MPCA URGES FEEDLOT OWNERS TO PREPARE FOR POSSIBLE FLOODING
June 23, 2002
Media Contacts: Forrest Peterson (320) 214-3789 Sam Brungardt
St. Paul, Minn.
-- With all the recent rains, the Minnesota Pollution
Control Agency (MPCA) is reminding feedlot owners in areas
prone to flooding to take steps to prevent environmental
pollution and minimize property damage.
Potential pollution problems related to flooding at feedlots
include overflowing manure-storage structures and releases
from underground and above-ground storage tanks as well
as open feedlots located in floodplains or in sensitive
areas where runoff can enter surface waters.
Farmers must call the Minnesota Duty Officer immediately
at (800) 422-0789 if their manure-storage facilities overflow,
if manure enters surface waters or if their manure-storage
structure is inundated by floodwaters. If their manure-storage
facilities are in danger of overflowing, farmers can contact
the MPCA at (800) 657-3864 or (651) 296-6300 and ask for
a feedlot staff person.
To reduce the likelihood of an overflow, feedlot operators
are encouraged to divert water from manure-storage facilities
if possible. Manure stockpiles located in areas that
could flood should be removed immediately. Farmers with
open feedlots should employ a scape-and-haul strategy
that keeps their feedlots free of a manure pack; a weekly
routine is common.
Apply manure on soils at elevations least susceptible
to floodwaters, on soils that are as level as possible
and furtherest away from surface waters and channels.
Although applying manure to row crops may not be possible
this late in the growing season, consider applying it
to alfalfa or pasture.
Farmers should contact their local soil and water conservation
district office or the University of Minnesota Extension
Service for more information on allowable application
rates and suggestions for the best fields to apply manure
to to reduce the risk of pollution from flooding. They
should be mindful of land-application setback distances
from surface waters.
Underground and above-ground storage tanks also pose
a potential pollution risk from flooding. To minimize
the risk of underground tanks "popping" out
of the ground, tank owners should make sure their tanks
are properly installed and anchored. Keeping a tank full
of product adds weight, making it less likely that the
tank will become dislodged and float away. If a tank
contains little product, water can be pumped into it to
help keep the tank from floating away or popping out of
MPCA officials also recommend that tank owners secure
all openings in tanks. Shear valves on underground tanks
should be closed or "tripped" and power should
be shut off to the system in the event of flooding. Shutting
off the power prevents a tank's contents from leaving
Also, tank owners should call the Minnesota Duty Officer
at (800) 422-0789 if their tanks become damaged or liquid
manure is released. Tank owners can call the MPCA at
(651) 297-2274 or (800) 646-6247 for additional information
on flood preparedness.
For more information about flooding and the environmental
problems it can create, visit the MPCA Web site at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/hot/floods.html.
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