ST. PAUL -- Gov. Tim Pawlenty today issued an emergency executive order directing Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau, also commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Transportation, to ease seasonal load restrictions for sewage pumpers due to the widespread problem of frozen septic tanks as a result of extreme weather conditions.
"The lack of snow cover combined with extremely cold temperatures has resulted in the freezing of septic systems over much of Minnesota," the governor said in a news release. "This is a serious problem that has the potential to be a threat to public health. We want to avoid any worsening of the situation and give communities and homeowners the flexibility they need to address this problem."
The governor's order -- his first emergency executive order issued as governor -- is effective immediately and expires on June 13.
Sen. Carrie Ruud, R-Breezy Point, Rep. Doug Fuller, R-Bemidji, and other key players including those from Cass and Crow Wing counties, were instrumental in bringing the issue to Pawlenty's attention.
Spring road restrictions go into effect Saturday. If Pawlenty hadn't issued the order, sewage pumper trucks wouldn't be allowed on the roads and couldn't service the multitude of area homeowners experiencing frozen septic and water system problems as the result of unusually deep frost this winter.
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