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Comments taken on Murray Co. swine herd expansion

MARSHALL -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for a proposed swine facility expansion about two miles southwest of Lake Sarah in Section 29 of Lake Sarah Township, Murray County.

The EAW, which describes potential impacts on land use, water quality and air quality, is open for public review and comment through April 22.

Phil Gervais proposes to expand an existing operation by adding a new swine finishing barn measuring 101 feet by 180 feet, with a maximum capacity of 2,200 head. Combined with an existing barn housing 2,200 head, there will be a total of 4,400 head, or 1,320 animal units. One finishing hog is equal to 0.3 animal units.

The proposed barn will be a total confinement, power-ventilated building. Manure will be stored in eight-foot-deep, reinforced concrete pits located beneath each of the barns. It will be pumped out in the fall and injected on cropland as fertilizer.

The EAW provides basic information on how a proposed project could potentially affect the environment. During the 30-day period the EAW is open to public review and comment. Comments should be submitted to the MPCA in writing by 4:30 p.m. on April 22, to Chuck Peterson, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, or by fax to (651) 297-2343.

The MPCA will use these comments to evaluate the potential for significant environmental effects from the project, and to decide if a more comprehensive environmental review, known as an Environmental Impact Statement, is needed.

Copies of the EAW are available for review on the MPCA's Web site at or at the MPCA regional office, 1420 E. College Dr., Suite 900, Marshall. Copies may also be requested directly from the MPCA by calling (651) 757-2101.

Questions about the project should be directed to Chuck Peterson at 1-800-657-3864.