MPCA seeks comments from public on proposed hog feedlot expansion in Jackson County

Contact: Cathy Rofshus, 507-206-2608

B.I.L. LLC proposes to expand its existing hog finishing feedlot in Section 31 of Minneota Township, Jackson County about 10 miles southwest of Jackson by adding a second total confinement barn and increasing from 2,400 to 4,800 pigs.

As required by state rules, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet on the proposal. The public may submit written comments on the B.I.L. EAW until 4:30 p.m. July 10, 2019.

State agencies use an EAW to help decide whether a project requires a more extensive Environmental Impact Statement. 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.

An estimated total of nearly 1.57 million gallons of liquid manure produced annually will be stored in reinforced concrete pits below the barns. Following a MPCA-approved manure management plan, in the fall B.I.L. will agitate and pump out the manure from the pit.

B.I.L. will hire an animal waste technical firm licensed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to land apply manure after harvest. This must follow state and county setbacks from surface waters and residences.
A total of 418 acres of cropland required for land application are located among nine sites in Minneota and Sioux Valley townships in Jackson County. B.I.L. must submit an annual report to the MPCA on manure production, land application, and any discharges.

The project will use a variety of practices to minimize potential odor and air emissions impacts, such as cleaning ventilation and pit exhaust fans, and only agitating stored manure right before it’s removed for land application.

The worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA's Public Notices webpage. It’s also available by calling Charles Peterson at 651-757-2856. Written comments may be sent by email to charles.peterson@state.mn.us, or mailed to him at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194.

Applications for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) operating permits for the new feedlots will be open for public comment concurrently. The applications for permit coverage under the NPDES general permit will be available on the MPCA Public Notices webpage. For more information contact Brent Riess, 507-476-4268, brent.riess@state.mn.us.