New Water Quality Standards for River Eutrophication and Total Suspended Solids
Example 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.
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.
- Signature Document - MPCA Staff Response to Minnesota Environmental Science and Economic Review Board Petition for a Stay
- MESERB Petition for Stay and Reconsideration
- MPCA Cover Letter
- MPCA response to MESERB petition
- Attachment 1 to MPCA staff
- Attachment 2 to MPCA staff response
- Affidavit of Service
Technical Support Documents
- New eutrophication (excess nutrient) WQSs for rivers
- Minnesota Nutrient Criteria Development for Rivers — Revised draft, January 2013.
- Regionalization of Minnesota’s Rivers for Application of River Nutrient Criteria revised draft, December 2013
- Site-specific modified eutrophication WQSs for the Mississippi River pools, including Lake Pepin
- Revised turbidity WQSs using Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
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.
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.
- SONAR Book 1 - General Information
- Book 2 - Eutrophication Standards for Streams, Rivers, Lake Pepin, and Navigational Pools
- Book 3 - Total Suspended Solids (TSS)
- Book 4 - Rule by Rule Discussion of Proposed Changes
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
- SONAR exhibits may be viewed at: ftp://files.pca.state.mn.us/pub/file_requests/ by clicking on TSS Eutroph exhibits
- Exhibits presented at the hearing: TSS – Eutroph Exhibits Bookmarked Compilation of Hearing Exhibits
- TSS-Eutroph Hearing Transcript AM
- TSS-Eutroph Hearing Transcript PM
- TSS-Eutroph Comments
- MPCA Staff Preliminary Response to Comments
- MPCA Final Response to Comments
- MPCA Response to Extended Comment Period
- Motion to Supplement the TSS/Eutrophication Administrative Record
- MPCA Memorandum Opposing the Motion to Supplement the Administrative Record
- Order reopening Administrative Record for Limited Period
- Comments from Reopened Administrative Record
- MPCA Rebuttal Response for Reopened Administrative Record
- Order Granting Extension to the Deadline for Completing the ALJ Report
- Report of the Administrative Law Judge
- Adopted rules governing TSS/River and Stream Eutrophication
- Notice of Adoption of TSS/Eutrophication Rules
U.S. EPA Approval
Questions about the river eutrophication standards:
Questions about the total suspended solids standards:
Questions about the rulemaking or rulemaking documents: