Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-855-5001 Brainerd, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has prepared an Environmental Assessment Worksheet for proposed changes at the Brainerd wastewater treatment facility. Those interested are invited to comment on this EAW until March 26, 2008. This is a renotification of the original EAW which was released for public review last March. Tests since then have revealed the presence of perfluorooctane sulfonate in the facility's wastewater discharge. The proposed project has been updated to include discharge limits for this chemical. This sparked the MPCA's decision to modify and reissue the original EAW. Proposed changes at the wastewater facility include a two-phase upgrade to the plant to allow for an increase in its capacity from the current 3.6-million gallons per day to 7.5-million. The upgrades will support the estimated Brainerd/Baxter population growth over the next 20 years. The two cities now have a combined population of just over 20,000. The projected estimate in 2026 is nearly 45,000 people. Since the facility discharges to the Mississippi River, total suspended solids and oxygen demand loading will be frozen at their current levels, and phosphorus and mercury limits will now be applied. The EAW is a preliminary environmental review looking at how a proposed project could potentially affect the environment. Comments on the EAW should be submitted in writing by 4:30 p.m. by March 26, 2008, to Barbara Jean Conti, MPCA, Environmental Review Section, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4194, by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to 651-297-2343. The MPCA will use the comments on the EAW to evaluate the potential for significant environmental effects from the project and determine if an Environmental Impact Statement, a more comprehensive environmental review, is needed. Copies of the EAW are available for review at:
· MPCA St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Rd. N.
· MPCA Web site at www.pca.state.mn.us/news/eaw/index.html
· Brainerd Public Library, 416 S. 5th St.