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Below is posted a chronology of the issue prepared by DNR in February 2000. ----- ds


1989 ----- Groundwater Act prohibits new OTS in excess of 5,000,000 gallons per year. There are approximately 125 OTS permits, which used 11 billion gallons of groundwater in 1989.

1990 ----- Legislation requires conversion of existing OTS within design life of the equipment, but no later than the year 2010.

1991 ----- DNR amends General Mills OTS permit to terminate on the January 1, 2002 design life requested by General Mills.

1992 ----- Legislature approves an OTS conversion exemption requested by H.B. Fuller that requires twice the cost of conversion based on the design life of the OTS to be used for development of an existing 265 acre nature preserve. H. B. Fuller discharges OTS water directly to the Willow Lake Nature preserve and OTS use in 1998 was 80 million gallons.

1996 ----- General Mills and Golden Valley met with DNR to discuss reuse of OTS Water for municipal purposes. DNR supported reuse of OTS water for this higher priority purpose which would exempt General Mills from conversion requirements.

1999 ----- As of July a total of 70 OTS are converted, 30 OTS remain to be converted before 2010, and 30 OTS are not required to convert (use < 5 million gallons). Water use has decreased from 11 billion gallons in l989 to 5.2 billion gallons in 1998.

1999 ----- July 22, General Mills presents a nature preserve concept to DNR, which proposed
  1) exemption from OTS conversion requirements (estimated to cost $2M - $9M)
  2) creation of a 24 acre nature preserve along Bassett Creek floodplain with l0.4 acres of the upland area used for ball fields, a, parking lot, concession building and turf areas,
  3) expansion of OTS for a new building, increasing water use by 150 million gallons. DNR recommends that General Mills seek legislative approval and states the proposal would require a permit amendment to extend the 2002 termination date.

1999 ----- August 16, DNR meets with General Mills and reiterates that the proposal would require a permit amendment to extend the termination date and recommends seeking legislative approval. General Mills OTS use is 265 million gallons in1998.

1999 ----- August 24, General Mills letter declines to request permit amendment or seek legislative approval and requests DNR's position on the proposal.

1999 ----- September 21, DNR responds that additional information is needed to evaluate the proposal before a decision can be made. General Mills provides a partial response in an October 6 letter.  

1999 ----- October 12, DNR letter states DNR will provide a complete response to General Mills' request, but does not have the TKDA conversion estimate that General Mills said was submitted to DNR in 1992. DNR receives TKDA $2.9M estimate on October 14.

1999 ----- October 19, General Mills files law suit against DNR. The law suit seeks a summary judgement to have the District Court decide the issue instead of going through the permit amendment process.  

2000 ----- January 18 and 19, Mediation was attempted, but parties were unable to reach a settlement agreement.

2000 ----- January 26, At the Ground Water Subcommittee of House Environment and Natural Resouces Committee the issue of OTS conversions was discussed.

2000 ----- February 22, Members of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee express interest in clarifying legislative intent for nature preserve OTS exemption.

2000 ----- March 2, Ramsey County District Court Hearing on the General Mills' law suit against DNR. The suit requests an Order that the proposal exempts General Mills from OTS conversion requirements. DNR’s defense is that General Mills did not submit a permit application and they have not exhausted administrative remedies. DNR has not, taken final action on the proposal and the issue should be addressed in the administrative process not District Court.

2000 ----- The District Court has 90 days to make a decision following the March 2 hearing.


DNR Waters


website by dave stack , --- last update 00nov22