Contact: Cori Rude-Young 651-757-2680 Toll-free: 1-800-657-3864 St. Paul, Minn. - The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking comments on a water quality improvement report for Crystal Lake in Hennepin County. The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), focuses on pollution caused by excess nutrients. A public comment period begins Nov. 24, and continues through Dec. 24, 2008. Crystal Lake is an 89-acre basin located in the Shingle Creek watershed. The lake's drainage area is 1,237 acres of fully developed urban and suburban land almost entirely in the city of Robbinsdale, with some contribution from the city of Minneapolis. Crystal Lake is a highly used recreational water body with an active fishery and provides other aesthetic values as well. Crystal Lake has been placed on the state's impaired waters list because of excess nutrient levels, particularly phosphorus. While phosphorus is an essential nutrient for algae and plants, it is considered a pollutant when it stimulates excessive growth of algae or aquatic plants. The TMDL study assessed the pollutant concentrations and indicated that phosphorus will need to be reduced by 72 percent for Crystal Lake to meet the water-quality standard during the summer. 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. After receiving public comments, the MPCA will revise the draft Crystal Lake TMDL report and submit it to the EPA for approval. After the EPA approves the study, a plan will be developed to reduce phosphorus pollution in the lake. The Crystal Lake TMDL draft report is available at the MPCA office at 520 Lafayette Road N. in St. Paul or on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/project-crystallake-nutrients.html. Comments may be submitted to Barb Peichel, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road North, Saint Paul, MN 55155 4194. For more information, telephone Peichel at 651-296-6300 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.
3. Specific reasons supporting your position.
More information on the state's impaired waters list and TMDL studies is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html.