A new Minnesota law aims to help communities and industries save money on long-term wastewater treatment while reducing nutrient pollutants in lakes and rivers beyond what’s required.
“Cities have expressed a lot of frustration over spending money on new facilities to comply with new standards, and then having to do more – at a higher cost – a few years down the road when more standards become law. We worked with many stakeholders and legislators to develop what’s called regulatory certainty to provide some assurance for their planning and investments. We see this as a win-win for our waters and for our cities,” said Rebecca Flood, assistant commissioner of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA).
Regulatory certainty allows the MPCA to hold the line on nutrient limits in discharge permits for up 20 years in exchange for communities and industries agreeing to lower nutrients even more than current standards. Minnesota has water quality standards for phosphorus and is working on standards for nitrogen. Both these nutrients can cause algal blooms harmful to aquatic life and recreation. Nitrogen can also be toxic to fish and other aquatic life, as well as harmful to humans in drinking water.
See the regulatory certainty webpage for more information.