A blog to keep current on MPIRG'S fight for social and environmental justice.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Minnesota Water at Risk

Bills have been introduced in the Minnesota House and Senate to repeal 2009 amendments to Minn. Statutes §116G.15 which protect our water. These repeals will be overturning a 35 year bipartisan effort to protect the Mississippi’s critical areas. These repeals stop any new efforts to protect our water in Minnesota for 2 YEARS. This, in turn, theoretically stops the MN Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from conducting some major research/work and subsequently violate the Clean Water Act.

Another interesting aspect of these repeals is that they are meant to “stream line” the system around water quality. The proposed way of doing this is by having regular employees doing the water research that the state needs. Senator Pederson said that there is some water research that MN would want to hire researchers to do. This brings up a few questions…

a) When will Minnesota know it is “the right time” to start using professional researchers?

b) Who determines “the right time”?

c) Does MN have the capacity to micro manage every case of all the water ways in MN to see if they deserve professional research?

d) Lastly, do people who work desk jobs at places like the DNR know how to do water research?!

It is environmental repeals like these that are going to send MN from being one of the leading states in environmental quality to playing catch up with basic technology we should have already had. Minnesota’s water is our states livelihood! It is one of the reasons people come to our beautiful state. MN congress people who do not work to protect Minnesotans right to fish, swim, boat, drink safe water etc. are sending a clear message to their constituents: Saving a buck or two is worth more than the safety of what makes Minnesota so unique-our water!

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