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MDA Sets Meetings on Groundwater Protection Rule
Minnesota Ag Connection - 05/14/2018

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has scheduled a series of public informational meetings throughout the state during May and June to present information about the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule (GPR) and the rulemaking process. The public is invited to attend these meetings. It is important to note that these meetings are informational only; they are not part of the official rulemaking process.

The informational meeting schedule is as follows:

- Thief River Falls, May 30, 8-9:30 a.m. Northland Community and Technical College, 1101 Highway One East

- Fergus Falls, May 30, 7-8:30 p.m. Minnesota State College Fergus Falls, 1414 College Way

- Little Falls, May 31, 8-9:30 a.m., Initiative Foundation, 405 1st Street SE

- Red Wing, June 5, 7-8:30 p.m., Minnesota State College Southeast, 308 Pioneer Road

- Kasson, June 6, 7-8:30 p.m., Kasson-Mantorville High School, 101 16th Street NE

- Pipestone, June 18, 7-8:30 p.m. Minnesota West Community and Technical College, 1314 North Hiawatha Avenue

- Hutchinson, June 19, 8-9:30 a.m., Ridgewater College, 2 Century Avenue SE

- St. Paul, June 28, 8-9:30 a.m., Orville L. Freeman Building, 625 Robert Street North

The process to submit formal comments and testimony that will become part of the rulemaking record is a separate process from the informational meetings. Members of the public wishing to make formal comments about the rule can do so by submitting comments online and/or by providing testimony at one of the Administrative Law Judge Hearings to be held this summer. More information about the formal comment process is here www.mda.state.mn.us/gwprhearingnotice.

The goal of the Groundwater Protection Rule is to work with local farmers to reduce elevated nitrate levels in groundwater and ensure Minnesota residents have clean, safe, and reliable drinking water supplies. Nitrate is one of the most common contaminants in Minnesota's groundwater; elevated nitrate levels in drinking water can pose serious health concerns for humans. The proposed rule, which is based on the input of the farmers and landowners who the rule would apply to, as well as other interested persons, would regulate the use of nitrogen fertilizer in areas of the state where soils are prone to leaching and where drinking water supplies are threatened.

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