St. Croix River Listed As Impaired

The City of Afton has learned that that the St. Croix River between Taylors Falls and Stillwater has been added to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) growing list of impaired waterways. Overall, 30 percent of the state,s lakes and 50 percent of its streams are now listed as impaired. The issue in the St. Croix is due to high levels of phosphorus. According to Afton Mayor Bill Palmquist, when a river like the St. Croix is threatened by excessive nutrient loading, the only way to fix it is for municipalities up and down the river to do everything they can to limit the amount of sediment and fertilizers reaching the creeks and streams that empty into the river. To do this there must be a partnership with landowners, farmers, and developers. Many area farmers are taking active steps in this regard already. Palmquist also stated that Afton’s development goals focus on the preservation of open space. This helps ensure the problems of nutrient loading and other issues impacting the surface and ground water in the Afton area are not worsened. The new development on 60th Street is a prime example of both the goals, and the challenges, of dealing with this issue.   

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