November 17, 2013
Public meetings are scheduled around the state to review and comment on a proposed statewide strategy for reducing phosphorus and nitrogen in surface and groundwater.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's draft strategy is open for public review and comment through Dec. 18, on the web at: www.pca.state.mn.us/nutrientreduction
The statewide plan aims to get various agencies and groups working together to increase current efforts to reduce nutrients in Minnesota waters and those downstream of Minnesota.
The kick-off event is scheduled for today at 3-5:30 p.m., Nov. 18 at the MPCA office in St. Paul, 520 Lafayette Rd. N.
MPCA To Hold Public Review Meetings On Proposed Nutrient Management Plan
Additional meeting are:
•Nov. 19 – 3-5 p.m., Department of Natural Resources office, New Ulm
•Nov. 26 – 3-5 p.m., Kandiyohi County Government Center, Willmar
•Dec. 3 – 4-6 p.m., St. James Hotel, Red Wing
•Dec. 4 – 3-5 p.m., Otter Tail County Services Building, Fergus Falls.
•Dec. 10 – 11 a.m.-12:15 p.m., MPCA office, Duluth.
Phosphorus and nitrogen are the primary nutrients that in excessive amounts can pollute lakes, streams, wetlands and groundwater. MPCA says that excess nutrients make up 18% of Minnesota's water impairments, and the number is expected to grow in the coming decade.
Surface water leaving Minnesota flows north to Lake Winnipeg, east to Lake Superior, and south to the Gulf of Mexico. MPCA says that the initial targets are a 35% reduction in phosphorus and 20% reduction in nitrogen by 2025 in the Mississippi River basin, as well as reductions for the Red River/Lake Winnipeg and Lake Superior basins. The ultimate goal is a 45% reduction for the Mississippi River.
Agencies and organizations can use the strategy to focus and adjust state-level and regional programs. In addition, watershed managers and local water planners can translate strategy ideas and priorities into the best practices on the ground to meet the goals.
In addition to the open houses, MPCA staff will be providing information at a variety of association and trade show events in coming months:
•Nov. 19 – Upper Mississippi River Basin Association
•Nov. 19 – Watershed Network, 12:30-2 p.m., New Ulm Pizza Ranch
•Dec. 2 – MN Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts, DoubleTree Hotel, Bloomington
•Dec. 12 – Crop Production Retailers, Minneapolis Convention Center
•Dec. 18 – Basin Alliance for the Lower Mississippi in Minnesota, Rochester MPCA office
Agencies involved in developing the strategy include: Board of Water and Soil Resources, Department of Agriculture, Department of Natural Resources, Metropolitan Council, Pollution Control Agency, Public Facilities Authority, Department of Health, University of Minnesota-Extension, Natural Resources Conservation Service, and U.S. Geological Survey.
Minnesota's state-level strategy is scheduled for completion by the end of 2013. Involvement of interested citizens and organizations is vital. Success depends on actions from many people around the state. For more information on the strategy development process and opportunities to provide feedback, visit www.pca.state.mn.us/nutrientreduction, or email [email protected]
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