The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is avoiding ordering an in-depth Environmental Impact Statement of the proposed Catalpa, LLC factory farm. The agency needs to hear from us (again)!
State law requires that if a project has “the potential for significant environmental impacts,” then an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) must be completed. An EIS fully considers potential environmental, human and economic impacts, and analyzes how and if the project can be built in a way that mitigates potential harm. An EIS is paid for by the proposer of the operation. The decision whether to do an EIS is ultimately made by MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine. Read more below and TAKE ACTION.
This factory farm would have an 8.9 million-gallon liquid manure pit and use 8.8 million gallons of the area’s groundwater annually (220 million gallons over 25 years). The high-risk karst area it is proposed in has nearby sinkholes and disappearing springs. This geology can allow surface pollution to enter the groundwater in a matter of hours.
The call for an EIS from local residents, local officials, farmers and small-business owners has been overwhelming. There were 772 comments during the public comment period for the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW), with only six comments in favor of Catalpa. Of those 772 comments, 581 specifically called for an EIS, and a total of 760 comments expressed concern about the potential for the project to produce significant negative impacts in the community.
Those calling for an EIS include:
- The Fillmore County Board of Commissioners and the Fillmore County Coordinator
- The Fillmore County Soil & Water Conservation District (SWCD)
- A Fillmore County feedlot officer
- The Mayor of Mabel
- Newburg Township Supervisors
- The Mayor of Canton and a Canton City Council member
- Minnesota’s leading karst expert, Dr. Calvin Alexander
- Hundreds of residents, farmers, nurses, teachers, faith leaders and small-business owners
Despite this, the MPCA has delayed the decision to order the EIS and instead ordered more investigation at the site. This call for more investigation clearly shows that the MPCA acknowledges that there is the “potential for significant environmental impacts”— which, by state law, means it’s time to order an EIS. This further investigation should be done as part of the EIS process.
TAKE ACTION! The MPCA’s further investigation and the public outcry make it clear that it’s time to order an EIS. Click here to tell MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine and Governor Mark Dayton that it’s time for the MPCA to follow the law and do its job.