Three Grant County feedlot projects open for permitting, environmental review comments

Contact: Dan Olson, 218-846-8108

Spring Valley Farms LLP is proposing to build two new swine feedlots and expand an existing site about four miles northeast of Nashua in the northwest corner of Grant County. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is accepting comments on an environmental review of the projects through May 9.

Each of the two new feedlot sites (project sites 1 and 3) will have two total confinement finishing barns (total capacity 4,800 head) with eight-foot deep concrete liquid manure storage areas, an animal mortality holding building, stormwater infiltration ponds, and a water supply well.

The expansion project site (project site 2) will receive these same features, except only one 2,400 head capacity barn instead of two. The site already has one 2,400 head capacity total confinement barn.

After construction, the three sites will each have a capacity for up to 4,800 head of swine (1,440 animal units) weighing 55 to 300 pounds.
The projects are in the Bois de Sioux Watershed and manure from the feedlots will be land applied during the fall at 14 sites within nine miles of the feedlots in Lawrence Township, Grant County. All of the sites have been used for manure application in the past.

No homes are located within one mile of project sites 1 and 3. One home is located approximately 4,160 feet from project site 2. There are intermittent streams within one mile of project site 1 and a public ditch within one mile of project site 3. The Rabbit River also flows within one mile of project site 3.

Air emission modeling indicates the site will not exceed standards for odor-producing hydrogen sulfide or ammonia. The total confinement barns and below-ground liquid manure storage areas help control odors from the facilities.

If approved, all three projects could be completed this summer.

State agencies use an Environmental Assessment Worksheet to help decide if 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.

The worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA's Environmental Assessment Worksheet webpage. It is also available by calling Beth Tegdesch at 651-757-2100. Written comments may be sent to Kevin Kain by email at kevin.kain@state.mn.us, or by mail to Kevin Kain, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194. General information about EAWs is also available on the MPCA environmental review webpage.

Spring Valley has also applied for coverage at each project site under the State of Minnesota General Animal Feedlot National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit (Feedlot Permit), meaning the applicant agrees to meet certain conditions designed to protect the environment from polluted runoff. This permit is also open for public comment through May 9. For more information, go to the MPCA public notice webpage and scroll down to the notices for North Rabbit Run, Middle Rabbit Run, and South Rabbit Run. Scott Schroeder of the MPCA is accepting written comments on the NPDES permit coverage by email at scott.t.schroeder@state.mn.us or by mail to Scott Schroeder, MPCA, 714 Lake Ave. Ste. 220, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501.