Plan to reduce mercury releases by 2025
With substantial stakeholder input, the MPCA prepared a plan to reduce mercury releases in Minnesota. This plan describes actions Minnesota will take to meet water-quality standards for mercury. This implementation plan consists of strategies to ensure that water discharges remain below 24 pounds per year and to reduce air emissions to below 789 pounds per year.
ContentsImplementation Plan for Minnesota’s Statewide Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load
The implementation plan includes:
- Introduction and Implementation Overview describing the basis for the plan, stakeholder involvement, implementation roles and responsibilities, and key milestones.
- Water Implementation Strategies to ensure that total statewide mercury discharges remain below 24.2 lb./yr. This includes a permitting strategy for addressing mercury in municipal and industrial permits.
- Air Implementation Strategies describes strategies to achieve reductions from existing sources to below 789 lb. by 2025 as well as guidelines for minimizing emissions from potential new and modified sources.
- A Monitoring and Evaluation Plan describes the MPCA’s plan for tracking the effectiveness of this implementation plan including monitoring releases to air and water as well as tracking key environmental response indicators.
Approximately two-thirds of the water impairments on Minnesota’s 2006 Impaired Waters List were due to mercury. As required by the Clean Water Act, MPCA prepared a Total Maximum Daily Load study (TMDL) that evaluated the sources of mercury and quantified the reductions needed to meet water-quality standards. The TMDL established a cap on water discharges of 24.2 lb./yr and an air emission reduction goal of 789 lb./yr.
Minnesota’s Statewide Mercury TMDL was approved by the MPCA Citizens’ Board in December 2006 and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in March 2007. The implementation plan described above details specific strategies that will be employed to achieve the goals of the TMDL.
Stakeholders were key in developing strategies
To develop strategies to meet these targets and to establish interim and final deadlines, the MPCA relied on significant stakeholder input. Over the course of a year and with facilitation by the Minnesota Environmental Initiative, the Strategy Work Group, a group of 17 stakeholders representing a broad range of interests and views, developed recommendations on the main elements of the Mercury TMDL Implementation Plan.
The requirement to prepare and submit a mercury reduction plan is a result of new rules to reduce mercury emissions, Minn. R. 7007.0502, adopted to help make fish safe to eat for all of us. Facilities that are a “mercury source” by definition in the rule and emit more than 3 lbs. of mercury (or 5 lbs. for Industrial boilers) must complete a mercury reduction plan. Facilities that are not ferrous mining or processing must submit a plan by June 30, 2015.
A number of Minnesota facilities that emit mercury have improved mercury emission estimates and are below the threshold for submitting a plan.
TMDL implementation plan
- Minnesota’s plan to reduce mercury releases
- Implementation Plan for Minnesota’s Statewide Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load
- Guidelines for New and Modified Mercury Air Emission Sources , December 6, 2012
- Report on the Mercury TMDL Implementation Plan and Stakeholder Process
- Agenda for the 2014 annual meeting of the Statewide Mercury TMDL Implementation Plan Oversight Committee
- 6th Annual Statewide Mercury TMDL Implementation Plan Oversight Committee Meeting — Progress Report and Mercury Rule , October 14, 2014
- TMDL Stakeholder Meeting Legislative and Training Overview , October 14, 2014
- Mercury-catalyzed Polyurethane Floors in Minnesota Schools , October 14, 2014
Prior Annual Mercury TMDL Implementation Plan Oversight Committee Meeting Materials
- Agenda for the 2013 annual meeting of the Mercury TMDL Implementation Plan Oversight Committee held on Tuesday, October 29, 2013 at the MPCA. (wq-iw4-01v)
- Mercury state of the knowledge October 29, 2013
- Mercury Emissions Inventory
- Addressing waters with exceptionally high mercury in fish
- Mercury Rule
- Taconite Mercury Control Technology Research Update 2013
- Notes for Annual Mercury TMDL Stakeholder Meeting, December 6, 2012
- Mercury TMDL Implementation Stakeholder Oversight Group Meeting Summaries — 2009, 2010
For more information about mercury pollution in Minnesota and how the MPCA is addressing the problem, contact MPCA Statewide Mercury Reduction coordinator, Rebecca Place, 651-757-2807, email@example.com.