Minnesota Supreme Court to review drainage projects ruling

Minnesota Supreme Court to review drainage projects ruling
December 29, 2021 The Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court announced Tuesday it will review a ruling by the Minnesota Court of Appeals that provided environmental protections for Renville County’s last free-flowing stream.

The October appeals court decision called for an environmental review to determine whether a proposed drainage ditch improvement could harm the stream in the heavily agricultural western county.

The dispute involves proposed improvements to a century-old ditch that empties into the upper reaches of Limbo Creek. Backers say the project would lead to better drainage of farmland in the area.

The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, which challenged the county’s decision, said the appeals court’s ruling sets a precedent that means any drainage project across the state that affects public water will require an environmental review.

The Renville County Board declined in 2020 to order the review because the creek’s upper reaches didn’t appear on the official list created in the 1980s.

The Supreme Court did not set a scheduled for oral arguments in the case.

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Featured image: The Minnesota Statehouse in St. Paul. (Photo Credit: stpaulgirl via Flickr / Creative Commons)


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