As stated on the Ministry of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs website, the Minimum Distance Separation (MDS) Formulae are land use planning tools that determine setback distances between livestock barns, manure storages or anaerobic digesters and surrounding land uses. The objective of MDS is to minimize land use conflicts and nuisance complaints related to odour. MDS does not account for other nuisances such as noise or dust. MDS is made up of two separate, but related, formulae that act reciprocally to site both new development and new or expanding livestock facilities:
MDS I – provides the minimum distance separation between proposed new development and any existing livestock barns, manure storages and/or anaerobic digesters.
MDS II – provides the minimum distance separation between proposed new, expanding or remodelled livestock barns, manure storages and/or anaerobic digesters and existing or approved development.
The MDS Formulae are based on five factors:
the type of livestock housed
the potential number of livestock housed (based on barn capacity or lot size)
the percentage increase in the size of the operation
the type of manure system and storage
the type of encroaching land use
For more information, visit OMAFRA’s webpage on MDS.