Pesticide Monitoring Program
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
The purpose of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture's monitoring activities is to determine the presence and concentration of pesticides in Minnesota's groundwater and surface water. Monitoring information is used to characterize and assess the extent of pesticide impacts to Minnesota's water resources.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has been monitoring the state's water resources continuously for more than 20 years. With over two decades of monitoring data, the MDA operates one of the few programs with sufficient long-term data to evaluate changes in water quality over time.
Clean Water funding has increase the capability and capacity of the water monitoring program through the provision of new analytical equipment in the MDA lab. The new equipment is capable of detecting a broader suite of chemicals at lower concentrations. The MDA will analyze approximately 600 additional samples each year due to Clean Water funding.
About the Issue
The MDA used dollars from the Clean Water Fund to purchase equipment for a liquid chromatography with tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) analytical methods. This switch to new methods has greatly expanded the MDA's monitoring capability. Whereas in 2009, MDA routinely analyzed for approximately 44 chemicals requiring three different analytical procedures, in 2010 the MDA can detect and quantify over 100 chemicals using two different procedures. The most significant advancement of the new methods is the ability to quantify concentrations for many of these chemicals at much lower levels.
In general, the MDA looks for pesticides that are widely used and / or pose the greatest risk to groundwater or surface water. The MDA follows a pesticide selection process which prioritizes the specific compounds to be tested. Common compounds include pesticides applied in agricultural settings and those applied to lawns and gardens.The program is designed specifically to evaluate pesticides, however, analysis of nutrients and sediment is also considered.
Project Details by Fiscal Year
Competitive Grant Making Body