Contact: Forrest Peterson, 320-441-6972
Marshall, Minn. ― The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has released a draft water quality report for the Lac qui Parle and Yellow Bank rivers, and is accepting comments on the report through June 27, 2012. A public information meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, June 4 to discuss the report, which is known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report. The meeting will be held at the Lac qui Parle County annex building in Madison.
The report addresses water quality impairments from bacteria, turbidity, and low dissolved oxygen pollution in eleven sections of the rivers.
Sources of bacteria include failing septic systems, wastewater treatment plant bypasses and flushes, livestock manure from feedlots and land application, and stormwater from cities and commercial areas. Domestic pets and wildlife are also possible sources. Turbidity is caused by particles, such as sediment and algae, that are suspended in water, making the water appear cloudy or murky. Low dissolved oxygen results from bacteria consuming algae and other organic matter.
The Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank watershed drains about 1,712 square miles in western Minnesota (976 square miles) and eastern South Dakota (736 square miles). The Lac qui Parle starts at Lake Hendricks in Lincoln County and flows north through Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties. The Yellow Bank River is located in the northern portion of Lac qui Parle County. More than 90 percent of the land in the watershed is used for agriculture, primarily for row crops such as corn and soybeans.
Every two years, states are required to submit a list of impaired waters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The listing of impaired waters and the TMDL report are part of a nationwide effort, required by the federal Clean Water Act, to identify and restore polluted streams, rivers and lakes. States must determine the maximum daily amount, or load, of pollutants that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards, and then determine the sources of the pollutants. After receiving public comments, the MPCA may revise the draft Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank River TMDL report prior to submitting to the EPA for approval. Following EPA approval, plans will be developed to reduce pollution in the rivers.
The Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank TMDL draft report is available for review at the MPCA Marshall office, 504 Fairgrounds Rd., Suite 200, or on the MPCA website at /nwqh9b8. More information on the state’s impaired waters list is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html, or by calling toll-free 1-800-657-3864.
Comments on the report must be in writing and received by 4:30 p.m. on June 27, 2012. Send comments and requests for additional information to Katherine Pekarek-Scott, MPCA, 504 Fairgrounds Rd., Suite 200, Marshall, MN, 56258. Pekarek-Scott may be reached by phone at 507-476-4267, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
Written comments must include a statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report, the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft TMDL that you believe should be changed; and specific reasons supporting your position.