MPCA seeks comments on restoration/protection, water quality reports for Mississippi River-St. Cloud Watershed

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

Brainerd, Minn. -- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking comments on a watershed restoration and protection report and a water quality report for the Mississippi River-St. Cloud Watershed. The watershed includes all or parts of Benton, Meeker, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright counties.

The first report, known as a Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS), is required by the state Clean Water Legacy Act. This document summarizes monitoring and water quality improvement projects completed over the past several years and it identifies strategies necessary to protect the Mississippi River-St. Cloud Watershed. The WRAPS summarizes physical, chemical and biological assessments of the water quality; identification of impairments and water bodies in need of protection; identification of living organism stressors and sources of pollution; and proposed strategies and actions designed to achieve and maintain water quality standards and goals.

In this watershed, the pollution of concern is caused by excess bacteria. The second report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), addresses pollution caused by bacteria entering the watershed’s rivers and streams. The TMDL report focuses on determining the amount of a pollutant that a water body can receive without exceeding water quality standards.

A public comment period for both reports begins Oct. 13 and continues through Nov. 12.

The draft reports are available on the MPCA’s Mississippi River-St. Cloud Watershed webpage or at the MPCA St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Road North.

Written comments may be submitted to Phil Votruba, MPCA, 7678 College Road, Baxter, MN 56425 or by e-mail to phil.votruba@state.mn.us by 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 12. For more information, call Votruba at 218-316-3901 or 800-657-3864.

Written comments must include:

  • a statement of your interest in the draft report;
  • a statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft report that you believe should be changed; and
  • specific reasons supporting your position.

For more information on Minnesota’s 81 major watersheds, go to the MPCA’s Minnesota Watersheds webpage at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/jsrie74.