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MPCA seeks input on hog farm

Published 10:39am Thursday, June 19, 2014

By Albert Lea Tribune 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is looking for input on a proposed expansion of a rural Hartland hog farm.

The proposal, for Jensen Family Farms, calls for expanding the farm from 2,400 wean-to-finish hogs in one barn to 9,600 hogs in four barns, according to a news release. The farm is in sections 17 and 18 of Bath Township, east of Hartland and northwest of Clarks Grove. The barns would have concrete manure pits underneath.

According to the environmental worksheet, the feedlot would generate about 3 million gallons of manure per year. The total manure storage capacity would be 3.9 million gallons, with the extra storage designed to prevent overflow problems, according to the release.

Twice a year, in spring and fall, the farmer would pump or haul the manure to tankers for application to cropland as fertilizer. The feedlot would also transfer manure to area farmers to be used as a cropland fertilizer.

Twenty-two homes are located within one mile of the feedlot and three homes, including the proposer’s and family members, are within or near the application sites.

The release stated based on a computer simulation, the expanded feedlot would meet state air quality standards and would not significantly increase odors.

The project is open for public comment through July 9 through the MPCA, which completed an environmental assessment worksheet on the expansion.

State agencies use the worksheet to decide whether a more thorough environmental impact statement is needed.

The full worksheet for this project is available on the MPCA website by searching for “MPCA environmental worksheet” on the internet.  It is also available by calling Beth Tegdesch at 651-757-2100.

Comments, which must be in writing, should be mailed to Charles Peterson, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155, or emailed to charles.peterson@state.mn.us.