Stop testing for nitrates and start fixing the problem
Recent news stories have described the need for the Minnesota Department of Agriculture to test 70,000 wells for nitrate levels.
So they can find what? MDA already has taken more than 10,000 nitrate samples in southeastern Minnesota over the past 25 years. They have sampled springs, trout streams and wells, two decades of results and analysis, and all point to a significant nitrate contamination of water resources in our region.
One out of eight private wells is above the health risk limit for nitrates set by the Department of Health. Trout streams also exceed standards, and the Middle Branch Whitewater River was just listed as impaired due to nitrates.
MDA is just wasting taxpayer money on sampling and ineffective voluntary efforts.
Now is the time to actually take meaningful action to protect our groundwater, so that private well owners and cities do not get stuck with a bill to clean up pollution they did not create. I wonder if MDA has ever heard of the principle, "The polluter pays."