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Home > Animals & Livestock > Livestock Siting & Planning > Feedlot Decision Making Tool > Open Lot Certification

Open Lot Certification

Minnesota Rules, Part 7020.2003 - If you are a feedlot owner with less than 300 animal units and have an open lot that does not meet runoff discharge standards for feedlots, you have two options:

  • Option 1: apply for and obtain an interim permit and fix the problems within 24 months; or

  • Option 2: sign an agreement at the time of registration (or no later than October 1, 2005) to complete corrective measures under the 2005/2010 Open Lot Agreement. "Open lot certification" provides you additional time to correct problems on an open lot to meet runoff discharge standards. However, your open lot must meet certain eligibility requirements, including registration of the feedlot by January 1, 2002.

If you select the option of open lot certification, you must install interim measures by the year 2005 to reduce manure runoff (as specified in Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7020), and have until the year 2010 to install final measures needed to fully meet the runoff discharge standards for feedlots. If all conditions of the agreement are met, the MPCA will waive civil penalties for past violations of runoff discharge standards and failure to obtain a permit. Your facility is eligible for open lot certification if all the following conditions are satisfied:

  • you have less than 300 animal units;
  • your facility was operating before October 23, 2000;
  • one or more open lots have manure-contaminated runoff discharging to waters of the state (see definition of "discharge" in Glossary);
  • the facility is not designated a CAFO;
  • the facility is registered by January 1, 2002; and
  • you complete and sign the Feedlot - Open Lot Certification Form.

Certification forms and additional information are available online or by contacting your RGU. Owners of certified open lots are required to minimize discharges by implementing corrective measures, such as regularly removing manure from open lots. Owners with open lot certification must also complete one of the following interim measures by October 1, 2005:

  • install diversions that prevent precipitation and snowmelt from building roofs and upslope land from coming in contact with the feedlot or manure storage area and plant vegetated buffer areas or filter strips of perennial grasses or forages with 100 feet or more of nonchannelized flow for all runoff from the open lots; or
  • install corrective and protective measures that have been designed to achieve a 50 percent or greater reduction in discharges of pollutants, as demonstrated by the model entitled “An Evaluation System to Rate Feedlot Pollution Potential” (FLEVAL). This must be completed by a person who has been trained to use the model. Additional information regarding FLEVAL is available by contacting your RGU or click here for BWSR web site with FLEVAL information.

Concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and feedlots that are considered imminent health threats are not eligible for the Open Lot Agreement.