ST. PAUL -- A survey by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows that 25% of Minnesota communities don't have plans to address extreme weather caused by climate change. And, only 12% of the respondents have a standalone climate adaptation or resiliency plan.

MPCA Commissioner Katrina Kessler says as more communities experience extreme rainfall, storms, flooding, and drought, the legislature needs to step in and help.

The MPCA is asking the legislature for just over $21-million to help cities upgrade aging stormwater infrastructure and an additional $55-million for broader resiliency plans like riverbank restoration and tree planting.

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New Ulm Mayor Terry Sveine says their wastewater treatment system isn't capable of dealing with such extremes...

Our wastewater treatment plant really needs help. I talked to our plant manager and he said our normal treatment is 2,000 gallons a minute. We've had downpours of eight inches in an hour-and-a-half which meant we were dealing with 10,000...five times the amount. He said we just can't continue at that rate, so we're gonna need some help.

The survey revealed that 42% of communities needed additional funding for planning and infrastructure. Also, 42% of those surveyed asked for better guidance.

Overall, the survey showed 87% of local governments have experienced extreme rainfall and storms, drought, or flooding.

 

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