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January 30 2012 11:04

MPCA Seeks Comments for Water Quality Report on 7 Anoka County Lakes

Contact: Alexis Donath, 651-757-2120

St. Paul, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking feedback on a draft water quality improvement report for Peltier Lake, Centerville Lake, and the lakes in the Lino Lakes chain (George Watch, Marshan, Reshanau, Rice and Baldwin lakes) in Anoka County. The MPCA has identified these lakes as impaired because of their high levels of phosphorus.  Lakes with excess phosphorus are prone to algal overgrowth, which interferes with swimming, fishing and recreation.

The MPCA, in partnership with the Rice Creek Watershed District, has determined that the phosphorus levels in Peltier Lake must be reduced by up to 85 percent to meet state water quality standards. For this chain of lakes, much of the phosphorus load comes from internal sources, such as rough fish (carp) and decaying vegetation. Therefore, the studies recommend managing populations of fish and aquatic plants in the lakes to control the internal phosphorus load. Local initiatives to improve the management of stormwater will also reduce the flow of phosphorus into Peltier Lake. Focus on this upstream lake will be critical for success in restoring the downstream lakes.

Part of the study included an evaluation of historic phosphorus levels in Peltier Lake. The MPCA has proposed assessing Peltier Lake in comparison to its natural background level of phosphorus, rather than using the more stringent state water quality standard. George Watch, Marshan, Rice and Baldwin lakes, since they are downstream of Peltier, would also use the natural background condition as their standard.

The MPCA report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load report, or TMDL, is part of a nationwide effort to clean up pollution in lakes and streams. Every two years, the MPCA compiles a list of lakes and streams that do not meet state water quality standards. For each of these “impaired waters”, the MPCA works with local partners to prepare a TMDL report, which quantifies pollutant levels, identifies sources of pollution, and proposes ways to bring water quality back to an acceptable level.

The draft TMDL report may be viewed at /yhiza34  For more information or to submit comments, contact Chris Zadak (email chris.zakak@state.mn.us; phone 651-757-2837), MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., Saint Paul, MN 55155-4194.

To become part of the public record, comments must be received in writing at the MPCA by Feb. 29.  They must include an explanation of the commenter’s interest in the TMDL report, a clear statement of any recommended changes (including references to specific sections of the TMDL), and reasons for any suggested changes.

For information on various issues related to TMDLs and impaired waters, visit the MPCA’s TMDL Fact Sheets and Publications webpage.

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