Open for comment: Proposed expansion of fuel terminal in Olmsted County

Contact: Cathy Rofshus, 507-206-2608

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) invites the public to comment on the environmental review of a proposed expansion of a fuel terminal in Olmsted County in southeast Minnesota. Magellan Pipeline Corp. proposes to build a 5-million-gallon tank at its petroleum storage and loading facility outside Eyota. The public may submit written comments on the environmental review through 4:30 p.m. on Feb. 6.

The MPCA will hold a public informational meeting on the proposal Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Eyota Ambulance Building, 753 Robert Ave. SW. The meeting will start with an open house at 6:00 p.m. Presentations explaining the proposal, environmental review and tank permit will begin at 6:30 p.m., followed by time for questions from the public.

As the population in Rochester and surrounding area grows, so does the demand for gasoline, according to Magellan. The purpose of the expansion is to meet that growing demand.

Magellan is proposing to build a 5-million-gallon aboveground gasoline storage tank and associated piping at its petroleum terminal outside Eyota. The site covers 30.7 acres at the corner of Minnesota State Highway 42 and U.S. Highway 14. In addition to the new tank, Magellan plans to install a new well, an additional truck loading bay, and a new vapor recovery unit. It would also relocate the biodiesel truck offloading station and change the traffic routes within the facility. The new well would provide water for testing tanks at the facility to make sure they are structurally sound before filling with petroleum products.

Magellan refers to the facility as the Rochester Terminal because it is only 7 miles from this city. The facility was built in 1966 with several additions and changes over the years. Major activities at the facility include receiving refined petroleum products (gasoline, diesel, and fuel oil) from the interstate pipeline system, and the loading and unloading of tanker trucks with refined petroleum products, ethanol, biodiesel, and fuel additives for storage and distribution throughout southeast Minnesota. The facility stores petroleum products, ethanol, biodiesel and fuel additives in 23 aboveground storage tanks.

Magellan plans to build the new tank with a release prevention barrier and leak monitoring underneath the tank, overfill alarms, and other leak prevention and detection features of its existing tanks. The facility would need to revise its spill prevention control and response plan to reflect the expansion, as well as enlarge the containment area surrounding the facility’s tanks to prevent any spills from leaving the site. The facility already has an on-site sewer system for restroom facilities. The facility currently generates 12,000 gallons of petroleum contact water a year that is collected, pre-treated to remove oil from the water, and then stored in an aboveground tank until transport to an off-site facility for disposal. With the new tank, the contact water would increase to about 18,000 gallons a year.

State agencies use an Environmental Assessment Worksheet to help decide whether a project requires a more extensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). The worksheet covers site location details, nearby resources and other elements, including wells, soil types, water use, air emissions, and traffic. Minnesota law mandates environmental review for any tank that can store 1 million gallons or more of hazardous materials. If the project proceeds without an EIS, construction could start in May 2019 and would take 12-18 months.

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

In addition to the environmental review, the facility requires a number of permits or updates to permits:

  • Air emissions, industrial wastewater discharge, construction stormwater, and aboveground storage tank permits from the MPCA, along with an emergency prevention and response plan
  • Spill prevention, control, and countermeasures plan required by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Water appropriations permit for the new well from the Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources
  • Conditional use permit and emergency response plan review from Olmsted County
  • Conditional use permit review by Eyota Township