The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will hold a meeting on additional test results for a proposed swine facility in Fillmore County.

Catalpa Ag wants to build a new 4,890-head swine farrowing facility about 10 miles east of Harmony in Fillmore County that would include two barns, an animal mortality composting building, a stormwater basin and a livestock watering well.

The proposed facility would generate an estimated 7.3 million gallons of liquid manure annually that would be stored in reinforced concrete pits below the barns, with a total capacity of nearly 8.9 million gallons.

Catalpa would remove the manure in fall and inject it into cropland as fertilizer following an MPCA-approved manure management plan requiring at least 732 acres of cropland. More than 1,761 acres of cropland are available for land application among 24 sites in the county.

After deciding on an additional investigation and needing more time to respond to 771 comment letters, the MPCA delayed a decision on an Environmental Impact Statement for the proposal. The agency has until Dec. 31 to make that decision.

The public informational meeting will be held Tuesday, December 4th on additional investigations for the proposed Catalpa Ag swine facility in Fillmore County. The meeting will be at the Mabel Community Center at 6:30 pm.

The agency will present their findings and allow time for questions afterward. The MPCA will accept comments on the investigations through December 11th.

Based on comments received during the initial public notice for the proposal’s environmental review and draft feedlot permit, the MPCA requested:

1. An investigation of a potential sinkhole, because this karst feature requires protective measures to prevent contamination of groundwater.
2. An Electrical Resistivity Imaging (ERI) survey to determine if significant karst features exist underground, which would impact conditions for the proposed feedlot.

According to reports, the first investigation found no evidence of a sinkhole near the proposed project site, and the ERI survey, by a consultant, found no karst hazards that would preclude construction at the site.

Although, two different parties reviewing the ERI survey report have submitted comments that differ with the consultant's methods and interpretations.

The MPCA will present the findings of both investigations, and the additional comments, at the Dec. 4 meeting.


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