Incredibly, MPCA Environmental Review Missed Neighbors’ Homes & Wells
Land Stewardship Project members in Zumbrota Township in southeastern Minnesota’s Goodhue County are facing the possibility of having a proposed 4,700-hog factory farm and 3.7-million-gallon liquid manure pit in their community. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is charged with doing an accurate and thorough environmental review that assesses the potential harm this factory farm would cause the community. Incredibly, the MPCA’s Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) on the proposal was missing basic information, including:
- Four homes within one mile of the factory farm.
- Thirteen wells within one mile of the factory farm. These wells are the source of the neighbors’ drinking water.
- Visible and well-known sinkholes on and near the proposed property. Sinkholes are common in the area and can form at any time. In fact, in 1992 the wastewater treatment lagoon in nearby Bellechester, Minn., collapsed due to a newly formed sinkhole, and nearby wells were polluted. Imagine if, instead of treated wastewater, the lagoon was full of raw, liquid hog manure. The results would be disastrous.
Dairy farmer Frederick Fredrickson was outraged to find his home was missing from the EAW. As he wrote in a recent LSP blog: “How can the MPCA expect the public to have confidence in a document that is so riddled with mistakes? The things we care about most—our homes, our wells, our water and our air—were neglected in this environmental review.”
Take Action! The only fair way forward is for this process to start over with a real EAW—one that takes neighbors’ homes, water quality and air quality into account.
Call the Commissioner of the MPCA, John Linc Stine, at 651-757-2014.
SUGGESTED MESSAGE: “Commissioner Stine: I’m concerned about the environmental review for the factory hog farm in Zumbrota Township in Goodhue County. The EAW for this project was inaccurate and careless, missing homes, wells and sinkholes. Moving forward with this EAW is simply unacceptable. The MPCA has a responsibility to protect the environment and serve the people of Minnesota. The process must start over with a new and accurate EAW. Our air, water and family farms depend on it.”
Call Governor Mark Dayton at 651-201-3400 or 800-657-3717.
SUGGESTED MESSAGE: “Governor Dayton: I’m concerned about the environmental review for the factory hog farm in Zumbrota Township in Goodhue County. Remarkably, the EAW was inaccurate and careless, missing homes, wells and sinkholes, and suggesting that this facility will be odor-free. The proposal includes a 3.7-million-gallon liquid manure pit in an area that is rated as highly susceptible to groundwater pollution. You have pledged to be our ‘Water Governor.’ We need a new and accurate EAW for this proposal. In Goodhue County, our water depends on it.
Share Frederick Fredrickson’s blog post on Twitter and Facebook. Tag Commissioner Stine (@JLincStine) and use the hashtag #fairEAW. Suggested Tweet: “Commissioner Stine: Protect family farms and order a #fairEAW on the Zumbrota Township factory farm @JLincStine”
Thanks for your commitment to keeping rural communities strong.