Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the MPCA’s position before the Minnesota Supreme Court on MinnTac’s groundwater pollution. The MPCA supported applying the higher drinking water standards. The story has been updated.
Minnesotans value our state’s clean waters. As the Land of 10,000 Lakes, it’s core to our identity.
When European settlers started arriving here, the waters were 100 percent pristine. Now 200 years later, most of our lakes and streams are considered impaired to some degree, according the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA’s). Some 65 percent our 27,329 miles of streams are impaired by at least one factor, according to the MPCA’s 2020 report to Congress. Nearly 90 percent of our acreage of lakes are likewise impaired.
The MPCA is supposed to be the state’s leading environmental protection agency, the guardian of our precious clean water.
It is not. Turns out, that award goes to the Minnesota court system.