MPCA seeks comments from public on proposed beef feedlot expansion in Pope County

Contact: Forrest Peterson, 320-441-6972

St. Paul, Minn. — A Pope County cattle producer is proposing to expand a cattle feedlot south of Lake Reno. Reichmann Land and Cattle LLP plans an increase to 1,900 head of slaughter steers from an existing 1,608 head of feeder cattle.

As required by state rules, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) on the proposed expansion. The public may submit written comments on the Reichmann feedlot expansion EAW until 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30, 2015.

State agencies use the EAW to help decide whether a more complete Environmental Impact Statement is needed. 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 existing feedlot holds 1,608 feeder cattle in partial confinement barns with open lots. The proposed 1,900 head of slaughter steers will be housed in the existing facilities. Feeder cattle would no longer be held at this feedlot. The only new construction would be a 250-foot by 300-foot covered feed storage pad with runoff controls.

Solid manure is removed and immediately land applied or stored in temporary stockpiles. Runoff from the open lots is filtered through a vegetated treatment area and contained in an earthen basin. Land application of manure will occur on 3,437 acres of cropland in Reno and Westport townships in Pope County and Holmes City, Hudson, Lake Mary, and Orange townships in Douglas County.

The worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA’s EAW/EIS webpage. It’s also available by calling Beth Tegdesch at 651-757-2100. Written comments may be sent via email to Charles Peterson at charles.peterson@state.mn.us or mailed to him at the MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., Saint Paul, MN 55155-4194.

On Aug. 31, 2015, the MPCA posted its intent to modify the feedlot’s general National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System/State Disposal System (NPDES/SDS) permit coverage for this proposed change on the agency’s Public Notices webpage. Scott Schroeder of the MPCA is accepting written comments on the proposed modification. Written comments should be sent either by email to scott.t.schroeder@state.mn.us or mailed to him at MPCA, 714 Lake Ave., Suite 220, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501. Persons who have questions about the permit may call Schroeder at 218-846-8134.