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Dayton not giving up on nitrate reduction in farmland groundwater

GOP attempts to block limits until after Dayton leaves office

June 12, 2018 - 6:01 am

Governor Dayton's days in office are dwindling, but he's still working to keep his policies in place long after a new governor is in office.

Dayton told agriculture department officials to move forward with its proposal for reducing nitrate levels in groundwater in farm country.

As expected, there's an effort by GOP lawmakers to block the move.

That came on Monday, when the House and Senate agriculture committees published notices in the State Register prohibiting adoption of the rule until after the legislative session adjourns on May 20, 2019.

By that time, there will be a new governor in office.

Spokesman Matt Swenson says the Dayton, who leaves office in January after two terms, believes he still has authority to proceed with the rulemaking.

The rule would create voluntary and mandatory practices to limit seepage of nitrates from farm fertilizer into groundwater.

Excessive nitrates can be toxic, especially to babies, and are an expensive problem for some communities.

Dayton says Minnesotans deserve the cleaner drinking water he says the plan will deliver.