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Fillmore residents push for Environmental Impact Study on proposed hog farm

Residents of Fillmore County have submitted more than 400 comments to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency calling for an Environmental Impact Study surrounding the construction of a factory hog farm. Tuesday was another step in their process of fighting against it as they rallied in St. Paul.

Posted: Jul. 3, 2018 6:33 PM
Updated: Jul. 3, 2018 7:15 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Residents of Fillmore County have submitted more than 400 comments to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency calling for an Environmental Impact Study surrounding the construction of a factory hog farm. Tuesday was another step in their process of fighting against it as they rallied in St. Paul.

Dozens of residents from Fillmore County made their voices heard. First, they stopped at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency before heading to the State Capitol to talk to Governor Mark Dayton.

Family members, business owners and members of the Amish community held signs and let their voices be heard.

"It's my air, it's our air, it's our water, it's our property value," said resident Mark Spande.

The Mayor of Mabel was also at the event. "It's the smell, air quality is a big issue. All of these people are going to go hang their clothes on the line and take it off and all you'll smell is pig," said Mayor James Westby.

While the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Commissioner was not at Tuesday's meeting residents were able to share each of their stories with the Assistant Commissioner.

Long time Fillmore County resident, Aaron Bishop, has a geology background and works at Niagara Cave, a cave created due to Karst Topography. It is a type of typography formed by soluble rock such as limestone and it all over Fillmore County.

"The thing about limestone as opposed to other types of geology is that water can travel in miles in hours versus feet in years. I definitely would strongly suggest an environmental impact study as well," said Bishop.

Residents told KIMT there is still a waiting period, at least another month, before the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Commissioner has to decide whether or not he wants to push forward with an EIS, Environmental Impact Study.

The assistant general manager of the Waukon Feed Ranch told KIMT they have gone through the proper channels and are meeting environmental requirements.

Fillmore residents also met with Governor Dayton Tuesday who released the following statement:
“Governor Dayton had a good meeting with about 50 residents of Fillmore County. He listened to their concerns about the proposed hog operation in their vicinity. He told them that, since the MPCA comment period was still open, he could not offer any opinion on the project.”

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