The Clean Water Act

The 2002 Water Quality Assessment under the Clean Water Act is now posted on the MN Pollution Control Agency’s web site. There’s a story in today’s (8/23/’03) Star Tribune about the posting and what it reports.

Rice County lakes (pdf) don’t fare well — only 3 are “good” and rest are “poor.”

For some specifics on the Cannon River, scroll down — the Rice County monitoring results are on the second page.

You might also want to check the Total Maximim Daily Load monitoring program.
Rice County is on this map (pdf).

Earlier this year, I moderated an Environmental Forum for the Northfield League of Women Voters on the impacts of development in our area. The forum was a result of planning and suggestions from Chris Robbins and Patrick Ganey of the Cannon River Watershed Partnership. Land use has an impact on water quality, whether from runoff due to increased impervious surfaces of developed land, or whether from runoff and spills inherent in agricultural uses. This MPCA web site shows the status of some of our water in Rice County.

TMDL monitoring is something you can do. Two summers ago,

Clean Water Action Alliance, the state’s largest grassroots organization with over 60,000 members, conducted TMDL workshops around the state, presented by Patience Caso, Program Coordinator of Clean Water Action’s Water Program and Merritt Frey, Policy Analyst/TMDL Campaign for

Clean Water Network. The workshops explained the Clean Water Act and the MPCA program, encouraged citizen monitoring, and was attended by several from the district. CWN offers a great handbook to help you work on water issues called “The Ripple Effect: How to make wave in the turbulent world of watershed cleanup plans” For more information about CWAA’s Water Program, contact Patience Caso at (612) 623-3666.

You may have seen Clean Water’s canvassers in the neighborhood — they’ve been working hard in Northfield this week. Clean Water Action’s Voter Education Project, endorsed me in the last 25b Minnesota House election.

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