MPCA to sample entire Minnesota portion of Mississippi River for pollutants

File photo of the Mississippi River in Minnesota.  (FOX 9)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced on Monday they will be monitoring the water quality throughout the Mississippi River in Minnesota. 

MPCA says water and aquatic life samples will be taken from over 50 locations between Bemidji and the Iowa border. The samples will provide MPCA with an idea of what the water quality is like in the Minnesota portion of the river. 

According to the MPCA, this will be the first time they attempt to sample the entire river in Minnesota during one monitoring season. Information from the river samples in 2024 will help move funding and resources towards a river clean-up and improving the water quality.

MPCA will also screen the sample for per- and polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS), also known as "forever chemicals", contamination. 

MPCA will test water samples for pollutants, along with measuring and testing fish for abnormalities and testing insects from river habitats.

"Water monitoring is critical to clean water. By monitoring our lakes and rivers, we are supporting safe drinking water, enjoyable recreation, tourism, and Minnesota’s strong economy," said MPCA Commissioner Katrina Kessler. "Our work protecting the Mighty Mississippi from its headwaters here in Minnesota is critical to maintaining a healthy river downstream, all the way to the Gulf of Mexico."

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