Cows at bunk.
October 17, 2019

Minnesota Pollution Agency Required to Consider Air Emissions In Dairy Permitting Case

 |  By: Jim Dickrell

The Minnesota Court of Appeals is requiring the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to consider air emissions and the potential effects of greenhouse gas emissions in its permitting of a dairy that want to expand from 1,500 cows to 3,000, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

MPCA had previously approved the permit to expand Daley Farms near Lewiston in the southeast corner of the state. Daley Farms first applied for the permit in July 2017, and has fought several contentious local challenges since. The main challenge to the permit came from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.

In this latest saga, the Minnesota Appeals Court said MPCA failed to consider GHG emissions in its processes, and therefore its decision to deny the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy’s request for an environmental impact statement was arbitrary and capricious.

The Appeals Court did find in favor of MPCA in three other areas, finding two were supported by “substantial evidence” and in the third MPCA had not committed a procedural error in not issuing a Commissioner’s report. Read the 30-page ruling here.

A lawyer for the dairy, Matthew Berger, acknowledges the Appellate Court ruling is somewhat surprising, but said the judges did not require MPCA to change its practices. “I see it as more of a procedural, minor issue,” he told the Star Tribune.

For more detail, click here.