ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Gov. Mark Dayton has unveiled a revised measure to reduce elevated nitrate levels in water supplies and ensure more Minnesotans have safe drinking water.

Dayton and Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson announced the proposal Tuesday after holding 17 public meetings attended by over 1,500 farmers, landowners and other Minnesotans, and receiving over 800 written comments on the initial draft. It would create a system of voluntary and mandatory mitigation practices in areas with high nitrate levels in public water supplies.

Nitrates occur naturally but also come from fertilizers seeping into ground and surface waters. Excessive levels can be toxic.

Frederickson says the proposal balances the needs of farmers with the needs of all Minnesotans for safe drinking water.

More opportunities for public comment begin in May, with more hearings this summer.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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