Clean Water Fund
On November 4, 2008, Minnesota voters approved the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the constitution to protect drinking water sources; to protect, enhance, and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, and fish, game, and wildlife habitat; to preserve arts and cultural heritage; to support parks and trails; and to protect, enhance, and restore lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater.
The amendment increases the sales and use tax rate by three-eighths of one percent on taxable sales, starting July 1, 2009, continuing through 2034. Of those funds, approximately 33% will be dedicated to a Clean Water Fund to protect, enhance, and restore water quality in lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater, with at least 5% of the fund targeted to protect drinking water sources.
2012 Clean Water Fund Performance Report
Minnesota agencies released their first collaborative report in February 2012 to help Minnesotans clarify connections between Clean Water Funds invested, actions taken and outcomes achieved in FY2010-2011. Eighteen measures in the report provide a snapshot of how Clean Water Fund dollars are being spent and what progress has been made.
Clean Water Fund FY12-13 appropriations — NEW
In the second biennium of Clean Water Funding, the Legislature appropriated $179.43 million to water activities during fiscal years 2012-2013. These activities include a continuation of previous clean water efforts, plus some new water management efforts in the state. The activities include:
- Water quality monitoring and assessment: $23.4 million
- Water quality study development (TMDLs): $34.86 million
- Protection and restoration activities: $104.14 million
- Drinking water protection: $17 million
To review the entire Legacy bill, please see Special Session Chapter 6.
More information is available in the following fact sheet:
- Clean Water Fund appropriations for FY12-13 (ld-2sy11)
Protecting Minnesota’s Waters
Protecting Minnesota’s waters is a joint effort between seven partner agencies, who collaborate and partner on Minnesota’s water resource management activities under the Clean Water Fund:
- Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
- Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
- Minnesota Department of Agriculture
- Minnesota Department of Health
- Minnesota Board of Water and Soil Resources
- Minnesota Public Facilities Authority
- Metropolitan Council
MPCA’s FY12-13 appropriation from the Clean Water Fund
Over the FY2012-13 biennium, the MPCA will receive approximately $47.77M. The MPCA will use these funds to meet the requirements of the federal Clean Water Act (CWA) and the state 2006 Clean Water Legacy Act (CWLA) which focuses on existing restoration and protection programs. Those activities will include:
- Water quality monitoring: $16.5 million. Funds will be used to complete 20% of the needed statewide assessments of surface water quality and trends. Activities include monitoring lakes and streams in 12 to 16 of the state’s major watersheds, sampling at the outlets of the state’s major watersheds, and pass-through funding for local assessment monitoring efforts. MPCA project manager: Glenn Skuta, 651-757-2730.
- $200,000 is included in this appropriation for grants to the Red River Watershed Management Board to enhance and expand the existing water quality and watershed monitoring river watch activities in the schools in the Red River of the North.
- $1.5 million is included in this appropriation to fund a wild rice sulfate standards study. MPCA project manager: Pat Engelking, 651-757-2340.
- Water quality study development and tool development: $21.9 million. Funds will be used to develop 20 percent of TMDLs, protection strategies, and implementation plans for waters listed on the United States Environmental Protection Agency approved impaired waters list. MPCA project manager: Juline Holleran 651-757-2442.
- $2.3 million is included in this appropriation for the second year of TMDL research and database development. MPCA project manager: Glenn Skuta, 651-757-2730.
- $800,000 is included in this appropriation for stormwater research and guidance. MPCA project manager: Lisa Thorvig, 651-757-2189.
- Protection and restoration: $5.1 million. Funding will be used to administer the Clean Water Partnership grant program ($2 million), to restore the St. Louis River ($1.5 million) and for wastewater and stormwater implementation efforts ($1.6 million). MPCA project managers: CWP: Pete Fastner, 651-757-2349; St. Louis River restoration: Suzanne Hanson, 218-302-6614; Wastewater/stormwater implementation efforts: Lisa Thorvig, 651-757-2189.
- Groundwater assessment and SSTS funding: $4.27 million. Of this funding, $2.25 million will be used for groundwater assessment, including enhancing the ambient monitoring network, modeling, and continuing to assess contaminants of emerging concern. MPCA project manager: Glenn Skuta, 651-757-2730.
- $450,000 is included in this appropriation to be transferred to the Environmental Quality Review Board in cooperation with the United States Geological Survey to characterize groundwater flow and aquifer properties in the I-94 corridor in cooperation with local units of government.
- $1.57 million is included for groundwater protection or prevention of groundwater degradation activities through enhancing the county-level delivery systems for subsurface sewage treatment systems (SSTS). MPCA project manager: Lisa Thorvig, 651-757-2189.
Minnesota's Clean Water Tracking Framework: A Progress Report
Minnesotans want to know if our water is getting cleaner and how Clean Water Funds are being spent. These questions and many others are being addressed by a multi-agency team whose goal is to develop a clean water tracking framework that will help clarify the connections between funds invested, actions taken and clean water outcomes achieved. The heart of the framework is a suite of quantifiable performance measures that tell a cohesive, meaningful story about the stressors on Minnesota's water bodies, watershed and groundwater health, and the response of agencies and partners working to restore and protect Minnesota's waters. Minnesota's Clean Water Tracking Framework provides a snapshot of this work as of May 2011.
- Clean Water Tracking Framework – May 2011 Progress Report (wq-gen1-05a)
- Appendices (wq-gen1-05b)
FY10-11 Clean Water Fund activities
- See a complete list of MPCA's FY10-11 Clean Water Fund projects (includes awarded organization, project type, brief project summary, and awarded amount).
- Learn about MPCA's FY10-11 Clean Water Fund Activities in this fact sheet. MPCA Clean Water Fund Activities.
- In 2009, the Legislature required very specific projects that go above and beyond the CWLA requirements. Learn more about the special projects in the fact sheet, MPCA Clean Water Fund Special Projects.
Opportunities to apply for Clean Water Funding
Local governments and others can apply through a competitive process administered by the MPCA for the following activities over the 2012-2013 biennium:
- Clean Water Partnership: $2M. Funding will be used to provide grants to protect and improve the basins and watersheds of the state and provide financial and technical assistance to study waters with nonpoint source pollution problems. Priority shall be given to projects preventing impairments and degradation of lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater in accordance with Minnesota Statutes, section 114D.20, subdivision 2, clause (4). MPCA project manager: Pete Fastner 651-757-2349. CWP Program Web site.
- Surface Water Assessment Grants (SWAG): $1M. Funding will be used to complete the monitoring needed to meet assessment requirements on Minnesota lakes and streams. Requests for proposal are open annually in October to provide local organizations and citizen volunteers with monitoring funds. MPCA project manager: Ron Schwartz 651-757-2708. SWAG Program Web site.