Permit for large feedlots open for public comment

Contact: Forrest Peterson, 320-441-6972

St. Paul, Minn. — A draft general permit for operating livestock feedlots with 1,000 or more animal units will be open for public review and comment through March 11, 2015. The State Disposal System (SDS) permit requirement affects about 1,000 feedlots, which account for a large portion of the state’s total livestock population.

Currently, more than 1,300 large feedlots in Minnesota operate with a permit that combines the federal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit and the state SDS permit.

In 2011 the state legislature removed the NPDES permit requirement for feedlots that do not discharge water quality contaminants. However, the SDS permit remains in state law, requiring the development of a separate state permit.

“The permitting system that has been in place since 2000 has worked well,” says Randall Hukriede, manager of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) feedlot program. “It has provided certainty to livestock producers about requirements, and meets both federal and state law. Also, permits for large feedlots improve planning for construction, manure management and emergency response.”

Feedlots with existing NPDES/SDS permits can continue to operate with this permit until it expires in 2016. Beyond that time they have the option of continuing with the federal NPDES permit, which will fulfill the state law requirement.

Written comments on the general permit must include a statement of your interest in the draft SDS feedlot permit; an explanation of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft permit that you believe should be changed; and specific reasons supporting your position.

Comments may be sent to Kim Brynildson, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, or emailed to kim.brynildson@state.mn.us. The proposed SDS general permit (MNG450000) and fact sheet are available for review at all MPCA offices during business hours.

A copy of the proposed SDS general permit and factsheet may also be downloaded from the MPCA's Feedlot Program webpage. Written copies are available by request.