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Minnesota's Moorhead fighting plan to protect Lake Winnipeg

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news Bemidji, 56619
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — A Minnesota city is fighting a new state policy intended to protect water quality in Canada.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking to cut phosphorus emissions from Moorhead's wastewater treatment plant. The plant discharges into the Red River, which flows north into Lake Winnipeg.

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Canadian scientists estimate the Red River dumps more than 40,000 pounds of phosphorus into Lake Winnipeg each day, contributing to algae blooms and a growing dead zone. Most of that phosphorus comes from farm runoff, but some comes from Moorhead's treatment plant, which isn't designed to remove phosphorus.

Moorhead officials tell Minnesota Public Radio the limits could cost the city $10 million without making a significant improvement downstream.

Fargo has a much larger treatment plant, but North Dakota has no plans for phosphorus limits.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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