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The Minnesota Supreme Court has ruled a western county in the state must conduct an environmental review to determine whether a proposed drainage ditch improvement could harm one of the last free-flowing creeks in the heavily agricultural area. The ruling Wednesday affirms a state Court of Appeals judgment that reversed a Renville County Board decision which said the study wasn’t necessary. The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy challenged the county’s decision. It’s unclear whether the high court’s ruling will affect other conflicts around the state involving drainage projects that preserve farmlands but increase the volume of water and pollutants flowing downstream.

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