Revisor number: R-04727
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is planning to amend rules that affect the Class 1 beneficial use, which protects waters used as a source for domestic consumption. Amendments include establishing water quality standards (WQS) for per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) as directed by Minnesota Session Law – 2023, Chapter 60, H.F. No. 2310, specifically WQS for:
- Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)
- Perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS)
- Perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA)
- Hexafluoropropylene oxide dimer acid (HFPO-DA, commonly known as GenX chemicals)
- Perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS)
- Perfluorobutane sulfonic acid (PFBS)
Procedural rulemaking documents
The second notice of Request for Comments on this rulemaking was published in the Aug. 28, 2023, State Register.
RFC public comment period (Dec. 13, 2021 - Feb. 14, 2022): Comments submitted through the Office of Administrative Hearings rulemaking eComments website and emailed to the MPCA.
In Minnesota, many surface waters are protected for domestic consumption use and are used by municipalities and others as a source of drinking water. Chapter 7050 also specifies that all “underground” waters (i.e., groundwater) are protected for domestic consumption and are Class 1 waters. Groundwater is widely used to supply water for domestic consumption purposes via wells at private residences, at places of business, and in municipalities.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has gathered input and feedback on potential changes to the Class 1 designations and WQS over a number of years, primarily through conversations with the Minnesota Department of Health and Department of Natural Resources who have authorities related to the protection of waters used for domestic consumption. Now that this project has entered rulemaking, the MPCA is engaging with other partners and stakeholders regarding the planned revisions.
The MPCA plans to amend Minn. Rules chapter 7050, which establishes beneficial uses and WQS to protect those uses and designates where the uses occur in waters of the state. The planned amendments affect the Class 1 beneficial use, which protects waters (both surface and groundwater) used as a source for domestic consumption. All groundwater and some specific surface waters used as a source of drinking water are designated as having the Class 1 beneficial use. In general, these amendments will significantly update and clarify protections for Class 1 waters.
This rulemaking includes updates and revisions to address gaps and inconsistencies in the application of the chapter 7050 rules to surface and groundwater, and to clarify and better align chapters 7050, 7052, and 7060 with each other and with the goals and provisions of the 1989 Minnesota Groundwater Protection Act.
Planned amendments include:
- Revising the numeric and narrative WQS. This includes updating existing values to be more health protective and adding WQS for some emerging pollutants of concern, including per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), and potentially pesticides, pharmaceuticals, algal toxins, disinfection by-products, and/or additional industrial chemicals.
- Clarifying and revising where the WQS apply. These amendments will clarify and likely expand the definitions and list of waters that need to be protected for domestic consumption/drinking water. MPCA is considering how to ensure the rule language clearly conveys that the standards apply to all groundwater, and is also considering whether and how to expand the Class 1 designation to surface waters that negatively impact groundwater, and potentially broadening the areas designated as Class 1 around surface water sources of drinking water.
- Groundwater Contaminant Management Zones. MPCA is considering the potential addition of these zones as a mechanism to inform decision makers and the public about the presence and status of groundwater contaminant plumes.
|Dec. 13, 2021||Notice of request for comments published in the State Register|
|Fall 2021 – Winter 2022||Informal public engagement|
|August 28, 2023||Publish second notice of request for comments in the State Register|
|January 2024||Publish third notice of request for comments in the State Register|
|Spring 2024 – early 2025|
|TBD||Informal public engagement|
|Fall 2025||Publish notice of hearing on proposed rule amendments in State Register|
|By July 1, 2026||Final adoption of rules|