Many of you have seen news coverage regarding DNR “sweeps” of farms checking for well permits. The Minnesota Pork Producers Association (MPPA) is meeting with the DNR the end of April to discuss the guidelines that are being used to determine if a farm needs a permit.
The MPPA contends that the DNR guidance document is over 30 years old and does not reflect the technology used in barns today for watering and bio-security. In the case of finishing pigs the DNR estimates are over three times the actual amount being used. Our calculations show that a 2,400 head finishing site without household or other uses will use just under one million gallons per year. The one million is important because it triggers the need for a general permit from the DNR.
For farms that that use 1-5 million gallons per year the general permit application cost is $100 with yearly fee of $140. The farm must also keep monthly usage records and report them once a year by February 15th. If a farm uses more than five million gallons per year an individual permit is issued and the cost is $150.
If your farm is hooked onto rural water there is no permit required regardless of the usage since you are paying for the water and the rural water system is maintaining the permit. The only thing to remember is that some farmers have dual systems. We will keep you informed of any future changes and will continue to advocate on your behalf to have the DNR use correct information.