Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887
St. Paul, Minn. — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking comments on a water quality improvement report for Big Sandy Lake and Lake Minnewawa in Aitkin County, north of McGregor. The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), focuses on pollution caused by excess nutrients in the lake. A public comment period begins Aug. 2, and continues through Sept. 1.
These lakes were placed on Minnesota’s list of impaired waters in 2006 for aquatic recreation because of excessive nutrients. The report indicated that both lakes had phosphorus concentrations exceeding state 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.
After receiving public comments, the MPCA will revise the draft Big Sandy Lake and Lake Minnewawa TMDL report and submit it to the EPA for approval. Following approval of the study, a plan will be developed to reduce pollution throughout the watershed.
The Big Sandy Lake and Lake Minnewawa TMDL draft report is available on the Web at, www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/water-types-and-programs/minnesota-s-impaired-waters-and-tmdls/tmdl-projects/upper-mississippi-river-basin-tmdl-projects/underway-tmdl-big-sandy-area-lakes-excess-nutrients.html, or at the St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Road North. Comments may be submitted to Bonnie Finnerty, MPCA, 7678 College Rd, Ste. 105, Baxter, MN 56425, or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Bonnie Finnerty at 218-316-3897, 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.
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, or toll-free at 1-800-657-3864.