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Posted on February 12, 2018 at 7:57 PM by Ryan Hiniker
Drainage update 2/12/2018
Upcoming Drainage Hearings or Meetings:
10th Annual Nutrient
Management Conference. Tuesday, February
20, 2018, at the Verizon Wireless Center in Mankato. Click here for more information on this conference.
Drainage and Water Conference hosted
by Rinke Noonan law offices. This
conference is hosted in St. Cloud and hosted by Rinke Noonan annually. The conference is designed more for drainage
authorities, watershed districts and other drainage/water related
I came across an
interesting article last week talking about water quality and the cost of doing
spoke about water quality and tighter restrictions coming down from the EPA (Environmental
Protection Agency) and MPCA (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency). Locally, our Mankato wastewater treatment
plant is facing some possible new restrictions for levels of pollutants
allowable to be discharged into the Minnesota River. Mankato’s previous permit from MPCA has
expired and they are now faced with the choice of tighter and much more expensive
restrictions or dispute the matter in a legal battle.
with 42 other towns and communities along the Minnesota River basin, tried to
fight and argue their point to the MPCA, with no leeway given by the MPCA about
the tighter pollution standards being proposed.
Many of the cities including Mankato argued that the major issues of
water quality in our local rivers are from non-point-source pollution. Non-point
source pollution includes things like erosion of stream and river banks, and
over-land flow of water runoff.
be able to meet the new standards, but many other communities may not be able
to. Even if Mankato is able to meet the
standards, at what price do the new mandates come at from a taxpayer standpoint? At an estimate of possibly over $100 million
of costs for updates to surrounding communities’ treatment facilities,
it’s a very heavy burden for communities to turn around and ask of their taxpayers.
The City of
Mankato has a 60-day window to decide what they are going to do: either conform
with the new tighter restrictions or fight it through a lawsuit process. Either decision may turn out to be costly.
expressed in the article talk about how the $100 million cost to upgrade cities'
treatment facilities could be better spent on agricultural water quality
practices to reduce phosphorus and sediment.
The MPCA has no jurisdiction over agricultural practices, but it does over city
utilities. This is going to be a real
issue for many smaller communities that can’t necessarily afford the huge cost
of conforming to new standards.
I remember this
subject coming up when I attended the Governor's 25 by 25 town hall meeting in
Mankato. In one of our small group
break-out sessions, we discussed the concern for small communities trying to
figure out how to pay for multi-million-dollar upgrades to aging water
treatment facilities. The cost of
keeping drinking water safe along with waste water upgrades is a very real
concern for rural communities of Minnesota.
For more reading on this article click on the
following link. http://www.mankatofreepress.com/news/mankato-considers-lawsuit-over-mpca-regulations/article_da1308cc-0b9d-11e8-a7f7-2bfbcbb7eebd.html
Recent Drainage Inspections – week of February 5 – February 9:
I had another tough day at my weekend office.
call with issues you observe on our public drainage system, as there is a lot
of open ditch and tile in our county and only two of us in the drainage
department. We will do our absolute best to service your issues and concerns
as we receive them.
We require that all repairs to a county
drainage system (tile or open ditch) be authorized by one us in the drainage
office, either Craig or myself, before any repairs are made.
Drainage Management Specialist