Comment period for proposed dairy farm near Tintah in Grant County ends July 18

Contact: Dan Olson, MPCA, 218-846-8108

Riverview, LLP is proposing to develop an 11,000-head Jersey dairy farm called North Ottawa Dairy just east of Tintah in Grant County in the Bois de Sioux watershed. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting comments on the project’s environmental review through July 18, 2018 at 4:30 pm. 

The project includes:

  • Cows would be kept in a total confinement, free-stall barn.
  • Manure and wastewater would be stored in five clay-lined earthen basins, four with impermeable covers and one with straw cover.
  • A perimeter drain tile system would be installed around the manure storage basins to control seasonal sub-surface saturation near the liquid manure storage areas.
  • A home for the dairy manager and two apartment buildings would be built. 

Each fall, liquid manure would be land-applied on approximately 7,500 acres of nearby cropland. More than 15,000 acres have been identified as available for manure application. Application sites are within one mile of the town of Tintah’s Drinking Water Supply Management Area, the Marple State Wildlife Management Area, the Shuck State Wildlife Management Area, Ash Lake, and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife National Waterfowl Production Area. 

Water for the farm will be provided either from on-site wells, nearby surface water, or a combination of these sources pending approvals. Riverview will comply with well and surface water draw rates through a permit issued by the Department of Natural Resources. Riverview will also seek approval from Minnesota Management and Budget, which manages funding of the North Ottawa Impoundment, and the Bois de Sioux Watershed District.

There are seven residences near the project, but all are more than one mile from the proposed site. Air emission modeling indicates the site will not exceed standards for odor-producing hydrogen sulfide or ammonia.

State agencies use an Environmental Assessment Worksheet to help decide if a project requires a more extensive Environmental Impact Statement. The EAW covers site location details, nearby resources and other elements, including wells, soil types, water use, manure management, air and odor emissions, and traffic.

The worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA's Environmental Assessment Worksheet webpage. It is also available by calling Beth Tegdesch at 651-757-2100. Written comments may be sent to Patrice Jensen by email at patrice.jensen@state.mn.us, or by mail to Patrice Jensen, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194. General information about EAWs is also available on the MPCA environmental review webpage.

Riverview has also applied for the State of Minnesota General Animal Feedlot National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (Feedlot Permit), meaning the applicant agrees to meet certain conditions designed to protect the environment from polluted runoff. This permit is also open for public comment through July 18. For more information, visit the MPCA public notice webpage and scroll down to the notice for North Ottawa Dairy. Scott Schroeder of the MPCA is accepting written comments on the NPDES permit coverage by email at scott.t.schroeder@state.mn.us or by mail to Scott Schroeder, MPCA, 714 Lake Ave. Ste. 220, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.