Legislature critical of Minn. ground water clean-up planby Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A long-term plan to clean up Minnesota's ground water got a chilly reception at its debut at the Minnesota Legislature this morning.
The Minnesota Water Sustainability Framework is a $750,000 research project by experts at the University of Minnesota. It was commissioned by the last Legislature.
The report by univeristy professor Deborah Swackhamer lays out new regulations and funding sources for preserving water reserves and keeping out pollution. Much of the discussion involved agricultural land.
Republican Rep. Paul Torkelson is a farmer near St. James and is the vice chair of the House Environmental, Energy and Natural Resources committee.
"I looked at it as being imbalanced -- of course, I'm a rural guy," he said. "The question I asked was about water usage here in the metro. It was identified clearly as a big issue in the beginning of her report and was not addressed in any of the recommendations."
Swackhamer told lawmakers her report lays out a path for Minnesota to lead the nation for water quality.