Watch the full six minute video telling the story of the people of Fillmore County fighting to protect their drinking water by pressing play on the video below.
When an out of state feedlot operator proposed to build a 5,000 head swine feedlot in the rolling hills of Fillmore County, local citizens rose up in alarm at the prospect of almost 8 million gallons of liquid hog sewage that the project would generate every year. In an area where the drinking water for many homes is already contaminated with unsafe levels of nitrates from fertilizers and manure, they had a right to be concerned. Almost all of the manure would be applied to fields in their communities, on top of their drinking water sources in an area where groundwater is easily contaminated by anything applied to the surface. Even worse, there is a chance that a sinkhole could empty one of the manure lagoons directly into the water supply for the area. That would be catastrophic.
The local community asked MCEA for help, and our lawyers sprang into action with only ten days left to provide input on the state feedlot permits. MCEA agreed to legally represent the community in their efforts to protect their drinking water. Our actions put a stop to the state's permitting processes, allowing the local township the time it needed to take action itself.
In August, Newburg Township enacted a one-year moratorium on any new feedlots over 500 "animal units" (a way to standardize head counts across dairy cattle, beef, pigs, and poultry), thereby ensuring that the community's water would stay protected. - at least for now, that is.
MCEA is continuing to assist the community in creating permanent protections that will ensure clean drinking water for decades to come.
Can we count on you to help make this vision a reality? Click the button on the left to tell the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to protect Newburg's drinking water. Click the button on the right to support our work.