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MDA Reminds Farmers of Proper Bulk Fertilizer Storage

Storage areas for dry and liquid fertilizer must be permitted

St. Paul, MN: Ahead of the planting season, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) is reminding farmers of proper storage guidelines for bulk fertilizer.

Bulk liquid fertilizer can contaminate soil, surface water, and groundwater if a storage tank or pipe leaks. Dry fertilizer can also leach into the environment if it is placed on the ground and mixes with snow and rain.

To limit the risk of environmental impacts, liquid fertilizer tanks must be inside a containment system that will hold any spills. This is called secondary containment. Dry fertilizer must be stored on an impervious surface and in a roofed area that will protect its contents from the elements. There may be other requirements depending on the location of the stored dry fertilizer.

Farmers storing any amount of dry bulk fertilizer on the farm must get an MDA bulk storage permit. Farmers must also get an MDA permit if they’re storing more than 6,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer.

The storage permit application must include drawings for secondary containment. An application, along with a $100 fee, must be submitted prior to the start of construction or storage of any dry fertilizer or more than 6,000 gallons of liquid fertilizer. The permit application can be found on the MDA website.

Failing to comply with bulk fertilizer storage requirements may result in further enforcement actions by the MDA. Contamination from a release may also result in a costly environmental cleanup that could be averted when liquid bulk fertilizer tanks or dry fertilizer is in an MDA permitted containment. As a reminder, a release of fertilizer into the environment is an incident that must be immediately reported to the Minnesota Duty Officer at 1-800-422-0798.

For more information on bulk storage and permits, contact Matthew Parins at 651-201-6587 or Matthew.Parins@state.mn.us.

 

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