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  1. Most attempts to mitigate damage from runoff of agricultural operations and urban construction are voluntary in South Dakota. Few farmers and contractors opt to use sometimes costly pollution-control processes.
  2. Water quality advocates say state assurances about water quality were issued before the discharge violations had stopped and before the ammonia releases had reached their peak.
  3. City treatment facilities handle wastewater from residents and businesses. But records show problems with river pollutants in state's top 20 cities.
  4. Pollution control violations are common at city and industrial treatment plants that send treated wastewater into rivers. Yet the state is behind in updating discharge permits and inspecting the wastewater plants.
  5. State waterways are under siege from cities, industries and agriculture. South Dakota News Watch special report shows early 50 million gallons of treated sewage, chemicals and bacteria flow into rivers each day with potentially dangerous consequences for human health.
  6. The need is great - more than 1,000 bridges in the state are in need of repair. But some county officials say the state's program unfairly favors wealthier counties leaving smaller, more rural areas on their own.
  7. More than 44 percent of districts currently have opt-outs in place allowing them to raise local property taxes. Education officials and school administrators expect that trend to continue.
  8. LLC business process is open to questions, experts say. Businesses can be formed quickly, at low cost, with little paperwork, and limited information disclosure.
  9. Experts say prairie rattler bites are usually not fatal but warn that ongoing development into once-natural areas will increase encounters.
  10. Two years after a sales tax increase boosted South Dakota teachers from last place in pay, school administrators believe the Legislature will need to take additional steps to keep pace on salaries.
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