MPCA seeks comments from public on proposed hog feedlot in Swift County

Contact: Cathy Rofshus, 507-206-2608

A hog farm in Swift County northeast of Holloway is planning to double in size. Spring Valley Farms plans to add a second, 2,100-head finishing barn at The Pit Stop farm in Section 4 of Fairfield Township, increasing to a total of 4,200 head.

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 Pit Stop EAW until 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 14, 2016.

A National Pollutant Disposal Elimination System (NPDES) general permit for construction and operation of the feedlot is scheduled to be on public notice concurrently.

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.

An estimated 1.3 million gallons of liquid manure produced annually will be stored in reinforced concrete pits below the barns. The manure will be removed in the fall and injected into cropland as fertilizer following an MPCA-approved manure management plan.

Depending upon crop and nutrient needs, the expanded facility needs a total of about 320 acres of crop land for application of the manure annually. A total of nearly 750 acres are available among eight application sites located in Fairfield Township in Swift County and Horton Township in Stevens County.

The worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA's Environmental Assessment Worksheet webpage. It is also available by calling Kevin Kain at 651-757-2170. Written comments may be sent via email to kevin.kain@state.mn.us, or mailed to him at the MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194.

A public notice for the general permit will be posted on the MPCA's Public Notices webpage. Jerry Holien of the MPCA will be accepting written comments on the NPDES permit either by email at jerry.holien@state.mn.us, at 320-441-6967, or mailed to him at MPCA, 1601 E. Hwy. 12, Willmar, MN 56201.