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Air and Water Quality

How will you protect rural communities from air and water pollution caused by large feedlots for cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys?

State regulation of livestock operations has been significantly weakened in recent years, threatening water and air quality of rural communities. More than 40 percent of U.S. waterways are threatened by pollution, much of which can be traced to polluted runoff from farms, ranches, parking lots, city streets and stormwater discharge systems. While U.S. waterways have been cleaned up dramatically as a result of the Clean Water Act, pollutants are still being discharged into rivers, lakes and streams and there are still many places where fishing and swimming are not allowed. Serious water pollution problems - such as contaminated drinking water, massive fish kills and large algae blooms - in at least 30 states have been linked to inadequate pollution control and lax enforcement of environmental regulations. We need to improve the regulation of feedlots and enforcement by the Minnesota Pollution Control agency of existing laws. How elected officials at all levels of government address this issue, will determine whether America's waterways remain healthy for the future.

Do you support creating a permanent fund for transit and other clean energy transportation such as the one that now exists for building roads and highways?

Minnesotans enjoy a high quality of life, but an increasing number of cars on the road are contributing to traffic congestion, as well as water and air pollution. In fact, automobiles are the stateís largest source of air pollution. It's essential that we develop a better transportation system and promote alternatives such as public transit, bicycling, and walking. Automobile gas tax and license fees in Minnesota are dedicated to building roads and highways. A similar permanent source of funding is needed to fund transportation alternatives. Elected officials have a chance to quick-start the transformation to the next generation of automobiles and fuels. By encouraging the development of new fuel-efficient technologies, utilizing current technologies and promoting public transportation, we can all begin to breathe easier.

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