Contact: Forrest Peterson, 320-214-3789 Marshall, Minn. - A public comment period begins May 14 and continues through June 15 on a report addressing water pollution in Pipestone Creek. The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study, addresses pollution caused by fecal coliform bacteria and turbidity. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has placed three sections of Pipestone Creek on the state's impaired waters list for exceeding those water quality standards. The TMDL report is part of a nationwide effort under the federal Clean Water Act to identify and clean up pollution in streams, rivers and lakes. Every two years, states are required to submit a list of impaired waters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A TMDL report is a scientific study that calculates the maximum amount of a pollutant a water body can receive (known as the "loading capacity") without exceeding water quality standards. Fecal coliform bacteria can affect human health and limit recreational use of the water. Turbidity is a measure of cloudiness of water that affects aquatic life. The MPCA estimates that a 77 percent reduction in fecal coliform bacteria and 54 percent reduction in turbidity in Pipestone Creek are necessary in order to meet water quality standards. Livestock on overgrazed pasture near the creek, surface-applied manure on cropland, and feedlots lacking adequate runoff controls are the primary sources of the fecal coliform bacteria. Soil erosion and stream bank slumping from livestock, upland soil loss from row cropland, and nutrients contributing to algae growth are the primary sources of turbidity. After receiving comments the MPCA will revise the draft Pipestone Creek TMDL report and submit it to the EPA for approval. The Pipestone County Conservation and Zoning Office assisted with water quality monitoring, providing watershed and related information, and coordinated public involvement. Pipestone National Monument staff conducted much of the water quality monitoring. A public information meeting was held Dec. 19, 2006. The Pipestone Creek fecal coliform bacteria and turbidity TMDL draft report is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html, or at the MPCA Marshall office, 1420 E. College Dr., Suite 900. Comments may be submitted to Chris Zadak, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155. For more information, contact Zadak at 651-297-8613, or toll-free at 1-800-657-3864. Written comments must include the following:
1. A statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report;
2. A statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft TMDL that you believe should be changed; and
3. Specific reasons supporting your position.