Minnesota Pollution Control Agency releases survey data about climate change

Published: May. 5, 2022 at 8:57 AM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has released survey data showing how prepared cities across the state are when it comes to extreme weather caused by climate change.

According to the data, 87% of the local governments that participated in the study said they’ve been impacted by at least one weather trend caused by climate change. That includes extreme rainfall, storms, drought, less snow and more flooding.

The agency is asking the state’s congress for $21.1 million of funding in this legislative session to help cities upgrade infrastructure, such as flood control projects. It’s also asking for $55 million for other efforts like planting trees for shade to keep buildings cooler, and reducing energy use.

“We must act now to prepare our communities and landscapes for changes that are already underway,” MPCA Commissioner Katrina Kessler said. “If local governments are not equipped to manage these changes, residents and businesses will continue to bear the brunt of this destruction.”

According to the MPCA, 380 local governments from every region participated in the survey. It indicated there has been bipartisan support for legislation that addresses climate change.

Additional data from the survey indicated the following:

  • 54% of respondents have experienced more extreme rainfall and storms
  • 49% of respondents have experienced extreme drought
  • 46% have seen less consistent snow cover
  • 33% have seen more frequent flooding

“We need support from state government to ensure their communities are protected in the future,” Kessler said.

According to the survey, some communities are already taking action to combat climate change. It indicated 29% of communities have planted trees to create additional shade cover, 27% have reduced erosion trouble spots on waterways and 24% have upgraded infrastructure to better manage heavier rains.

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