Air tests at hog farm again show safe air

September 5, 2018

BELLECHESTER, Minn. — The final results for hydrogen sulfide monitoring on two Goodhue County hog farms are in, and in both cases the air is clear.

At the Jeff Finishing site, owned by Circle K Family Farms, a second week of testing yielded a single half-hour average reading in double digits, 10 parts per billion of hydrogen sulfide from roughly 3 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. Aug. 11. The highest reading from a week of testing in July at the site was 9 ppb.

The confinement barn, located about 4 miles northeast of Bellechester, is one of two sites owned by the Kohlnhofer family that was tested this summer.

The Holst I site, which was tested for just one week in July, had a high reading of 16 ppb.

A violation occurs when the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency finds more than two 30-minute readings of 30 ppb within a week or more than one reading of 50 ppb in a year.

At the farm owned by Sam Gadient located five miles northwest of Goodhue, the high reading for the week of Aug. 14-21 was 1 ppb of hydrogen sulfide. The 720 animal unit hog farm had a high reading of 4 ppb during its first week of testing.

The MPCA conducts testing when neighbors make complaints about odors and can cite several instances where they believe violations have occurred, said Cathy Rofshus, a spokesperson with the MPCA.

The Kohlnhofer farms have been under scrutiny since a group of neighbors to a proposed new hog facility began opposing the permitting and construction of the facility nearly two years ago.

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