Toxic Taters calls for study of RDO expansion plan

CALLAWAY, Minn. - Callaway-based Toxic Taters filed a petition Thursday with the state to conduct an environmental study on potato grower R.D. Offutt's expansion of cropland in north-central Minnesota.

CALLAWAY, Minn. – Callaway-based Toxic Taters filed a petition Thursday with the state to conduct an environmental study on potato grower R.D. Offutt's expansion of cropland in north-central Minnesota.

In September, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and farming corporation R.D. Offutt announced an agreement whereby the company voluntarily withdrew all but five of its applications for new irrigation wells in the Pineland Sands area spread across Becker, Cass, Hubbard and Wadena counties. In return, the DNR withdrew the threat of an Environmental Assessment Worksheet, a study that could have delayed the wells for a year.

Toxic Taters issued a news release Thursday that announced its petition for an EAW on the project, and dubbed the agreement between the DNR and RDO a "mistake." Toxic Taters also called for the DNR "to hold a public hearing in the impacted region regarding the project."

"Until this point, no state agency has solicited public comments on the issue, and no plans have been announced to request input from the public," Toxic Taters said.

The DNR did not immediately fulfill a request for a response.