Expanding Operations – APT P.E.A.T. Projects in McGrath and Aitkin, Minnesota
Pioneering | Environment | Agriculture | Technology
American Peat Technology (APT), a peat harvesting company, has been manufacturing value-added products from reed-sedge peat since 2003. Our products are sold into agricultural and water remediation market sectors. In the agriculture industry, our products are essential to cultivating healthy field crops in many parts of North America. For water remediation, APT’s products help to remove contaminants in water and are used primarily in stormwater treatment throughout the country.
The peat industry in Minnesota is widespread and growing. Most harvesters are producing peat for horticultural uses. We are the only company manufacturing granular peat carriers and media in Minnesota today, and we’ve grown tremendously over the past fifteen years. We are nearing full production capacity at our location outside of Aitkin, Minnesota. We must expand our operations to meet the demand for our peat products.
In 2018, we pursued and received two peat leases from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). One lease is for 670 acres immediately east of our current location in Aitkin. The second lease is for 3,500 acres on a peatland northwest of McGrath, Minnesota. We are actively pursuing environmental review and permitting on the McGrath lease, with the intention of permitting the Aitkin parcel at a later date.
Our Plans for P.E.A.T. Project in McGrath
We want to continue to deliver high quality peat products to our growing customer base. We plan to develop a new plant and harvest area at the McGrath site, using a wet harvest method to extract peat. Our activities in McGrath will primarily be regulated by the Minnesota DNR and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We anticipate the amount of peat harvested in the McGrath location over the next 25 years will be about 600 acres.
A new plant in McGrath offers:
- Stable, good-paying jobs
- Opportunities for innovation
- High-quality, in-demand peat products
- Economic activity
In Minnesota, any facility for the extraction or harvesting of peat that exceeds 320 acres of land requires the development of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), which must be completed prior to issuance of any permits. The scope of the EIS will be determined through the development of an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW). We plan to submit an EAW to the DNR in 2019. That submittal will be followed by numerous deadlines and documents, with multiple opportunities for public comment.
On Tuesday, September 25, 2018 the Aitkin County Board held an open public hearing to discuss a proposed land exchange as part of our expansion. APT proposed to exchange a 40 acre parcel of timbered land for a 40 acre parcel of county-owned land that was previously a gravel pit. The former gravel pit is the potential site for the new processing plant and is a critical piece in the proposed project expansion. The county board voted unanimously to accept the land exchange. As a condition of the exchange, APT will pay the county the difference in value between the two parcels. The land exchange was finalized in 2018.
American Peat Technology hosted an open house at the McGrath Fire Hall on Thursday, October 25, 2018 to engage with the local community and share more details regarding APT’s investment in pioneering the environmental and agricultural applications of peat technology – the P.E.A.T. Project in McGrath. There will be more opportunities to learn about this exciting process and project; we will continue to notify the community of the multiple public comment periods and open houses in the future.
Didn’t make it to the open house? Have questions, comments or concerns? Please contact us at any time by phone or email at email@example.com
Anticipated P.E.A.T. Project McGrath Timeline
Estimated Permitting and Environment Review Process
Disclaimer: This estimate reflects APT's understanding of the State Environmental Review Program's Requirements for completing an EIS from start to finish. DNR will issue a proposed EIS schedule in the Final Scoping Decision. It is possible the EIS may take longer due to factors unknown at this time.