Open for comment: Environmental review of proposed hog lot in Waseca County

Contact: Cathy Rofshus, 507-206-2608

Lamont Swine proposes to build a swine finishing facility about 4 miles southeast of Waterville in Waseca County, housing up to 4,800 hogs. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting comments on an environmental review of the proposed project through Jan. 10.

The new facility in Section 5 of Blooming Grove Township would consist of two total-confinement barns, a manure storage pit, a building for composting carcasses, a permanent stormwater pond, and a well for employee use and livestock watering.

The swine would produce about 1.66 million gallons of liquid manure annually that would be stored in a reinforced concrete pit, with a total capacity of nearly 1.84 million gallons. The proposers, Landi and Tauston Lamont, would remove the manure once a year for injection into cropland as fertilizer following an MPCA-approved manure management plan. They plan to hire a commercial applicator and expect that manure applications would take less than 5 days each fall.

There are 22 homes within 1 mile of the proposed facility and 51 existing feedlots within a 3-mile radius, in a mainly agricultural area. There are two intermittent waterways within 1 mile of the proposed facility, and no Drinking Water Supply Management Areas within 2 miles.  The proposers plan to use six manure application sites for the facility, all within 6 miles of the site. Five of the manure application sites are within 2 miles of either the city of Morristown or the city of Waterville’s public water supply wells. The facility and manure application sites are all in the Cannon River watershed.

According to a study of air emissions from the proposed facility, it would meet air quality standards and odor guidelines. This study also took into account the surrounding feedlots and accumulative effects.

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

The worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA's Environmental Assessment Worksheet webpage. It’s also available by calling Steve Sommer at 651-757-2746. Written comments may be sent by email to steve.sommer@state.mn.us, or mailed to him at the MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194.

The proposers have also applied for coverage under the state’s National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit, meaning the facility agrees to meet certain conditions designed to protect the environment. This coverage is also open for public comment through Jan.10. For more information, go to the MPCA Public Notice webpage and scroll down to Dec. 11. Will Martens of the MPCA will be accepting written comments on the permit coverage by email at william.martens@state.mn.us or by mail to MPCA, 12 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 2165, Mankato, MN 56001.

This project will also require a conditional use permit from Waseca County and a water appropriation permit from the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources.