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Minnesota leads Electronic Waste Recycling Initiative

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM
Categories: Environment, Earth Day, Technology, Public Safety, Outdoors

Governor Dayton today visited Richfield-based Best Buy to thank the company as it celebrates over one billion pounds of consumer electronic recycled since 2009. In honor of Best Buy’s progress and to highlight the continued importance of recycling, the Governor also declared it to be “Electronic Waste Recycling Recognition Day” in Minnesota.


“Best Buy is an industry leader in helping consumers to recycle their old electronics,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Their efforts are good for Minnesota's environment and consumers. I thank Best Buy for their outstanding leadership and for their continuing commitment to responsible environmental stewardship.”

Today’s celebration builds on Minnesota’s 2007 Electronic Recycling Act, which requires all computer and TV monitors to be recycled when discarded and placed specific requirements on electronic manufacturers' treatment of waste.

What is electronic waste?
E-waste, as it’s called, is what’s created when electronic materials are disposed. This can include cellphones, computers, printers, televisions, and digital cameras. As technology continues to advance and we continue to upgrade our devices, the amount of e-waste we produce continues to rise as well.

Unlike throwing away a piece of paper, however, disposing of electronics can have a huge impact on the environment and on our health; e-waste contains high levels of lead, cadmium, and other chemicals that can pollute the ground and water supply if they aren’t properly disposed of. Electronic waste should always be taken to certified recycling facilities that are trained to manage these hazardous chemicals.

To find electronic waste collectors in Minnesota and help ensure your e-waste is properly disposed of, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website. 

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Governor Dayton with Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly



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Governor Dayton Reconvenes Stakeholders for Discussion on Propane Supply and Demand

Posted on September 09, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Categories: Trade Mission, Environment, Public Safety, Outdoors

For more than 200,000 households in Minnesota, propane is the primary source of heat. With winter steadily approaching, Governor Mark Dayton is reconvening stakeholders today in Saint Paul to discuss the current propane supply and any factors that could impact demand for heating fuel this winter.
 
After an unprecedented propane shortage last winter, Governor Dayton is convening today’s propane summit in a proactive effort to help mitigate propane supply shortages in the winter months ahead. The Governor will be joined by representatives from the propane, agriculture and rail industries as well as his Commissioners of Agriculture, Commerce, Pollution Control, and Transportation for the discussion.
 
“During last winter’s propane shortage, this group worked to ensure the safety of all Minnesotans,” said Governor Dayton, who first convened propane stakeholders and state regulators last January. “Working together in the months ahead, they will do everything possible to prevent shortages, reduce drastic price increases, and provide all Minnesotans with fuel for the fall harvest and for their winter comfort and safety.”


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Governor Dayton Meets with Local Leaders to Discuss Next Steps on Lewis & Clark Water Project

Posted on July 21, 2014 at 11:37 AM
Categories: Environment, Greater Minnesota, Health

A section of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System being constructed in South Dakota

A section of the Lewis and Clark Regional Water System being constructed in South Dakota

Governor Mark Dayton traveled to Luverne last week to meet with local officials and area legislators to discuss next steps in advancing the construction of the Lewis & Clark Regional Water System. Governor Dayton listened, asked questions, and offered his continued support to ensure the project continues on course toward completion. The Governor stressed that the project is essential to maintaining a high quality of life in southwestern Minnesota, and in supporting the continued economic growth of the entire region.

“This project is critically important to the people and businesses of southwestern Minnesota,” said Governor Dayton. “Without it, business growth would be stifled, new jobs would be lost, and residents would continue being forced to buy bottled water. I will continue doing everything possible to see this project through to completion.

A shortage of water in communities across southwestern Minnesota is stifling economic growth in the region, and diminishing the quality of life enjoyed by its citizens. Luverne’s isobutanol plant has expressed wishes to expand, but that expansion has been hampered due to a lack of available water in the area. The quality of aquifer water in many communities is so poor that residents have been forced to drink bottled water.


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Albert Lea’s Fountain Lake to Benefit from Environmental Improvements

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM
Categories: Environment, Outdoors

Governor Dayton joined with legislators, advocates, and community members for the signing of the 2014 Jobs Bill 

Today, overlooking beautiful Fountain Lake in Albert Lea, Governor Dayton was joined legislators, community members, and advocates for a ceremonial signing of the 2014 Jobs Bill. The legislation, signed into law by Governor Dayton last month, invested $7.5 million in environmental improvements for Fountain Lake aimed at improving water quality, fishing, and recreational opportunities. 
 
Fountain Lake, which spans 555 acres, is a popular summertime destination for boating, swimming, water skiing, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; activities that have an important impact on the City of Albert Lea’s economy and tourism industry.
 
This project will benefit the people that live here and visit this area, as well as the kids who will benefit from the soccer complex and from better lake conditions,” said Governor Mark Dayton. The bonding bill is where we make investments in the future of Minnesota – from buildings, education facilities, and our natural resources.  So it’s a very, very good project and I am very glad to have been part of it.

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DNR rolls out new online water permit application

Posted on May 16, 2014 at 9:21 AM
Categories: Agriculture, Environment, Jobs

Irrigation System at a farm in Rosholt, Minnesota

Irrigation System at a farm in Rosholt, Minnesota

‘Unsession’ initiative streamlines permitting and payment process for Minnesotans



A newly designed web-based system that simplifies the steps to getting water permits and paying for them online is being rolled out by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The new MNDNR Permitting and Reporting System (MPARS) is part of Gov. Mark Dayton’s initiative to streamline state government services. 



The new application at www.mndnr.gov/mpars will save an anticipated $255,000 annually and allows DNR employees to devote more time to technical assistance and field work. 



