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Forever Green

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

House votes 69-56 to block state’s Groundwater Protection Rule

On Monday, April 26, the Minnesota House of Representatives voted 69-56 to pass a bill to block the state’s Groundwater Protection Rule from going into effect without legislative approval.

Gov. Mark Dayton has promised a veto, but the blocking language exists in several other bills, meaning it may yet advance to the governor's desk as part of other legislation. >>

April 17

Governor announces changes to draft Groundwater Protection Rule

Tuesday, March 6, Gov. Mark Dayton and Minnesota Department of Agriculture Commissioner Dave Fredrickson announced revisions to the states proposed groundwater protection rules.

While the final rule language won’t be released for public comment until May, the announcement outlined some major changes to the state’s preliminary draft, with improvements in some areas and major risks to public health and saftey in others. >>
 

March 6

Multiple bills undermine state drinking water protection authority

We can all agree that clean, safe drinking water should be accessible and affordable for everyone regardless of geography or income. Unfortunately, no fewer than five bills have already been introduced this session that undercut state authority to protect public and private wells from contamination through the 1989 Groundwater Protection Act. >>

February 27

Proposed MN nitrate rule fails to protect drinking water

row crops and water tower

Annual crops planted in rows, like corn and soybeans, are treated with nitrate fertilizers that are increasingly ending up in Minnesotan's drinking water. (Photo by Weekly Grist, Joe Dempsey.)

We can all agree that clean, safe drinking water should be accessible and affordable for everyone regardless of geography or income. Sadly, that’s not the case for many Minnesotans.

Nitrate used in cropland fertilizer is a leading source of drinking water contamination in Minnesota. Although essential for plant growth and health, excess nitrate harms aquatic life and human health and drives the formation of the “Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico. It's also extremely costly to Greater Minnesota communities.

That’s why FMR is working with our conservation allies to strengthen a new Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule – one of the few places in state law where regulators can require row-crop farming operations, the biggest source of nitrates, to reduce pollution to our waters. >>

October 6

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