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10,500 head dairy operation proposed west of Willmar

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has released for public review the draft permit and environmental assessment worksheet (EAW), including estimated greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for a proposed dairy west of Willmar in Chippewa County.

Riverview, LLP proposes to build a 10,500-head dairy farm in Section 23 of Grace Township, Chippewa County. About 23 miles west of Willmar on the south side of State Highway 40, Grace Dairy will house Jersey cows in a total confinement, free-stall barn. Clay-lined basins, with impermeable covers, will collect and store liquid manure and wastewater.

Following an MPCA-approved manure management plan, the manure will be removed from the basins and injected into cropland as fertilizer in the fall. The dairy farm needs approximately 7,300 acres of cropland to apply the 85 million gallons of manure generated annually. More than 12,000 acres of cropland are available.

Riverview has applied to the Dept. of Natural Resources for a permit to withdraw up to 120 million gallons per year of groundwater. Long-term monitoring of the source aquifer will be required as a condition of an issued permit.

(JP Cola, KWLM)

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