Rep. Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, must be having one heckova day. First his long-promised, but hastily vetted bonding bill went down on the Minnesota House floor, as KEYC-TV's Shawn Loging reports in Day After House Releases Bonding Bill, Fails To Get Votes Needed.
But that's not the only bad news for the Hanska-area Republican pork producer. The station also reports in Kelsey Barchenger's Drinking Water Warning In Fairmont:
High nitrate levels have the city of Fairmont warning of possible health concerns caused by the drinking water.
Water samples tested today show nitrate levels of 12 mg/L. That’s above the maximum contaminant level of 10 mg/L.
The city says high nitrate rates can infants younger than six months to become seriously ill and could die if untreated.
Water, juice and formula for infants should not be prepared with tap water.
Adults and children over six months can drink the tap water, however pregnant women or those with specific health concerns are asked to consult with a doctor before drinking the water.
The city says the water entering the Water Treatment Plant meets standards, however it may be several days before the water reaches all areas of the distribution system.
Earlier this month, Bluestem posted in Rep. Torkelson dismisses concerns about nitrates in Minnesota's drinking water:
In a May 3 discussion with Minnesota Public Radio's Tom Weber and Representative Rick Hansen, DFL-S. St.Paul, Representative Paul Torkelson, R-Hanska, dismissed concerns about nitrates and drinking water quality.
In the discussion (audio here) Torkelson claims that the problem of nitrates in drinking water is an isolated problem that's no threat. Around the 7:40 minute mark, Hansen calls nitrates in drinking water the iceberg beneath the surface in terms of infrastructure needs. With more detection of nitrates and more research into data that the legislature funded, the suburban Democrat says, there's more need to mitigate.
Around 9:52, Torkelson says, "The nitrate issue is a very complicated one. Nitrogen moves with water but it comes from a variety of sources and it can be in the ground for a long times before it shows up in any water system. And I'd like to remind folks that we do not have any systems that I know of --any municipal systems in Minnesota that have high nitrates. They're tested regularly and they meet the requirement. So they're safe. Minnesota's drinking water is safe. . . .
Weber reminds Torkelson that the only reason the water is safe in some communities is because "you've had to take that extra step of adding the infrastructure to treat the water.
At 10:55, Torkelson replies, "True, but it's a very small number of communities, it's quite isolated at this time and I don't anticipate that it's going to be a broad concern." . . .
We're not sure the citizens of Fairmont would agree right now.
Meme: Breaking news about nitrates, from our May 9, 2016 post. Photo via Torkelson's twitter avatar.
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