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      Results Minnesota: Cleaning up Minnesota’s Environment

      Posted on December 18, 2012 at 9:00 AM

      Photo of two men equiping a pipe to their boat on the Minnesota River

      Two years into his administration, Governor Mark Dayton is continuing his efforts to build a Better Minnesota. The Dayton Administration is taking note of what has been accomplished so far while still considering the work that is yet to be done.

      One important component of building a Better Minnesota is supporting a clean and healthy environment. Minnesota is the Land of 10,000 lakes and a state where people care about the health and integrity of our natural resources. A healthy environment is central to the quality of life that all Minnesotans enjoy, and a crucial component in the success of our economy. Governor Dayton is committed to protecting and improving our natural resources, and leaving a legacy of clean water, cleaner air, and better parks and trails for future generations of Minnesotans.

      In the Spotlight

      For years, the Minnesota River has been considered one of the most polluted rivers in the state. But collaborative efforts across agencies have made important progress toward improving the health of the river.

      Recent testing from the Pollution Control Agency showed marked improvements in dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, and chlorophyll levels. That means conditions have improved to support the health of fish and aquatic species populations in the river.

      More work must be done to reduce sediment, bacteria, nutrients, and other contaminants in the river. But the work of over 40 wastewater treatment plants and other clean up efforts have put the Minnesota River on the path to recovery.

      Delivering Results

      • Reducing Energy Consumption in State Buildings – Reduced energy consumption in Capitol Complex buildings by 27%, saving $2 million and eliminating 7,000 metric tons of carbon emissions.

      • Protecting Neighborhoods and Forests from Invasive Species – Used 80,000 wasps, advanced monitoring, bug-sniffing dogs, and outreach to slow the spread of Emerald Ash Borer. Trapped 9,800 Gypsy Moths.

      • Protecting Our Rivers from Asian Carp – Worked with partners to design more effective barriers for Asian carp; installing five new barriers in southwest Minnesota and cost-sharing with Iowa on sixth barrier.

      • Planning for Park and Recreation – Complete a 25-year plan to develop and improve Minnesota’s parks, trails, and outdoor recreation space.

      • Creating Space for Hunters – Secured hunting access on an additional 12,500 acres of private land for pheasant, small game, and deer.

      • Reducing Energy Consumption in Metro Transit Buildings and Water Treatment Plants – Made energy retrofits that will save $6 million and eliminate more than 6,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually.

      • Improving Voluntary Compliance with Environmental Regulations – General compliance with environmental requirements have increased from 90% to more than 96%, reflecting Minnesota’s environmental ethic.

      • Tracking the Use of Pesticides – Launched a new online tool that lets pesticide dealers report their Minnesota sales and pay registration fees online; simplifying business while monitoring trends in pesticide use.

      • Partnering with Farmers to Improve Water Quality – Began a program that provides incentive for farmers to maintain approved conservation plans, reduce runoff, and improve water quality.

      • Reducing Carbon Emissions – Worked with utilities and the private sector to improve conservation efforts, preventing 25 million metric tons of carbon emission over the next 15 years, saving Minnesota $2.6 billion.

      • Improving Conservation of Prairies and Grassland – Worked with farmers and NGOs to improve habitat protection plans for prairies and grasslands with new, effective conservation tactics and managed grazing.