Another way to look at their assessments is to remember that the Clean Water Act set goals of fishable, swimmable waters in 1972, 43 years ago. Minnesota still has 40% of its waters that don't meet standards, as required by the fishable, swimmable goals of the 1972 law. In fact, way too many waters in Minnesota today carry a fish consumption advisory. Here's another dot to connect:
- In today's Star Tribune, Josephine Marcotty informs us: "Half of lakes and streams in southern Minnesota found too polluted for safe swimming, fishing"
- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency [MPCA], in their recently published "Dashboard," leads us to believe we're making moderate progress in improving water quality.
- There are strong regional differences between northeastern (NE) Minnesota, dominated by forests and wetlands, and the rest of the state, with the NE having significantly higher mercury concentrations in fish.
St Louis River in northern Minnesota
Photo by J. Harrington
So, we have water quality "impairments" in the southern half of the state due to urban development and agriculture and up north, to attain "fishable" and reduce mercury impairments if the federal government does its part, "Air sources of mercury will have a 93% emission reduction goal from 1990 levels. Air sources will be divided into three sectors: products, energy, and mining."
Meanwhile, the Minnesota Legislature is busy trying to prohibit MPCA from enforcing the sulfate standard and, I think, the phosphorous standard [see Marcotty story above] because it will cost too much to meet.
Time for another dot or two. Again from the Star Tribune this month:
One of the hallmarks of sustainability is transparency. The way I connect the dots above is MPCA could do better on that factor in future dashboard reports. I think, instead of large tax cuts to those who don't need them, the House could help the state and the metro area do better by agreeing we need to clean up our own messes and not leave them for millennials to pay for. Minnesota used to have a strong brand as the state that worked and was noted for the quality of life and environment here. Speaking from my own perspective, our brand has slipped a lot since the late 1970s when I moved here. Do you suppose there's a connection between attracting intelligent, well-educated millenials and cleaning up both our act and our environment?
- Minnesota's youth exodus spells trouble ahead for labor force
Then, from a report based on a Pew survey of millennials
- Millennials Most Sustainability-Conscious Generation Yet,...
It’s a beautiful world, you said,with these trees, marshes, deserts,grasses, rivers and seas
and so on. And the moon is really somethingin its circuitsof relative radiance. Include
the wingèd M, voluptuousVenus, hotheaded Mars, that lucky devilJ and cranky Saturn, of course, plus
U and N and the wanderer P, in shortthe whole solar family, complete with itsMilky Way, and count up all the other
systems with dots and spots and inthat endless emptiness what you’ve gotis a commotion of you-know-what. It’s a beautiful
universe, you said, just take a good lookthrough the desert’s dark glassesfor instance or on your back
in seas of grass, take a good lookat the deluge of that Rorschach—we’re standing out theresomewhere, together.
Thanks for visiting. Come again when you can.
Please be kind to each other while you can.