“DNR employees will have 5,000 more hours every year to protect and improve our environment, thanks to this ‘Unsession’ reform,” Dayton said. “I thank Commissioner Tom Landwehr and his staff for making these commonsense changes that will dramatically reduce the time to process more than 10,000 water permit applications each year.”

The old paper application process was time consuming and inefficient with department staff spending hours hand-sorting applications and on manual data entry.

“We’ve tried to make it as easy and as pain-free as possible for water users while giving us a way to more precisely manage and conserve a precious natural resource,” said Landwehr. “We’ll be able to better track our water use, identify permit violations and increase compliance.”



The department processes more than 10,000 permit applications and transactions each year, including reports on annual water use. Cities, farmers, businesses and landowners that use 1 million gallons of water each year, or more than 10,000 gallons a day, or work in public waters are required to get a water use permit or permit to work in public waters.

Applicants now have access to maps and can track the progress of their applications online. They are also automatically alerted if they don’t need a DNR water permit.


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Disabled Veterans Eligible for Free Hunting Licenses

Posted on October 09, 2013 at 11:31 AM
Categories: Veterans, Environment

2013.10.09_blogs_guns_ pheasant_8125957252_cd6f8d1bb8_z

Minnesota resident military veterans with service-connected permanent disability, as defined by the U.S. Veterans Administration, may obtain an application online at www.mndnr.gov/military

 

 


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Lt. Governor's Visit Highlights New Efforts to Protect Our Natural Resources

Posted on August 12, 2013 at 1:41 PM
Categories: Environment, Lt. Gov. Prettner Solon

Lt. Governor Prettner Solon and Senior Policy Advisor Will Seuffert

Lt. Governor Prettner Solon and senior policy advisor, Will Seuffert, spent time on Isle Royale reviewing efforts to address aquatic invasive species.

Last week, Lieutenant Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon visited Isle Royale, Michigan. The island is located in the northwestern corner of Lake Superior – a two-hour ferry ride from Grand Portage, Minnesota. 
 
The 850 square-mile island’s isolated location provides one of the most unique ecosystems in North America. Isle Royale is home to only 18 mammal species, unlike the nearest mainland, which hosts more than 40 species. The island also houses the longest running large mammal predator-prey study on earth.
 
Unfortunately, this otherwise pristine wilderness is now grappling with aquatic invasive species such as spiny water fleas, sea lamprey, and zebra mussels. These water-based invaders can disrupt the natural ecosystem – pushing out native plants, fish, and animals.
 
During her visit, the Lieutenant Governor traveled aboard the Ranger III, a National Park Service lake boat, to review efforts to address invasive species on the island and in the waters surrounding it. Here in Minnesota, we also have made new efforts to address aquatic invasive species.
 
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) first began addressing aquatic invasive species in 1987. Since then, the DNR has developed a comprehensive program with more than 160 permanent and seasonal staff dedicated to quelling aquatic invasive species.


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Celebrating Arbor Day in Minnesota

Posted on April 26, 2013 at 1:33 PM
Categories: Greater Minnesota, Environment, Outdoors

Arbor_Day_Trees
April 26th is Arbor Month in Minnesota.

Arbor Day - plant trees for a brighter MinnesotaGovernor Dayton has proclaimed today to be Arbor Day in Minnesota. Arbor Day is celebrated on the last Friday of each April to celebrate the importance of trees worldwide. Today kicks off an entire month for celebrating trees in Minnesota that will continue for the entire month of May.

Trees and forests brighten Minnesota in a number of ways, from providing recreational setting and increasing property values, to making cities more beautiful and livable. Trees also bring communities together and reduce crime when they are planted. Minnesota’s trees are crucial to brightening the environment by improving air and water quality as well.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is leading this year’s Arbor Day initiative. This year’s theme for Arbor Day and Arbor Month is “Plant Trees for a Brighter Minnesota.” The DNR is encouraging Minnesotans to replace trees lost during the past year due to severe weather or any other reason. For information on how to get the DNR’s guide for Arbor Day and Arbor Month, check out their Arbor Month website here.


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Four Minnesota Schools Recognized by U.S. Department of Education for Green Efforts

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 1:21 PM
Categories: Earth Day, Environment, Education

Blog-Four_Minnesota_Schools_RecognizedMinnesota is one of forty states with schools recognized by the U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools. 

Today, the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality Nancy Sutley and Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Bob Persiacepe joined U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to announce the second annual U.S. Department of Education Green Ribbon Schools award honorees. Three Minnesota schools and one Minnesota district are among the 64 schools and 14 districts from across the nation to be honored for their efforts to cut utility costs, implement smart conservation strategies and cultivate healthy and productive classrooms.

“Minnesota has a rich environmental tradition and outdoor heritage embedded in our history, and it’s fitting that our schools play a significant role in carrying on that tradition,“ said Minnesota Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “I’m so proud of the work these schools are doing. Not only are they teaching students to be better stewards of the earth, but they are putting those lessons into practice in their school buildings.” 

The recognized schools are: Jeffers Pond Elementary School in Prior Lake, Heritage E-STEM Middle School in West St. Paul, and the School of Environmental Studies in Apple Valley. The entire Prior Lake-Savage Area School District was recognized for their green efforts. This is the first year districts were recognized in addition to individual schools.

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Minnesota Stormwater Manual Now Available In Wiki Format

Posted on April 03, 2013 at 1:59 PM
Categories: Environment

Screenshot: Stormwater Manual Wiki 

Screenshot: PCA Stormwater Manual Wiki

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency launched a wiki version of the Minnesota Stormwater Manual that will serve as an invaluable reference for controlling urban stromwater pollution of lakes and streams.


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