Legislative Panels Vote to Stall Groundwater Nitrate Rule
ST. PAUL (AP) -- Minnesota lawmakers have moved to stall implementation of the state's proposed rule for reducing nitrate levels in groundwater supplies in farm country.
The GOP-led House and Senate agriculture committees voted this weekend to block the state from finalizing the rule for at least another year. The votes came after Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton denounced the move as an attempt to deny rural Minnesotans the right to clean and safe drinking water.
But the committees' resolution may not be the final word. Committee leaders say they'll let the rule go forward if Dayton signs a separate agricultural policy bill passed late in the session.
The rule would create voluntary and mandatory practices to limit seepage of nitrates from farm fertilizer into groundwater. Excessive nitrate levels can be toxic, especially to babies.