MPCA releases draft permit, additional environmental review for Daley Farms expansion in Winona County

Contact: Cathy Malakowsky, 507-206-2608

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) today released its draft permit and estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for the proposed Daley Farms expansion in Winona County. The estimated GHG emissions are the MPCA’s supplement to the environmental review worksheet and a result of an October 2019 decision by the Minnesota Court of Appeals.  

Daley Farms has proposed increasing its dairy herd to 4,628 cows and calves, up from the current 1,728.  Using a calculator developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the MPCA estimated that the expanded Daley Farms would emit the equivalent of approximately 32,500 tons of carbon dioxide per year, an increase of about 20,300 tons over current levels. The calculator estimates emissions from animal digestion (methane), manure storage (methane and nitrous oxide), and manure land application (nitrous oxide) and then converts the tons per source to tons of carbon dioxide for ease of reporting and comparing.

Daley Farms has proposed plans to reduce its GHG emissions, including converting cropland to alfalfa and additional practices that reduce the potential for nitrogen runoff.

In October 2019, the Minnesota Court of Appeals revoked the MPCA’s permit to Daley Farms for an expansion in Winona County, saying the agency failed to consider greenhouse gas emissions in the environmental review process. After conducting this assessment for Daley Farms, the MPCA determined that GHG emissions should be disclosed for all future feedlot projects requiring environmental review. This will not involve extra work for feedlot proposers.

The MPCA uses GHG emissions inventories in other environmental review, including for energy and ethanol projects. Now, the Environmental Quality Board (EQB) is also studying how state and local governments can effectively use environmental review to consider potential climate impacts.

The Daley Farms draft permit and supplement on GHG emissions are available for review on the MPCA website. The public is encouraged to comment during the public comment period that ends at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 20. For copies of the documents, or to provide comments in writing:

  • Environmental assessment worksheet supplement - Kim Grosenheider (651-757-2170) MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194
  • Feedlot permit – Mark Gernes (507-344-5260) MPCA, 12 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 2165, Mankato, MN 56001

Note that comments on the proposal received during the initial public notice are already part of the record and need not be submitted again.

The MPCA will hold a public informational meeting on the worksheet supplement and draft permit on Tuesday, Feb. 4, starting at 6:30 p.m., at the Lewiston Community Center, 75 Rice St., Lewiston, Minn.

For more information, visit the MPCA webpage on Frequently Asked Questions on greenhouse gas emissions in feedlot environment review.