The vast majority of Newburg Township residents got what they wanted for Christmas this year.
A proposal for a new feedlot to be built nearby, which would have housed about 5,000 pigs and produced more than 7 million gallons of liquid pig poop every year, has been denied by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
And it’s not because the manure might have made the township smell like pig poop, although that was among the Fillmore County residents’ chief concerns. (The proposal received an unprecedented 700 or so public comments.) MPCA Commissioner John Linc Stine explained in a press release that the decision wasn’t actually about this proposed feedlot -- at least, not entirely.
The decision was based on some new, extensive data the Minnesota Department of Agriculture produced last year on groundwater, nitrates, and a kind of porous rock called karst.
That may sound intimidating or painfully boring, so here’s the quick version.