No decision has yet been made on a public hearing, which many residents from both Pelican and Grand Harbor townships called for at Tuesday’s Ramsey County Commission meeting.
Director of the Dept. of Health’s Water Quality Division, Karl Rockeman, says that the department plans an informational meeting with the public on a hog farm that may be located in Pelican Township if the application filed by Taylor Aasmundstad of Grand Prairie Agriculture is approved.
However, he also said that no decision has yet been made on a public hearing, which many residents from both Pelican and Grand Harbor townships called for at Tuesday’s Ramsey County Commission meeting.
Rockeman said that the decision will be based on “the amount and significance of public interest,” though he failed to provide a specific number of complaints that would trigger a public hearing.
He also said that the decision on the public hearing would be up to two people - himself and Environmental Health section chief David Glatt.
“It’s a case-by-case basis,” Rockeman said. “I would guess it would be some of the same folks we’ve heard from in the past, but if it’s additional folks or additional concerns then certainly that will be taken into consideration.”
Rockeman also described some of what the department will be looking for at the facility to help ensure that the surrounding area remains unaffected.
“We’ll look at the engineer designs for the facility, make sure they’re structurally sound, make sure they’re adequately sized and they’re capturing everything they need to,” Rockeman said. “We also look at the nutrient management plan. That’s the plan that describes how they’re going to utilize manure as fertilizer on cropland.
“We’ll also look at their overall operation as well as groundwater conditions in the area,” Rockeman added. “All that is part of it.”
The county agreed to draft and send a letter of support after listening to the concerns of several residents near the planned operation.