Barrett Colombo

Legislative Alert

5/2/2019

Meeting to Advocate for Protections from Farm Pollution to the Pineland Sands ecosystem—May 1 in St. Paul

On April 10, 2019 the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) denied the latest petition for environmental review for proposed new farm operations in the Pineland Sands. This area is directly adjacent to the Ten Mile Lake watershed and is now threatened by agricultural pollution.

There will be a gathering of citizens who intend to advocate for a different decision on May 1 at the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB) meeting at 520 Lafayette Rd N, St Paul.

Pollution threats stem from the deforestation and agricultural expansion into the Pineland Sands ecosystem, including chemical contamination of surface and groundwater and aerial overspray of chemical by irrigated agriculture operations currently driving deforestation of the area. Right now, there are 444 wells in the aquifer that pump over 19 billion (self-reported) gallons of irrigation water per year on over 50,000 acres of crop fields.

This was the fourth official attempt at drawing government attention to the Pineland Sands environment. In denying an environmental review of new farm permits, the MN DNR cited lack of data and questioned whether another agency should be responsible for reviewing environmental impacts of the farm operations.

The EQB meeting is from 1-4 pm on May at 520 Lafayette Rd N, St Paul. All are welcome to attend, and transportation can be coordinated to ease travel needs.

If you are interested in participating, please contact Mike Tauber by phone at 218 675 5717 or email Willis Mattison at mattison@arvig.net.

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