Contact:Forrest Peterson, 320-441-6972
Willmar, Minn. — A public comment period will begin April 18 on a report about a water quality project for Long Lake and Ringo Lake north of Willmar. A public meeting about the project is scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday, April 28, at the Kandiyohi County Health and Human Services building in Willmar. The comment period will continue through May 18.
The report focuses on pollution caused by high levels of phosphorus, a nutrient contributing to excessive algal growth. It describes the impairment, its causes, and possible solutions. Since 1997, the level of phosphorus in Long Lake has more than doubled to more than twice the target level.
Potential reductions from both external and internal sources have been identified. Some external sources include cultivated lands, pasture/grasslands, urban runoff, woodlands and failing septic systems. Strategies to reduce internal loading will need to be developed based primarily on fisheries and vegetation management, as well as possible reduction of boating activity in sensitive areas.
The report is part of a nationwide effort under the Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) provision of 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). States and local organizations must determine the total maximum daily load of pollutants that a water body can carry and still meet water-quality standards.
After receiving public comments, the MPCA may revise the draft report before sending it to the EPA for approval.
Written comments on the draft TMDL report are due by 4:30 p.m. on May 18, 2011, to Darrell Schindler, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 1601 E. Hwy. 12, Willmar, MN 56201-6002, or by e-mail to email@example.com.
Written comments must include:
(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) the reasons supporting your position, stated with sufficient specificity to allow the Commissioner to investigate the merits of your position.
The MPCA will prepare responses to comments, and make any necessary revisions of the draft TMDL report. It is available for review at the MPCA Willmar office, or online at www.pca.state.mn.us/jsri9be.
Following EPA approval of the study, a plan will be developed to direct efforts toward restoring the lakes to water quality standards. For more information about the TMDL study, call Darrell Schindler at the MPCA Marshall office, 320-441-6972; or Cory Netland, Hawk Creek Watershed Project, 507-523-3666.
More information on the state’s impaired waters list and TMDL studies is available at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html.