In The News: Governor Dayton Starts Water Quality Town Halls in Rochester

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August 1, 2017 | In The News                                                                 Bookmark and Share

Rochester Town Hall

Rochester leads off water-quality town halls

Rochester Post-Bulletin | August 1, 2017

Three hundred concerned Minnesotans came to the Heintz Commons at Rochester Community and Technical College on Monday night as part of a town hall on water quality. This was the first of 10 town hall meetings as part of Gov. Mark Dayton's "25 by 25" clean water initiative, which aims to improve water quality in Minnesota by 25 percent by 2025.

"There's a high level of citizen participation here in Rochester," Dayton said. His team expected about 150 people to come, and was surprised to attract double the estimate.

"It's really encouraging that we had that many people come out on a beautiful summer night because they care about the future of water quality in Rochester, Olmsted County, and the region and the state," he said. 

The "25 by 25" plan was announced in February. The initiative plans to improve water quality and decrease pollution by 25 percent by 2025. 

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Getting to clean water: Complex problem, no easy solutions

MPR News | July 31, 2017

Forty percent of the state's lakes and streams are polluted, and many aren't safe for swimming or fishing.

Three out of four Minnesotans rely on ground water for drinking. But in many areas, it's contaminated with nitrates from fertilizer, animal waste or human sewage.

Current cleanup efforts are expected to result in a 6 to 8 percent improvement in water quality by 2034. DFL Gov. Mark Dayton says that's not enough. He has proposed a goal of 25 percent improvement by 2025.

"If you look at the map of Minnesota and some of the degradation of water quality, to say we're only going to improve it by 25 percent seems to be really inadequate, which it is," Dayton said. "But it's certainly a lot better than 6 to 8 percent, or even less."

Earlier this year, Dayton announced a series of town hall meetings to raise public awareness and generate discussion about Minnesota's water quality challenges. The first town hall is Monday in Rochester.

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Governor Dayton Addresses Water Quality in Rochester

KAAL-TV | July 31, 2017

Governor Mark Dayton was in Rochester Monday and spoke to nearly 300 people about one of the hallmarks of his last term: water quality.

Dayton's 10 town hall visits are part of his "25 by 25" water quality proposal from earlier this year

Dayton said 97 ponds, streams and rivers were surveyed in southwestern Minnesota and 93 of those were found unfit for wildlife, drinking, or recreation.

Dayton also said some cases of well water testing in southeastern Minnesota showed unsafe levels of nitrate for drinking water, which was a big concern people came to the meeting with Monday.

"With fertilizers, I think we're getting more and more nitrates, which can cause cancer, so I'm very concerned about that," Cecilia Dingledy said.

The governor said Minnesota's water is everyone's water, which makes it everyone's responsibility.

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Join a #25by25MN Town Hall in Your Community

Attend a Water Quality Town Hall This Summer or Fall

Ten town hall meetings have been scheduled in communities across Minnesota. These town hall meetings are free to attend and open to the public. Each town hall meeting will run from 6:30-8:30 p.m. with registration beginning at 5:30 p.m. A complete list of dates and locations is available on the Environmental Quality Board website. RSVP for an event by visiting the Governor and Lt. Governor’s Facebook page. No advance registration is necessary.

Governor Dayton starts water quality town halls in Rochester

KTTC-TV | July 31, 2017

Governor Mark Dayton has a goal of improving water quality in the state, 25 percent by 2025. He says he needs the people's help because the state's water belongs to everyone.

To do so he's hosting water quality town halls across the state. On Monday in the Heintz Center, the room was packed, around 300 people ready to do their part to help improve Minnesota's waters. The Town hall is the first of ten scheduled across the state. Some of the topics were the importance of controlling sediment runoff from Lake Pepin and the use of cover crops. 

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Gov. Dayton on water quality

KIMT-TV | July 31, 2017

Nearly 300 people filled the Rochester Community Technical College on Monday to brainstorm ways to counteract or improve local water quality. Pollution and contamination of groundwater, rivers, and streams are just a few of the concerns discussed.

"Water quality is a concern for everyone," says Gov. Mark Dayton, as he invites the community to discuss ways to improve local water quality.

Forty percent of the lakes and streams in Minnesota are not meeting standards set for safe swimming, fishing or drinking. Dayton hopes to improve the quality of water one percentage at a time, making a 25 percent improvement by 2025.

Governor Dayton says everyone must participate in improving the quality of the water if we want to see a change. 

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