Media Contact: Alexis Donath, 651-757-2312
St. Paul, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) invites public comments on a water quality improvement report for Bald Eagle Lake, located on the Ramsey/Washington county line. According to data from water quality monitoring, Bald Eagle Lake has contained excess phosphorus since at least the mid-1970s. While phosphorus is an essential nutrient for plants, too much phosphorus can produce frequent summer algae blooms, which interfere with recreation on the lake.
The report explains that some phosphorus enters Bald Eagle Lake through runoff from the watershed, but a larger portion comes from internal sources such as lake sediment and decaying vegetation. In order to achieve the necessary phosphorus reduction of 58 percent, the report recommends strategies to limit phosphorus release from sediment and manage invasive plant species in the lake. Local initiatives to improve stormwater management and better enforce existing runoff rules will also reduce the flow of phosphorus into the lake.
The draft report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report, may be viewed online at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/tmdl-draft.html. For more information or to submit comments, contact Chris Zadak (firstname.lastname@example.org; phone 651-757-2837), MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55155. Comments must be received in writing at the MPCA office by March 30, 2011, and must include an explanation of the commenter’s interest in the TMDL report, a clear statement of any recommended changes (including references to specific sections of the report), and specific reasons for any suggested changes.
The report is part of a nationwide effort under the federal Clean Water Act to identify and clean up pollution in streams, rivers and lakes. The purpose of a TMDL study is to quantify the pollution reductions necessary to bring an impaired water body into compliance with water quality standards. After receiving feedback from the public and from the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Rice Creek Watershed District will develop a detailed plan to reduce phosphorus pollution in Bald Eagle Lake.