FMR joins renewed call to #FixthePipesMN

by Trevor Russell

Across our state, aging pipes are leaking, and drinking and wastewater facilities need to be upgraded to protect the health of Minnesota communities, not to mention all of our downstream neighbors.

As part of the diverse Fix the Pipes alliance, FMR called upon our representatives to invest at least $300 million to fix our aging water infrastructure.

Here's our joint letter to legislators. We sent it before the June special session wrapped up, and are eager to resurface this important issue when the Legislature reconvenes.

If you'd like to weigh in when the time comes in, sign up to be a River Guardian and we'll be in touch. 

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June 18, 2020

Dear Minnesota Legislators:

As the legislature works on a range of high priority issues this special session, we want to remind you of the importance of restoring important jobs and economic activity, as well as protecting public health across the state through passing a robust capital investment package. In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, 40% of waters tested don’t meet water quality standards. One reason for this is that water infrastructure put in place 50 – 60 years ago is in dire need of replacement, and without needed upgrades, towns, cities, and their residents will suffer. However, updating water infrastructure systems is a cost many communities can’t bear alone.

This year’s bonding bill can help to rebuild Minnesota’s economy and communities. Please maximize this potential by making a commitment of at least $300 million to fix the water infrastructure problems across our state. Water infrastructure improvements at this scale can play a key role in jumpstarting the economy and improving the quality of life across the state in the following ways:

  • Jobs: Data compiled by the Fix the Pipes Alliance shows water infrastructure projects will create approximately 7,200 jobs in construction, engineering, manufacturing, and other fields statewide.
  • Economic Impact: Alliance estimates show the total economic impact generated by these projects in urban, suburban, and rural Minnesota communities would exceed $1.8 billion. Many of the projects can immediately move ahead pending legislative approval.
  • Public Health: The projects would protect and improve public health by mitigating flooding and reducing untreated sewage and other pollution that enters rivers, ponds, and lakes across Minnesota.

From keeping Minnesota’s drinking and swimming waters clean to replacing old lead service lines and deteriorating water mains, the need for improving Minnesota’s water systems to ensure clean lakes, rivers and streams has never been greater. These projects are good for everyone in Minnesota, no matter where we live. Please visit www.FixThePipes.org for more background information.

With historic need matching historic opportunity, we hope you will support a large overall bonding bill, including at least $300 million to improve and ensure the health and safety of our water.

Thank you,

Fix the Pipes Coalition members:
Alliance for Sustainability
American Council of Engineering
Companies of Minnesota Blue Green Alliance
Clean Up the River Environment
Clean Water Action Minnesota 
Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities
Conservation Minnesota
Environment Minnesota
Friends of Minnesota Scientific & Natural Areas
Friends of the Mississippi River
Honor the Earth
Izaak Walton League – Minnesota Division
Land Stewardship Project
League of Minnesota Cities
League of Women Voters - Minnesota
League of Women Voters – Upper Mississippi River Region
Mankato Area Environmentalists
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Minnesota Interfaith Power & Light
Minnesota Ornithological Union
Minnesota Rural Water Association
Minnesota Well Owners Organization
Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
Pollinate Minnesota
Sierra Club North Star Chapter
The Nature Conservancy

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