Support local control, attend hearing Thursday

Open Forum

To the editor:

I live two miles from the proposed Catalpa, LLC, 5,000-hog farrowing facility in Newburg Township and am concerned about the destructive effect this project will have on our community. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has for a second time postponed making a decision on ordering an environmental impact statement (EIS). The MPCA’s order of yet another test of the proposed site is proof positive that an EIS is needed and that there is significant risk of damage to our environment. The MPCA is not doing its job as it continues to delay and not call for the EIS.

Over the past two months the Newburg community has seen an outpouring of support for an effort to prevent the permitting and building of massive industrial sized hog confinement facilities and other facilities like it. In May, 450 people showed their concerns at the Mabel Community Center. A record 772 comments were submitted to the MPCA expressing a wide range of concerns. Both Newburg Township and Fillmore County boards have requested the EIS.

We need a full EIS because there are not only environmental effects, but also economic development, health and quality of life issues that need to be studied.

Since the MPCA isn’t doing its job, local Newburg Township citizens and the Township Board are stepping up to protect our community by utilizing local control. They are holding a public hearing on Thursday, Aug. 23, that will conclude with a vote on an interim moratorium on new large industrial feedlots. This would push the pause button on new large feedlots for one year while the community decides what’s right for our area.

I’ll say it again, the MPCA has not acted to protect us from a polluter. Furthermore, the local landowner, Al Hein, is suing not only our township but the officers personally. Hein is trying to block local control – democracy in its purest form.

I am standing up and supporting our local township and its board. Please act to support the township.

This is the best shot to stop this environmental disaster and similar proposals from harming our community. Please put 6 p.m. Aug. 23 on your calendar and join us to support our board and local control at a public hearing for an interim moratorium at the Mabel Community Center.

Jon Duhachek

Newburg Township