MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is asking for $2.9 million in state funds for counties, cities, townships and Tribal Nations to better equip them for extreme weather.
Laura Bishop, Commissioner of MPCA, said, “We recognize that our changing climate and increasing extreme weather presents new challenges for our towns, cities, and counties, and the cost of inaction is simply too high for our communities to bear.”
The funds would provide assessments, planning, and pre-design needed to inform the development of bonding proposals to upgrade stormwater infrastructure.
Bishop added, “We are seeing three major trends across the state due to climate change. First, Minnesota is becoming warmer, and second, our state is becoming wetter, and third, we are experiencing more intense precipitation and mega-rains.”
Increasingly wet weather amplifies flood risks and overburdens stormwater infrastructure. It also causes sewer systems to backup into homes and businesses, and wastewater treatment plants to release partially or fully treated sewage into lakes and rivers... all of which have costly consequences.
MPCA joined local mayors to discuss the investment to help southeastern Minnesota residents prepare for extreme weather.
Mayor Najwa Massad of Mankato stated, “It’s so important that we keep up with this. It’s so important that our legislatives come down and look at what’s happen, not just listening.”
The state legislature is debating a bill where the grant funding would be included, with the current session ending in just a few weeks.