Nitrogen pollution is widespread in southern Minnesota lakes and rivers, report finds

Josephine Marcotty, reporting for the Star Tribune: 

Nitrogen contamination in southern Minnesota is so severe that 27 percent of the region’s lakes and rivers could not be used for drinking water, according to an unexpectedly blunt assessment of state water pollution released Wednesday.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) said that, overall, 41 percent of the streams and lakes in southern Minnesota have excessive nitrogen, which can be toxic to fish and other forms of aquatic life and is the state’s most widespread form of water pollution.