MPCA seeks comments from public on proposed chicken farm expansion in Renville County

Contact: Forrest Peterson, 320-441-6972

Willmar, Minn. — A producer of egg-laying chickens in Renville County is proposing an expansion at its farm south of Danube.

The Pullet Connection Inc. proposes to build one 85-foot by 475-foot total confinement poultry building and one 80-foot by 160-foot manure storage building with a concrete floor. The manure storage building would lie between the proposed building and the existing poultry buildings. The expansion will house 400,000 pullets and increase the total capacity to 660,000 pullets.

As required by state rules, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) completed an Environmental Assessment Worksheet on the proposed expansion. The public may comment on the proposed Pullet Connection expansion EAW until 4:30 p.m. on July 22, 2015.

State agencies use the EAW to decide whether a more complete Environmental Impact Statement is needed. 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.

Manure management is one concern with livestock farms. According to the EAW, after the expansion the farm would generate a total of 6,454 tons of manure annually. It will be stored and composted for up to year, after which it will be land-applied as crop fertilizer by a licensed commercial animal waste technician.

Based on previous analysis of the manure generated at the existing farm, approximately 1,613 to 2,582 acres of cropland are needed to apply the manure at agronomic rates. The farm has agreements with cropland owners with 3,680 acres available for land application of manure.

An air quality study indicates that there will be no significant impacts from odor or other air emissions. The expansion will result in a total estimated water use of 4.2 million gallons, requiring a water appropriations permit from the Dept. of Natural Resources.

The worksheet for this project is available by searching for “Environmental Assessment Worksheet” on the MPCA website. It’s also available by calling Beth Tegdesch at 651-757-2100. Comments, which must be in writing, should go to Charles Peterson at charles.peterson@state.mn.us, or mailed to him at MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., Saint Paul, MN 55155-4194.