Under the new rules (Chapter 7020), the Stearns County Environmental Services has more authority. They will be the governing body issuing feedlot permits for projects containing up to 1,000 animal units in Stearns County. They can also issue interim permits which are good for 10 months.
Chapter 7020 governs the storage, transportation, disposal, and utilization of manure. The revision updates regulations that were 20 years old. It addresses environmental concerns raised by new methods in farming, including large animal-feeding operations, and it deals with persistent pollution concerns like runoff from open-lot feedlots.
"Feedlot owners are going to find that these are workable regulations," said Rod Massey, MPCA South District manager.
"We know we can do a better job of protecting the environment by developing regulations that are feasible for farmers to implement. We stream-lined permitting, clarified technical standards, and put a lot of emphasis on working at the local level so farmers can get assistance from folks in their own counties," Massey added.
One of the new components requires feedlots to be registered with the state. State and local agencies will use registration information to better define needs of producers in achieving environmental compliance.
It also provides smaller feedlot owners a means to fix runoff problems through an agreement which enables them to correct pollution problems over a period of years without the threat of penalties. Feedlot owners have until Jan. 1, 2002, to register.
The new rules include a time frame for feedlot operators to learn about the regulation changes and implementation.
Meetings are being planned around the state to help explain the changes to feedlot owners.
Anyone wanting more information should contact their county feedlot officer at 320-656-3613 in Stearns County; the regional MPCA office in Willmar 320-214-3786; or by calling the MPCA toll free line, 1-877-333-3508.
Copies of Rule 7020 can be downloaded by the MPCA website at:http://www/pca.state.mn.us/hot/feedlot-rules.html#8300-rules.
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