MPCA extends public comment period for proposed hog feedlot in Fillmore County

Contact: Cathy Rofshus, 507-383-5949

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has extended the public comment period to July 3 at 4:30 p.m. for the Environmental Assessment Worksheet on the proposed Catalpa LLC hog facility in Fillmore County. Comments already submitted on the proposal will become part of the public record. This means that citizens need not submit their comments again during the extended public notice.

The agency will hold an informational meeting on the proposal starting with an open house at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 19, at the Mabel Community Center, 201 Main St. S., Mabel, Minn. Presentations explaining the proposal, environmental review and feedlot permit will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by time for questions from the public.

Brad Herman of Waukon, Iowa, of Catalpa LLC, proposes to build a new 4,890-head swine farrowing facility about 10 miles east of Harmony in Newburg Township, Fillmore County. It would include two barns, an animal mortality composting building, a stormwater basin, and a livestock watering well.

The proposed facility would generate an estimated 7.3 million gallons of liquid manure annually that would be stored in reinforced concrete pits below the barns, with a total capacity of nearly 8.9 million gallons. Catalpa would remove the manure in fall and inject it into cropland as fertilizer following an MPCA-approved manure management plan requiring at least 732 acres of cropland. More than 1,761 acres of cropland are available for land application among 24 manure application sites in the county.

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

The project’s worksheet is available on the MPCA's Environmental Assessment Worksheet webpage. It’s also available by calling Charles Peterson at 651-757-2856. Written comments may be sent by email to, or mailed to him at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194.

The proposed feedlot requires federal, state and county permits. The MPCA will issue coverage under the National Pollution Disposal Elimination System permit. The MPCA is also extending the public notice for its permit coverage to July 3 at 4:30 p.m. The public notice is available by going to the MPCA's Public Notices webpage and scrolling down to June 6. Mark Gernes of the MPCA will be accepting written comments on the permit either by email at, or mailed to him at MPCA, 18 Wood Lake Dr. SE, Rochester, MN 55904. For more information about the permit coverage, call Gernes at 507-206-2643.