July 24, 2005
"MPCA must revise its water cleanup plan for southeast"
I recently read an article titled, “MPCA must revise its water cleanup plan for southeast,” that talked about the pollution that affect the Root River. The Root River is a famous trout stream in southeast Minnesota but it is being polluted by runoff from farms in the area. The water is used to be clear but now after recent rains it looks like murky. The pollution from the farms presents a real threat to all of the life in the river. The State came up with a plan to clean up the river but the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy felt it was inadequate and filed a lawsuit. The plan that the State came up with did not meet the total maximum daily load (TMDL), which is a measure of the amount of pollution is allowed in a body of water. The lawsuit lead to a court ruling which says that the State has to come up with an acceptable plan by September of the federal EPA will take over.
I chose this story because I am concerned with the environment and I think that this is an important issue. Usually, you hear about big companies polluting but you seldom hear about how much pollution farms put off. I think that farmers should have to pay for some of this cleanup because after all they are the ones that caused it. I have seen some of this pollution myself when I was a music festival in Geneva, Minnesota last September. Near the location of the festival were several farms and a lake. The lake was covered in dense weeds and there was a layer of algae. From biology and environmental classes that I have taken I was pretty sure the cause of all the plant growth was runoff from farms. I think that there should be stricter regulations on farmers who use fertilizers and pesticides. If they pollute they should have to pay just like corporations have to.