Thursday, December 27, 2012
WATERWORKS by Gordon Prickett - a column for January 2, 2013 Aitkin Independent Age APPLICABLE REGULATIONS I’ve noticed a tendency on the part of a few recreational visitors as they approach vacant county land to conclude that “Nobody lives up here, so....” Sometimes seasonal residents who pay taxes, but have no say as to how these tax levies are set, complain in Early American fashion about “Taxation without representation!” When there are important environmental rules governing the use of the land and waters up here, it’s not easy or simple to make sure that knowledge of the law is well understood. So it was in the torrential rains of June 2012, when the County enacted temporary boating restrictions requiring “slow-no wake speeds” on all county lakes. Through the efforts of the news media, lake associations, and lake neighbors, the news of these emergency measures was communicated, and the word eventually got out pretty well. One of the purposes of ACLARA, the Aitkin County Lakes And Rivers Association, is to “support compliance with all applicable rules and regulations” on county waters. We are continuing to review the experience of last summer, and will report results of a survey of our membership to the County Board this winter. WHAT ABOUT SOLID WASTE DISPOSAL? At the present time there is an “open case” from Aitkin County, pending before the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, where industrial waste from outside Aitkin County was hauled onto a field within the shoreland zone of one of our Recreational Development (RD) lakes. The zoning office was notified, and the site was inspected. The MPCA personnel involved have promised that just as soon as the case is closed, the details of the case will be shared. You should be able to read a summary of this story in my column in the Age on February 6th. Meanwhile, it’s important to stress that, without enforcement, rules and regulations concerning the environment mean very little.