Lydia Salus: We want more clean water success stories


On the 42nd anniversary of the Clean Water Act, a new report from Environment Minnesota, “Waterways Restored,” was released, highlighting the success the law has meant for Powderhorn Lake taking it from a neighborhood shame that was covered in algae and polluted by trash and storm water runoff, to being voted “Best Lake in Minneapolis” in the Environment Minnesota Research and Policy Report.

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All of Minnesota’s waters deserve a success story, but right now, a loophole in the Clean Water Act has left 51 percent of Minnesota’s streams, including those that feed into major waterways like the Mississippi, vulnerable to pollution.

Thankfully, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed closing this loophole to protect all of the state’s rivers and streams. The agency is taking public comments on its rule until November 14, but polluters like agribusinesses and big developers are waging a bitter campaign against it.

The Clean Water Act has meant progress for Powderhorn Lake, but its promise isn’t yet fulfilled. That’s why it’s so important for EPA to stand up to the polluters and restore safeguards to all of the rivers and streams that crisscross our state.