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New Water Quality Standards for River Eutrophication and Total Suspended Solids

Confluence of the Cannon River with brown water and the Wolf River with green water. example of rivers containing high levels of TSS and algae (eutrophication) Photo credit: Steve Heiskary, MPCAExample of rivers containing high levels of TSS and algae (eutrophication)

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The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has adopted new water quality standards to address nutrient enrichment of rivers, streams, Mississippi River pools and Lake Pepin, (also referred to as “river eutrophication standards) and has replaced the existing turbidity standard with new, regionally-based standards for total suspended solids. The new standards became effective on August 11, 2014. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued its approval of the amendments on January 23, 2015.

Archived Documents

Petition for Administrative Stay

The MPCA received a petition seeking an administrative stay of the June 24, 2014, decision of the MPCA Citizens’ Board. On July 22, 2014, the members of the board voted to deny that petition.

Documents related to the petition.

Technical Support Documents

Rulemaking Documents

Requests for comments

As part of its effort to obtain public input into this rulemaking, the MPCA has published three formal Requests for Comment, in addition to holding a number of public meetings. The comments and information submitted in response to those Requests are still part of the rulemaking record and continue to be considered in the development of the rule amendments.

Requests for Comment may be viewed in archived State Registers for: July 28, 2008, March 2, 2009, and June 11, 2012.

Hearing and post-hearing information

A hearing on the proposed amendments was held on January 8, 2014, and the comment period closed on February 4, 2014..

Statement of Need and Reasonableness

The MPCA has prepared a Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) regarding the proposed amendments. The SONAR is divided in four Books. Book 1 provides an overview of the Water Quality Standards, the amendments being proposed and how the MPCA has met the administrative requirements for rulemaking. Book 2 discusses the need for and reasonableness of the proposed Eutrophication standards for rivers, streams, Mississippi River pools and Lake Pepin. Book 3 discusses the need for and reasonableness of the proposed revision of the turbidity standard to a standard of Total Suspended Solids. Book 4 provides a rule by rule analysis of each of the amendments being proposed.

The rule amendments being proposed are presented in Revisor’s format below. They may also be viewed as they are published in the November 18, 2013 State Register.

January 8, 2014 Public hearing exhibits and transcripts

Comments received:

Adopted Rules

U.S. EPA Approval

Contact information

Questions about the river eutrophication standards:

Steve Heiskary

Questions about the total suspended solids standards:

Phil Monson

Questions about the rulemaking or rulemaking documents:

Carol Nankivel

Last modified on April 14, 2015 11:34