Watershed Protection

Watershed Protection
Dayton's water quality summit a go. Help set the agenda!

Mid-January, Governor Dayton announced that his administration will host the Governor's Water Summit in St. Paul on Saturday, Feb. 27th. FMR and our conservation partners are working with the administration to help shape the summit and provide a much-needed focus on ideas that can help address agricultural water pollution, the largest source of pollution to the Mississippi River. Summit registration has closed, but you can still play a role and help set its agenda by taking the Governor's Clean Water Summit Survey.

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World's largest cellulosic ethanol plant opens in Iowa

DuPont recently announced the opening of the world's largest cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa. The plant, which uses corn stover (the stems, stalks, leaves and husks of the corn plant) to produce ethanol, aims to produce approximately 30 million gallons of fuel per year. And it might not be good news.

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DuPont's 30-million gallon per year cellulosic ethanol plant in Nevada, Iowa
FMR to file amicus brief in favor of pollution lawsuit

FMR, along with our friends at Clean Up the River Environment (CURE) and the Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance, will soon file an amicus brief in support of a recent lawsuit charging the state with failing to adequately control pollution to the Mississippi River. The lawsuit, filed by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), faults the state for doing too little to protect the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin, and calls into question the state's plan to allow the "big five" metro-area wastewater treatment plants to increase their phosphorus pollution into the Mississippi River and Lake Pepin by 35%.

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The "Big Five" Wastewater Treatment Plants included in proposed pollution permit
How will Minnesota implement the new buffer law?

One of FMR's top priorities during this year's legislative session was passage of Governor Dayton's much-discussed Buffer Initiative. While a substantially revised (and watered-down) version of Governor Dayton's proposal did become law, implementation of the law will be critical to its success.

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Clean water rules! We hope the courts agree.

The U.S. EPA’s Clean Water Rule, an update to the Clean Water Act of 1972, went into effect on August 28, 2015. Before the rule was finalized, North Dakota led 13 states in challenging the legality of the rule, exempting them from the rule until the courts make a decision. Now others are questioning whether enforcement of the rule in all states should halt while the courts decide its legality.

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Governor Dayton establishes new MPCA advisory committee

Earlier this month, Governor Mark Dayton signed an executive order creating a Governor's Committee to Advise the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). While the new group, which will consist of eight members plus the MPCA Commissioner, won't have the same authority as the recently abolished MPCA Citizens Board, the committee creates an important a forum for public input on environmental decision-making by the agency.

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The good, the bad and the dirty: The environment and the 2015 special session

Following the chaotic end of the 2015 regular legislative session, the conservation community rallied to build public support for a veto of a highly controversial environmental bill: the Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Bill.

While Governor Dayton is to be commended for his veto of the original bill, a renegotiated bill surfaced during the recent legislative special session and was passed with many of the same dirty water provisions that were in the original bill.

Overall, the Omnibus Environment and Agriculture Bill remains one of the most anti-clean-water measures to come out of the state legislature in recent memory, and includes an especially egregious repeal of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board.

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, June 25, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Nicollet Island, Minneapolis
New date: Saturday, August 10, 2024 at 5 p.m.
Hidden Falls Regional Park, St. Paul
Wednesday, August 14, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Pine Bend Bluffs Scientific & Natural Area, Inver Grove Heights