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Feedlot Rulemaking – Revised Rules Now in Effect

On April 22, 2014, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Citizens’ Board adopted amendments to the rules governing Animal Feedlots, Permits and Certifications, and Permit Fees (Minn. R. ch.7020, 7002 and 7001). The amendments became effective May 27, 2014, and they have since been incorporated into the published version of the rules that are available to the public for the public on the Revisor’s Office Web page.

The amendments were necessary to address law changes made by the Legislature in the 2011 Special Session, remove obsolete rule requirements, address other law changes adopted since Minn. R. ch. 7020 was last revised in 2000, and to provide clarification to certain existing rules.

Background/Procedural History

In November 2011, the MPCA met with stakeholders to discuss changes made to the NPDES/SDS permitting requirements for feedlots during the 2011 Legislative Special Session and the agency’s intention to modify Minn. R. ch.7020 accordingly. On Dec. 19, 2011, the MPCA published a Request for Comments regarding the rulemaking in the State Register and received five comment letters in response. In September 2012, after preparing a preliminary draft of the rule amendments, the MPCA held two public meetings to discuss the draft amendments. One meeting was held in Mankato; the other in Waite Park. Thirty one persons attended the meetings. The MPCA then finalized the draft rule amendments and the associated Statement of Need and Reasonableness.

On July 22, 2013, the MPCA formally proposed to adopt amendments to Minn. Rules Ch. 7020. As identified in the Public Notice (link below), the proposed amendments were necessary to address law changes made by the Legislature in the 2011 Special Session, remove obsolete rule requirements, address other law changes adopted since Chapter 7020 was last revised in 2000, and to provide clarification to certain existing rules in Chapters 7020, 7001 and 7002.

The proposed amendments included:

  • Incorporation of new statutory language eliminating the need to hold a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit except as required by federal law, while maintaining the requirement for larger feedlots to hold a State Disposal System (SDS) permit;
  • Incorporating other new statutory requirements enacted since the feedlot rules were last revised, including new statutory pasture definitions and 10-year terms for SDS permits;
  • Clarification of administrative requirements for permits, including the process for issuance or denial of permits by delegated counties and modification of permits;
  • Removal of obsolete language, such as provisions governing older forms of permits, and expired transitional requirements, such as the “open lot agreement.

The MPCA received 79 written comments in response to the Public Notice, the majority of which requested a public hearing. Many of the comments were identical form letter requests for a public hearing, although farm organizations and environmental groups provided more detailed comments. On Sept. 9, 2013, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Ann O’Reilly conducted a public hearing at the MPCA St. Paul office, which was broadcast via interactive videoconference to several MPCA regional offices throughout the state.  A total of 35 persons attended the hearing. All comments submitted during the associated comment periods, including the public hearing process, are posted below.

The MPCA received 79 written comments in response to the Public Notice, the majority of which requested a public hearing. Many of the comments were identical form letter requests for a public hearing, although farm organizations and environmental groups provided more detailed comments. On Sept. 9, 2013, Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Ann O’Reilly conducted a public hearing at the MPCA St. Paul office, which was broadcast via interactive videoconference to several MPCA regional offices throughout the state. A total of 35 persons attended the hearing. All comments submitted during the associated comment periods, including the public hearing process, are posted below.

On Dec. 2, 2013, ALJ O’Reilly issued her report, within which she found that the proposed rule amendments, as modified by the MPCA in response to comments received, were necessary and reasonable, with the exception of 12 amendments that were determined to be ambiguous or otherwise defective. After drafting alternative rule language to address the deficiencies, on Feb. 13, 2014, the MPCA resubmitted the modified amendments to Chief ALJ Tammy Pust for review and approval. In her order dated Feb. 24, 2014, Chief ALJ Pust approved all but one of the MPCA’s proposed fixes to resolve the deficiencies. The MPCA withdrew the proposed change that was not approved and, on April 22, 2014, the MPCA Citizens’ Board adopted the final rule amendments. The Notice of Adoption was published in the State Register on May 19, 2014, and the amendments became effective five working days later (on May 27, 2014).

Procedural Documents

July 22, 2013 (Initially-Proposed Rule Amendments and Associated Documents)

September 9, 2013, Public Hearing Exhibits and Comments

September 10-30, 2013, Comments Submitted to Office of Administrative Hearings during the Post-Hearing Comment Period

October 1-7, 2013, Comments Submitted to Office of Administrative Hearings during the Post-Hearing Rebuttal Period

December 2, 2013, Office of Administrative Hearings Reports

February 13, 2014, MPCA Submittal to OAH and February 24, 2014, Chief Administrative Law Judge’s Order

April 22, 2014, MPCA Citizens’ Board Approval of Findings of Fact and Order Adopting Rule Amendments

April 29, 2014, MPCA Notification Regarding OAH’s Filing Rules with the Secretary of State

May 19, 2014, Notice of Adoption Published in State Register

Staff Contacts

Technical contact
Kim Brynildson
520 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194
651-757-2250
Kim.brynildson@state.mn.us

Rulemaking contact
Kevin Molloy
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194
651-757-2577
kevin.molloy@state.mn.us

Last modified on June 13, 2014 09:54