Ely Town Hall Aims at Improving Water Quality

Ely Town Hall Aims at Improving Water Quality

Taylor Holt
September 12, 2017 11:39 PM

A group of about 200 community members convened at the Grand Ely Lodge Tuesday, to voice concerns and hear from experts surrounding Minnesota’s water quality.

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Ely resident Gerald Tyler says attending Tuesday’s Town Hall was a must.

“We support clean water and jobs,” said Tyler. We hope we hear tonight that we can continue to have clean water up here and people understand how important jobs are both during construction development of the mine and also after the construction is completed.”

The meeting was part of Governor Mark Dayton’s initiative to improve the state’s water quality 25% by 2025.

“In Ely, we don’t have industrial pollution. We don’t have agricultural pollution,” said Ely Mayor Chuck Novak.

“(This region) is in a better situation than most but that’s all the more reason to be focused on preserving and protecting the water quality you do enjoy here,” said Governor Dayton.

Local and state leaders agreed that the northeastern region of Minnesota has some of the cleanest water but that it still faces major concerns.

“We really have some water issues throughout the state and there’s different issues in different parts of the state,” said Edward Ehlinger, Minnesota Department of Health Commissioner. 

The purpose of the meeting was to get solutions from the community. There were several breakout sessions where residents came up with two to three regional goals that will be added in establishing the state’s clean water initiative.

“Other parts of the state have let water quality deteriorate and even with the kind of efforts we’re taking, it’s going to be decades before they can restore water,” said Dayton.

This meeting was the sixth of ten planned throughout the state.

There will be another meeting in Bemidji Wednesday. For those who can’t attend the meeting, they can still give their feedback on the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board website.


Taylor Holt

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