With the current National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System general permit for large feedlots set to expire Jan. 31, 2021, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will be rolling out a new draft permit and seeking comments. The new general permit will be substantially similar to the current 2016 general permit, but some requirements are proposed to be modified or added.

A draft of the new, five-year general permit (2021 general permit) is scheduled to have a 30-day public notice in spring or summer of 2020. There will be news announcements, public meetings and outreach among livestock and other interested groups.

In Minnesota about 1,200 livestock feedlots currently operate under a NPDES general permit, which covers large CAFOs that have similar operations. The permit combines federal regulations with Minnesota rules and statues. It is intended to protect surface water quality near feedlot facilities and to minimize potential impacts from pollution caused by pathogens and nutrients, primarily from land application of manure.

Proposed changes:

* Measures to limit the potential for nitrate leaching and runoff from manure land application areas.

* Use of MPCA-approved forms for annual report or records of facility activities.

* Significantly fewer number of pages by eliminating redundant text and numerous references to rules, regulations and statute citations.

*An on-line application process is scheduled to be available to for use in fall of 2020.

Look for more information and updates at https://www.pca.state.mn.us/water/npdes-and-sds-permits.

This article was submitted by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.