The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is currently proposing amendments to Minn. Rules Ch. 7020, the state rules governing animal feedlots. The proposed amendments address law changes made by the Legislature in the 2011 Special Session. The MPCA is also taking this opportunity to remove obsolete rule requirements, address other law changes adopted since Chapter 7020 was revised in 2000, and provide clarification to certain existing rules in Chapters 7020, 7001 and 7002.
The public hearing on the proposed changes to the feedlot and related rules took place Sept. 9, 2013, before Administrative Law Judge Ann O'Reilly. Comments were received from 13 individuals and representatives of livestock and environmental groups at the hearing. During the 20-day, post-hearing comment period, which ended Sept. 30, 2013, interested parties, including the MPCA, submitted additional written comments to Judge Ann O’ Reilly. An additional five-working day period for interested persons to file a written response to any comments that were submitted during the 20-day comment period occurred Oct. 1 through Oct. 7, 2013.
The comments that were submitted during the post-hearing comment period, together with the written comments and exhibits submitted into the record during the public hearing and the post-hearing comment rebuttal period, are available for review at the Office of Administrative Hearings; they are also posted on this webpage (below). Judge Ann O'Reilly is scheduled to issue her findings approximately 30 days after Oct. 7. They will focus on the agency's rule-making authority, the procedures followed, and reasonableness of the proposed changes.
The MPCA regulates the collection, transportation, storage, processing and utilization of animal manure and process wastewaters associated with the operation of animal feedlots. Since the 1970s, the MPCA has regulated feedlots primarily through permits, including National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits, State Disposal System (SDS) permits, and construction short form and interim permits, the latter two also issued by counties under delegation from the MPCA.
The proposed amendments include:
- 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 an 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.”
Proposed Rule Amendments and Related Documents
- Proposed amendments to Minn. R. chs. 7020, 7001 and 7002 (contains the proposed changes to a portion of each of these rules)
- Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) (explains why the amendments are needed)
- Sonar Exhibits
- Public Notice issued July 22, 2013 (explains how interested persons can comment on the proposed amendments)
- News release
- Current Chapter 7020
September 9, 2013, Public Hearing Exhibits and Comments
- MPCA exhibits submitted during public hearing (includes comment letters received during Dual Notice comment period, which ended on Aug. 26, 2013) (file size: 10mb)
- Non-MPCA feedlot rulemaking exhibits submitted during Sept. 9, 2013, Public Hearing
- Transcript of Sept. 9, 2013, public hearing
Comments Submitted to Office of Administrative Hearings during the Post-Hearing Comment Period (September 10-30, 2013)
- MPCA, post-hearing comment letter, Sept. 30, 2013
- Comments submitted to the Office of Administrative Hearings during post-hearing comment period (Sept. 10-30, 2013)
Comments Submitted to Office of Administrative Hearings during the Post-Hearing Rebuttal Period (Oct. 1-7, 2013
- MPCA Comments Submitted to Office of Administrative Hearings during the Post-Hearing Rebuttal Period (Oct. 1-7, 2013)
- Comments Submitted to Office of Administrative Hearings during the Post-Hearing Rebuttal Period (Oct. 1-7, 2013)
Office of Administrative Hearings Reports
- Report of the Chief Administrative Law Judge
- Amended report of the Administrative Law Judge
- Administrative Law Opinions Archive
The MPCA held a meeting with potentially affected stakeholders in November 2011, to discuss the changes made to the NPDES/SDS permitting requirements for feedlots during the 2011 Legislative Special Session and also the MPCA’s intention to commence formal rulemaking to modify Minn. R. ch.7020 accordingly. The MPCA subsequently published a Request for Comments regarding the rulemaking in the State Register on December 19, 2011, and received five comment letters in response. In September 2012, after preparing a preliminary draft of the rule amendments, the MPCA announced and 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 has since finalized the draft rule amendments and the associated Statement of Need and Reasonableness, and completed the procedural steps required to formally propose the rule amendments.
520 Lafayette Road N.
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4194