Minnesota needs to stop investing in Ethanol. It didn't work in the 30's and really isn't working now that fuel is cheaper. What is needed is biodigesters that form natural gas from organic wastes and the methane is burnt for hear or electricity. The waste from the digesters is a lot of nutrient laden water and Ammonia. The ammonia can be removed and used in Agriculture thus cutting the need for the fossil fuel processes ...more »
Wetlands are the filters or kidneys of our lakes, rivers and groundwater. Restoring wetlands will functionally clean water more than most buffers..especially drained ag wetlands. Interpretation and mapping of historical aerial photos going back to the 1920's will help identify the degraded or destroyed wetlands and former lakes. The DNR should lead an effort to dig into this archive of imagery to find potential restoration ...more »
EPA failed to implement the CWA, because it used the 5-day, instead of its full 30-day reading, of the BOD (Biochemical Oxygen Demand) test to set sewage treatment standards. By doing so EPA not only ignored 60% of this BOD pollution, but all the nitrogenous (urine and protein) waste, while this waste also is a fertilizer (nutrient) for algae. Some may claim that using the BOD test correct, would violate federal policies, ...more »
We have a serious legacy problem with stormwater pond sediment that is contaminated with a family of chemicals called polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). The cities and private landowners responsible for these stormwater ponds need help from the State to address these PAH-contaminated pond sediments. The MPCA has done excellent work to describe and quantify the problem. More work needs to be done to find solutions ...more »
Our share of responsibility for the Mississippi Delta "Dead Zone" may not be the largest, but as Americans we share in the sorrowful death of jobs, industry, and food lost in this mistake. But there's hope. Water is diverted to the Intercoastal Waterway via a shipping canal, and that barrier chain runs to Texas. Clean water to the Southwest is a real issue, and NASA expects it's getting worse in years to come. Algal ...more »
Three Greatest challenges: entrenched bureaucracy that will not accept anything newer than 50 years old, contracted engineers that worry more about their bottom line than that of the citizens or environments (Maple Lake-Annandale-Howard Lake is a prime example), poor zoning decisions where commercial or industrial wastewater has to pushed through the entire infrastructure instead of being placed near the WWTP. Usually ...more »
Chempolis (3G cellulosic ethanol technology: The Digest’s 2016 8-Slide Guide to Chempolis) is touted as a profitable alternative to food crop ethanol production. If this science has really advanced to a state, why can't we put corn subsidies on native plants in a buffer zone instead? It just makes sense.
The investment in clean water is not so much a monetary investment as a political one. Currently 5 state agencies and roughly 5 Federal agencies have there fingers in the Minnesota water pie. The problem is that all 10 play by different rules. i can tell you from very recent and personal experience to get a state agency to move on aquifer contamination is a Herculean feat. it requires the Governor's office, a Newspaper, ...more »
At the Soil Health Conference held last month Feb. 2-3 at Iowa State University, The invited opening speaker was Dr. Jo Handelsman. Dr. Handelsman is the Science adviser to President Obama. She talked mostly about being the lead for the US delegation to the Climate change meetings held in Paris last year. Every Nation there realized Sequestration of Carbon back into the soil was the only economically viable option. The ...more »
Most older cities have combined sewer systems, where stormwater is treated in sewage treatment plants. During heavy rainstorms the systems have overflows, called CSO's (Combined Sewer Overflows) where heavely diluted sewage is discharged into open waters. Although such systems are condemned in the US, in The Netherlands they are actually favored over separated systems, as most of the polluted stormwater is treated, while ...more »
Support funding and legislation to impose new regulatory mandates and incentive-based measures to improve monitoring and assessment, restoration, and protection of Minnesota’s surface waters.
The University of Minnesota currently has Extension Educators for Water Quality in a limited number of locations. Extension Educators should be deployed in all parts of the state to connect University research with local outreach and education. This should be at State expense, not at the expense of local government.