Comments should be submitted in writing by 4:30 p.m. on Aug. 27, 2008 to Kevin Kain, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., Saint Paul, MN 55155-4194, or by fax to (651) 297-2343.
The MPCA will use these comments to evaluate the potential for significant environmental effects from the project, and to decide whether an Environmental Impact Statement (a more comprehensive environmental review) is needed.
Copies of the Meadow Star Dairy EAW are available for review at the MPCA St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Road N.; at the MPCA Willmar office, 1601 E. Highway 12, Suite 1; and on the MPCA Web site at/news/index.html. A copy of the EAW may be requested from the MPCA by calling (651) 297-8510. Questions about the project should be directed to Kevin Kain at (651) 296-7432 or (800) 657-3864 (toll free/TTY).
The permit application and associated documents, including the air-emissions and odor-management plan, animal-mortality plan, emergency-response plan and manure-management plan, are available for review by contacting George Schwint at the MPCA Willmar office, phone (320) 214-3793.