Introduction: Environmental damage and the Afton Wastewater Treatment Project
Valley Creek is one of the best trout-producing streams in Minnesota and may in fact be in the top ten percent of trout streams in the world. Brown, brook, and rainbow trout all are found in Valley Creek. This outstanding quality has led the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to list Valley Creek as a state-designated trout stream along its perennial reaches – a stretch of 4.3 miles.
Valley Creek is home to more than 20 endangered, threatened, and special concern species, including the American brook lamprey, the hooded warbler, and Blanding’s turtle. The exceptional habitat value of Valley Creek also is identified in Minnesota’s State Wildlife Action Plan (Tomorrow’s Habitat for the Wild and Rare. 2006. State of Minnesota, Department of Natural Resources), which identifies Valley Creek as a “Key River Reach.”
Valley Creek lies within the St. Paul Baldwin Plains and Moraines ecological subsection. This subsection contains 149 Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN), the second highest total number in all 25 subsections in the state. Additionally, the township containing Valley Creek has one of the highest numbers of SGCN within the St. Paul Baldwin Plains and Moraines subsection.
(Excerpted from the Minnesota Land Trust’s website)
How Afton’s sewer project will impact Valley Creek
LATEST: Letter from Citizens for Valley Creek’s lawyer to Afton, re: endangered bee in project area (April 3, 2017)
The planned sewage project is just a few hundred yards away from Valley Creek, in an area known to flood. Afton’s preparatory research into the project failed to identify several private water wells within the sewage project area. A reasonable expectation is that the sewage plant will overflow at some point in the future, endangering clean water supplies and the natural environment.
Resources highlighting the Afton sewer project’s threat to the environment
- Public comments to Minnesota Pollution Control Agency regarding granting of a State Disposal System (SDS) Permit (20 February 2015)
- Description of the Valley Creek Watershed (Minnesota Land Trust)
- Newsletter feature: “Valley Creek” (Belwin Conservancy newsletter, The Meadowlark, Spring 2010)
- Notice of Availability of an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 2 October 2014)
- Comments on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet (Stuart Grubb, PG Senior Hydrogeologist, EOR Inc, 27 March 2015)
- Submission: Comments on EAW by anonymous professional (Citizens for Valley Creek, 27 March 2015)
- Submission: Citizen Petition for an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (18 June 2015)