WHEREAS, the citizens of Duluth place a high value on our area lakes and rivers; and

     WHEREAS, clean water is what makes Minnesota a great place to live and economic development thrives where water is clean, safe and healthy; and

     WHEREAS, our lakes and rivers are a tremendous local asset for swimming, fishing, drinking, tourism and property values; and

     WHEREAS, just eight percent of Minnesota’s rivers and streams and 14 percent of our lakes have been tested to determine if they meet water quality standards; and

     WHEREAS, thus far 40 percent of all waters tested, including our own St. Louis River watershed violate water quality standards and therefore are impaired; and

     WHEREAS, Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams are contaminated with mercury, pesticides, phosphorus, human and animal waste and other pollutants; and

     WHEREAS, the Federal Clean Water Act requires that we test our waters, determine the sources of pollution and enact a clean-up plan; and

     WHEREAS, the citizens of Duluth have seen the negative economic and social impacts of water pollution, prior to the existence of the Western Lake Sanitary Sewer District; and

     WHEREAS, local residential and business development can be impeded if our polluted lakes and rivers are not cleaned up; and

     WHEREAS, the Minnesota pollution control agency has estimated the cost of cleaning up Minnesota’s polluted waters to be $80 to $270 million per year; and

     WHEREAS, polluted lakes and rivers are a statewide problem that calls for statewide attention.

     NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council calls on the legislature to fund a clean-up initiative to test the water qualify of Minnesota’s lakes and rivers, empower local stakeholders to develop clean-up plans, implement restoration activities to return lakes and rivers to a clean and healthy state and keep clean waters clean.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Duluth City Council urges the legislature to continue to fund important sewer and water infrastructure improvements and upgrades through the state revolving loan fund, the wastewater infrastructure fund and to work towards additional grant funding for important initiatives.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE:  This resolution sets out the council’s preference for legislative action.