Environmental review is underway for two Nobles County hog farms

Contact: Forrest Peterson, 320-441-6972

Environmental review is underway for two new hog farms in Nobles County. Brothers Nick and Andy Henning each plan to build two barns for 4,800 finishing hogs north of Worthington in Graham Lakes and Bloom townships, respectively.

As required by state rules, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) prepared Environmental Assessment Worksheets (EAW) on the proposals. The public may submit written comments on the Henning EAWs until 4:30 p.m., Dec.20, 2017.

State agencies use the EAW to help decide whether projects require a more extensive Environmental Impact Statement. The EAWs covers site location details, nearby resources and other elements, including wells, soil types, water use, manure management, air and odor emissions, and traffic.

At each site, an estimated 1.7 million gallons of liquid manure produced annually would be stored in reinforced concrete pits below the barns, with a total capacity of nearly 1.9 million gallons.

The manure is removed annually in fall or spring and injected into cropland as fertilizer following an MPCA-approved manure management plan. Nearly 1,000 acres of cropland are available for each farm for land application among manure application sites located in Graham Lakes and Bloom townships in Nobles County, and Belfast and Iona townships in Murray County.

The worksheets for these projects are available on the MPCA's EAW webpage. They are also available by calling Kim Grosenheider at 651-757-210. Written comments may be sent via email to kim.grosenheider@state.mn.us, or mailed to her at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 5 5155-4194.

Applications for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System operating permits for each farm will also be open for public comment until Dec. 20, 2017. The draft permits will be available on the MPCA Public Notices webpage. For more information contact Brent Riess, 507-476-4268, or by email at brent.riess@state.mn.us.