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 Diamond Lake in east-central Kandiyohi County. 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 May 23 and continues through June 22, 2011.
Located just northwest of the city of Atwater, Diamond Lake is a 1,600-acre, rural lake that is moderately developed. Its surrounding watershed is primarily agricultural.
Diamond Lake was placed on Minnesota’s list of impaired waters in 2006 because of excess nutrient levels, particularly phosphorus. This TMDL study assessed nutrient levels and determined that the current phosphorus load of 5.3 kilograms per day will need to be reduced to 3.78 kilograms per day for the lake to meet water quality standards during the summer months.
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 Diamond Lake TMDL report and submit it to the EPA for approval. Following EPA approval, a plan will be developed to reduce pollution throughout the watershed.
The Diamond Lake TMDL draft report is available online at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/tmdl-draft.html , or at the MPCA’s St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Rd. N. Written comments should be submitted to Maggie Leach, MPCA, 7678 College Rd, Ste. 105, Baxter, MN 56425, or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, contact Maggie Leach at 218-316-3895, or toll-free at 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 online at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html.