May 18, 2007

Minnesota Supreme Court Reverses Wastewater Discharge Ruling

The Supreme Court in Minnesota ruled that the state Pollution Control Agency is authorized to allow future wastewater discharge even if it increases pollution into certain rivers and lakes.

A lower court had ruled that the MPCA should not have issued a permit two years ago to the cities of Annandale and Maple Lake, which had proposed building a combined wastewater treatment plant that would increase discharges of certain pollutants into waters already in danger.

According to TwinCities.com, the MPCA's approved the proposal because the increase of new discharges would be offset by decreases elsewhere in the watershed. The agency then went to the Supreme Court for a second opinion.

Few of Minnesota’s rivers and lakes have approved cleanup plans, and thus the ruling in the Appeal's Court halted many community and industry water projects around the state.

The Supreme Court ruled that the MPCA's interpretation that the two communities were making proper accommodations is understandable and should be upheld.

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