Friday, July 15, 2016

Minnesota deems 300 lakes, rivers and streams impaired; farm runoff largely to blame

More than 300 of Minnesota's lakes, rivers and streams—40 percent of those tested—are "impaired by farm runoff, bacteria, mercury or other pollutants," Dan Gunderson reports for Minnesota Public Radio. The largest share of polluted water is in the western and southern parts of the state, where agriculture is more plentiful. Overall, the state tested about two-thirds of its lakes, rivers and streams. (MPR photo by Alex Kolyer: Whitewater River)

Minnesota is required to submit a list of polluted waters to the Environmental Protection Agency every two years. "The federal Clean Water Act says water should be drinkable, fishable and swimmable. By 2020, Minnesota will complete an assessment of all 80 major watersheds in the state. Lakes and streams will then be monitored every 10 years will show if the state is reducing pollution." The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency this year proposed removing two bodies of water from the list because of improved conditions. (Read more)

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