Water violations not a priority for DNR

Water violations not a priority for DNR Click to Enlarge Photo:

Feb 27, 2013 at 7:57 am

WORTHINGTON, Minn. (AP) Minnesota Department of Natural Resources records show hundreds of water permit holders are violating the law by using much more water than allowed.

Over the last six years, individuals, businesses and even state government agencies have pumped billions of gallons more than their permit allows.

Violators face few consequences for using too much water. DNR officials say even in drought conditions, they don't spend much time on enforcing permit limits. DNR regulations manager Dale Homuth says stopping the excessive pumping is not a high priority because the agency is just trying to keep up with record levels of new water permit applications.

Cities, power companies, schools, crop irrigators and many others have a state permit that allows them to draw a specific amount of water each year from underground wells, rivers, lakes and wetlands.

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