Today, about a third of Minnesota's corn goes exclusively to ethanol production. That's no accident - its driven by policy (Federal Renewable Fuel Standard). New technology now allows us to make ethanol from other crops, including perennial crops like native grasses that are great for water, soil health, climate and habitat. I propose that we modify our existing fuel standards to require that at least 50% of ethanol blended ...more »
Benefits of Twin City bioenergy production from wastewater-to-energy solutions aren't restricted to autos. The power grid uses more fuel than transportation, by a wide margin. Economy and quality-minded folks can't ignore that max-CO2-producing coal-fired electrical power plants rely on scrubbers to remove what particulate matter they can; they store that, but accidents have happened. Natural gas is far cleaner, though ...more »
The counties administer Chapter 7080, the septic code. However, there is no oversight. The professionals fear retribution should they turn their county in for obvious and blatant violations. The result is that the counties do as they want. They decide what they "feel" like enforcing. They rarely do enforcement because of the paperwork. They do not file the proper paperwork when they are on the site or worse they ...more »
The popular US Farm Report pointed-out that in the settlement days of yesteryear, when county and township road spacing was specified in opening the wilderness to farming, many, many more residents filled the rural communities and they needed all of that road maintenance done. However, given the giant size of farms in the tens of thousands of acres, instead of hundreds or less, so many of those rural roads should reasonably ...more »
For many Minnesotans, specific waters embody what it means to live in Minnesota. Participants in this session will identify their “iconic waters” -- whether it’s Lake Superior, the Mississippi River, or the Boundary Waters – and explore what they value about these waters, the challenges they are facing, and the actions needed to improve and protect these iconic waters into the future. Key Questions What challenges/threats ...more »
Legislation must be enacted requiring lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle be replaced with non-toxic varieties.
If buffer-strip crops of native plants for cellulose ethanol and other bio-fuels were harvested with the same subsidy rate that corn ethanol receives in total, it would surely be popular. No-till, no fertilizer, no pesticides, no irrigation, no planting after the first time. How could streams, farmers, and the rest do better?
I have lived on lake Mille Lacs for the past 19 years. As an avid ice fisherman I have witnessed first hand the pollution left behind at the end of the ice fishing season. Minnesota regulates camp grounds the other seasons of the year but has no regulation over fish house "camp grounds" during ice fishing. Nothing to mandate garbage pick up, toilet facilities or the basic rules to regulate what's needed if your fish house ...more »
GovernorDayton has wisely recommended funding to modernize the aging water systems. To enhance and protect this investment, the distribution of these funds should require organizations receiving the funds to adopt a water pricing structure that is based on operating, maintenance, and ultimate replacement of costs for the system funded. Such a requirement will promote conservation of water use and provide for necessary ...more »
City trimming wastes are ideal for UMN Dr. Roger Ruan's microwave pyrolysis oil machinery, perhaps. But, the cities' water works' lime slurry lagoons are maybe a cheap way to make those products less acidic too? I'm not the scientist here, but it stands to reason that with all of this free stuff on-hand, injecting lime into the feedstock input or the oil vapor output, might just result in a neutral PH product line. Can ...more »
Making electricity from perennial crops (using switch grass or other crops co-fired with modern gas or coal facilities) is an equitable way to clean up water and improve habitat while ensuring profitability for farm operations.
The State of Minnesota measures economic success by a variety of metrics, Gross Domestic Product, gross sales, unemployment, tax reveue, etc., but we don't take into account the negative impacts and costs of water pollution. Ag-nutrients and pesticides, urban wastewater and stormwater treatments are counted as contributing to tje GDP, not subtracting the costs from our bottom line. Other costs like atmospheric deposition ...more »