Pollution

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Lawmakers Want Programs To Curb Great Lakes Farm Pollution

Two members of Congress introduced legislation Tuesday that encourages states in the Great Lakes region to develop voluntary programs aimed at reducing farm pollution that causes harmful algae blooms.

07/21/2015

(credit: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency)

Canadian Wildfires Causing Unhealthy Air In Minnesota

The thick haze caused by smoke from more than 100 Canadian wildfires is causing unhealthy air quality conditions across a large part of Minnesota. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency reports that the air quality is rated unhealthy for everyone from a large part of northwestern Minnesota, including Detroit Lakes, extending down to Brainerd and St. Cloud toward the Twin Cities suburbs.

07/04/2015

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MPCA Citizens’ Board Holds Last Meeting, Supporters Vow To Fight

Just two weeks after it was abolished by the Minnesota Legislature, an influential environmental citizen’s board held its last meeting on Tuesday.

06/23/2015

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Discord Over Environment Bill Could Mean Trouble At Capitol

A shaky coalition of lawmakers that compiled a package of environmental and agricultural programs may not hold up in a coming special session, forcing Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders to seek enough support for a final piece of the state budget Thursday and pause their hopes for a Friday special session.

06/11/2015

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Pollution Agency Oversight Board May Be Out In Budget Deal

Environmental groups are hoping to preserve a citizen oversight board at the state’s pollution control agency, but it may be too late. Gov. Mark Dayton and top lawmakers worked Tuesday to put the finishing touches on a deal for the state’s budget, including a retooled environment budget that Dayton previously vetoed.

06/02/2015

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Scientists To Discuss Plastic Challenge In Great Lakes

Scientists specializing in the Great Lakes are going to be hearing about the challenge plastic pollution poses for the lakes during a conference at the University of Vermont.

05/28/2015

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Special Session Means 2nd Chance For Some Interests

Now that Minnesota lawmakers will be pulled back into action, the second-chance stampede is on. Groups with a gripe about the budget are trying to get in on the special session provoked by a promised veto of a $17 billion education spending plan, and some want Gov. Mark Dayton to veto other bills too.

05/20/2015

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Study: Southern Minn. Lakes Threatened By Pollution

In the town of Worthington, lake life is a part of the culture. “Whenever we poll the community about what the most important features are, what their proudest of in the community, Lake Okabena always comes in number one,” Okabena Ocheda Watershed District’s Dan Livdahl said.

03/05/2015

Fracking (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

USGS: More Data Needed To Assess Any Fracking-Pollution Link

A new study by the U.S. Geological Survey says more data is needed to be able to say for sure if a link exists between unconventional oil and gas development and degraded water quality.

03/04/2015

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Obama Asks $50M Cut In Great Lakes Restoration Effort

President Barack Obama’s proposed budget for 2016 seeks a $50 million cut in a multi-year program to clean up the Great Lakes. The president’s spending plan released Monday requests $250 million for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, down from $300 million appropriated for this year.

02/02/2015

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Officials: Minn. Businesses Lead The Nation In Preventing Pollution

State officials say a new report shows that Minnesota businesses lead the nation in reducing or eliminating dangerous pollutants from their work processes.

01/28/2015

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Scientists: Fleece Fibers Harming Great Lakes

First it was tiny plastic beads, but now scientist are rising concerns about fibers from clothing polluting the Great Lakes. A recent study found polyester fleece sheds thousands of fibers when it’s washed.

01/10/2015

(credit: Tim McGough)

Scientists: Great Lakes Teeming With Tiny Plastic Fibers

Scientists who have reported that the Great Lakes are awash in tiny bits of plastic are raising new alarms about a little-noticed form of the debris turning up in sampling nets: synthetic fibers from garments, cleaning cloths and other consumer products.

01/09/2015

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Southern Half Of Minn. Under Air Pollution Advisory

The southern half of Minnesota is under an air pollution advisory. Warmer temperatures, along with moisture and low winds, are causing fine particles to be trapped near the ground. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says it’s unhealthy for people with respiratory health problems.

12/11/2014

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Good Question: Why Do We Use So Much Plastic?

On Tuesday, California became the first state to ban single-use plastic bags like the ones used in Target and grocery stores across the country. The plastic bags will be phased out over the next two years, but people can still use them for vegetables and meats. Paper bags will cost 10 cents while reusable bags will be free to use.

09/30/2014

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MPCA: More Analysis On Sulfate Standard Needed

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says more data analysis must be done to determine whether changes to the state’s water quality standards are warranted to protect wild rice from sulfates.

03/12/2014

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MPCA Issues Air Pollution Alert, Advisory

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued an air pollution health alert for western Minnesota effective through noon on Friday. The agency says a strong temperature inversion, snow melt and fog are trapping fine-particle pollution near the surface, causing unhealthy levels for sensitive groups. An air pollution health advisory has also been issued for the southern half of Minnesota — including the Twin Cities and Rochester — beginning Thursday evening and extending into Friday morning. Fine-particle concentrations are expected to increase and may reach unhealthy levels for sensitive groups for short periods.

03/06/2014

Great Lakes

Report: Measure Great Lakes Cleanup Progress

A government report says the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency should do more to make sure a Great Lakes cleanup program is meeting its goals. Congress has spent about $1.3 billion on the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative over the past four years.

11/08/2013

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Study Finds Chemicals, Drugs Common In Minn. Lakes

A new study finds that chemicals from household products, prescriptions and illegal drugs are common in Minnesota lakes. MPCA scientists chose 50 lakes at random and tested the water for 125 chemicals. The common insect repellent DEET was found in 76 percent of lakes.

05/13/2013

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Report Mixed On Mississippi-St. Cloud Watershed

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is giving a mixed report on the Mississippi River watershed in the St. Cloud area.

11/29/2012

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MPCA: Minnesota River Becoming Healthier

The Minnesota River is getting healthier, and the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency says it shows efforts to reduce pollution from wastewater treatment systems are making the difference.

11/12/2012

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Program To Boost Great Lakes Cleanup Research

The University of Michigan is establishing a research program designed to bring more scientific credibility to the federal government’s billion-dollar battle to clean up the Great Lakes, officials said Tuesday.

10/30/2012

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‘U Of M’ Grad Student Researches Pollution Effects On Cyclists

Minneapolis has a reputation as a bike-friendly city with many commuting with pedal power. Now, a University of Minnesota graduate student is doing research about the quality of air cyclists are breathing.

09/26/2012

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Minnesota Adds 511 Bodies To Impaired Waters List

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has added 511 streams, lakes and other bodies to its updated impaired waters list.

09/25/2012

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Upgraded Weir Aims To Keep Pollution From Lake Nokomis

Construction has begun to replace a structure designed to keep polluted water and invasive species out of Lake Nokomis.

09/17/2012

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