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agriculture

Legislation could protect public wells with clean-water crops

Legislation introduced this month would fund the Working Lands Drinking Water Program. The program will help farmers plant and sell alternative crops that protect drinking water while maintaining farm profitability. As a pilot initiative, it's limited to the state's most vulnerable wellhead areas — places where conservation crops can protect public health.  >>

February 20

House and senate introduce full funding for Forever Green

To get to our clean water goals in Minnesota, we need to plant more perennial and cover crops. But these crops need to be profitable before farm operations can effectively make the change. To address this challenge, two bills were introduced in mid-February in the house and senate that will fully fund the University of Minnesota’s Forever Green Initiative.  >>

February 12

Why we need the Groundwater Protection Rule

About 75% of Minnesotans get their drinking water from public and private wells. Many of these wells are susceptible to nitrate contamination from cropland fertilizers, which can make the water unsafe to drink.

Today, at least 537 public water supply wells across the state have elevated nitrate levels. About 10% of private wells in vulnerable areas exceed the Health Risk Limit (HRL), including some townships where 30% to 40% or more of private wells are unsafe to drink from!

August 1

Legislators delay MN groundwater protection, Dayton says 'no'

A new state rule aimed at reducing groundwater contamination by farm fertilizers could be delayed by a legislative move made formal on Monday, June 11. But Gov. Mark Dayton is calling the move unconstitutional and has instructed the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to proceed as planned. 

At this time, public hearings about the new and much-needed water protection rule are still on the calendar, including one in Farmington, Monday, July 16. Expect a River Guardians Action Alert this July as well. >> 

June 12

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