Published 8:24 am Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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Rural Development

Vortex Cold Storage: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment
AGENCY: Rural Development, USDA
ACTION: Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment

SUMMARY: Notice is hereby given that the Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBCS), as required by the National Environmental Policy Act, is issuing an environmental assessment (EA) in connection with possible impacts related to a project proposed by Vortex Cold Storage of Albert Lea, MN. The proposal is for construction a new climate-controlled warehouse with the capabilities to maintain extremely cold temperature. Vortex Cold Storage has submitted an application to RBCS for funding of the proposal.

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FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: To obtain copies of the EA, or for further information, contact: Ron Omann, State Environmental Coordinator, 375 Jackson Street, Suite 410, St. Paul, MN 55101, (651) 602-7796,

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: Vortex Cold Storage proposes to construct a new facility which includes a 161,000-square foot warehouse which consists of a 130,000-square foot cold storage area, 30,000-square foot shipping area and a 1,000 square foot office space. The project includes 30 parking stalls for semi-trucks and trailers, 36 motor vehicle parking stalls, twelve shipping docks and an access road bordering the building to the north, east and west. Access will be provided by two paved driveways connecting to East 14th Street.

Braun Intertec, an environmental consultant, prepared an environmental assessment for USDA-RBCS that describes the project, assesses the proposed project’s environmental impacts, and summarizes as applicable any mitigation measures used to minimize environmental effects.

USDA Rural Business and Cooperative Service has conducted an independent evaluation of the environmental assessment and believes that it accurately assesses the impacts of the proposed project. No significant impacts are expected as a result of the construction of the project.
The environmental assessment can be reviewed at the following locations: Braun Intertec, 4210 Highway 14 East, Rochester, Minnesota; phone 507.281.2515. The environmental assessment is also available for review on the Braun Intertec website at:

Questions and comments should be sent to USDA-RBCS at the address provided. USDA will accept questions and comments on the environmental assessment for 14 days from the date of publication of this notice.

Any final action by USDA related to the proposed project will be subject to, and contingent upon, compliance with all relevant Federal environmental laws and regulations and completion of environmental review procedures as prescribed by 7 CFR Part 1970, Environmental Policies and Procedures.

A general location map of the proposal is shown below.