Water quality improvement report drafted for North Fork Crow River watershed

Contact: Stephen Mikkelson, 218-316-3887

Brainerd, Minn.-- The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking comments on a water quality improvement report for the North Fork Crow River watershed. The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), focuses on pollution caused by excess nutrients, bacteria, and turbidity.  A public comment period begins Aug. 11, and continues through Sept. 10.

The North Fork Crow River watershed includes parts of Kandiyohi, Meeker, Pope, Stearns, and Wright counties. The report address water quality impairments in six river and stream reaches, and in 34 lakes throughout the watershed. The pollution is mainly caused by excess nutrients, bacteria, and turbidity. The North Fork Crow is joined by the South Fork Crow River in Rockford, and eventually drains into the Mississippi River near Dayton.

The TMDL report is part of a nationwide effort under the federal Clean Water Act to identify and clean up pollution in streams, rivers and lakes. Every two years, states are required to submit a list of impaired waters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A TMDL report is a scientific study that calculates the maximum amount of a pollutant a water body can receive (known as the "loading capacity") without exceeding water quality standards.

The draft report is available on the MPCA’s TMDL projects web page or at the St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Road North. Comments may be submitted to Margaret Leach, MPCA, 7678 College Road, Baxter, MN, 56425, or by e-mail to Margaret.leach@state.mn.us. For more information, contact Leach at 218-316-3895, or toll-free at 800-657-3864.

Written comments must include the following:

  1. A statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report;
  2. A statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft TMDL that you believe should be changed; and
  3. Specific reasons supporting your position.

More information on the state's impaired waters list and TMDL studies is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html, or toll-free at 1-800-657-3864.