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MPCA erred in Reiland expansion

Sun, Dec 24th, 2000
Posted in

Monday, December 25, 2000

Fillmore County District Judge Robert Benson ruled on Friday, December 22, that the MPCA Citizens Board erred when it found that an Environmental Impact State-ment (EIS) was not necessary for the proposed Reiland Farms dairy expansion in Spring Valley Township.

Fillmore County Residents Concerned for Health had sued the MPCA for having failed to follow Minnesota statutes and rules in acting on the Reiland expansion.

In his 26 page ruling, Judge Benson found that the “MPCA’s decision not to conduct and EIS in this matter is not supported by the record an is arbitrary and capricious. This Court finds that the MPCA failed to consider at least one important aspect of the problem - the possibility of an underground collapse of the basin. If the basin would collapse how would ground water contamination be stopped? This Court could not find any information in the MPCA's brief to answer this disturbing question. The MPCA should have addressed this issue and they did not.”

The Court also found that the MPCA violated its own interim guidelines by requiring only five feet of fill between the composite liner and the basin instead of the required 10 feet.

Judge Benson’s ruling noted that “this decision does not bar the completion of the proposed project. It does, however, require further evaluation by the Regulating Government Unit (MPCA). By John Torgrimson

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