With substantial stakeholder input, the MPCA prepared a plan to reduce mercury releases in Minnesota. This plan describes actions Minnesota will take to meet water-quality standards for mercury. This implementation plan consists of strategies to ensure that water discharges remain below 24 pounds per year and to reduce air emissions to below 789 pounds per year.
The implementation plan includes:
- Introduction and Implementation Overview describing the basis for the plan, stakeholder involvement, implementation roles and responsibilities, and key milestones.
- Water Implementation Strategies to ensure that total statewide mercury discharges remain below
24.2 lb./yr.This includes a permitting strategy for addressing mercury in municipal and industrial permits.
- Air Implementation Strategies describes strategies to achieve reductions from existing sources to below 789 lb. by 2025 as well as guidelines for minimizing emissions from potential new and modified sources.
- A Monitoring and Evaluation Plan describes the MPCA’s plan for tracking the effectiveness of this implementation plan including monitoring releases to air and water as well as tracking key environmental response indicators.
Mercury emissions 2005-2014 and air emissions reduction goal by 2025
Approximately two-thirds of the water impairments on Minnesota’s 2014 Impaired Waters List were due to mercury. There are fish consumption advisories issued from the Minn. Dept. of Health for these water bodies. The MPCA prepared a Statewide Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load study (TMDL) that evaluated the sources of mercury and quantified the reductions needed to meet water-quality standards. The TMDL established a cap on water discharges of 24.2 lb./yr and an air emission reduction goal of 789 lb./yr.
Minnesota’s Statewide Mercury TMDL was approved by the MPCA Citizens’ Board in December 2006 and by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in March 2007. The implementation plan described above details specific strategies that will be employed to achieve the goals of the TMDL.
Mercury reduction planning
The requirement to prepare and submit a mercury reduction plan is a result of new rules to reduce mercury emissions, Minn. R. 7007.0502, adopted to help make fish safe to eat for all of us. Facilities that are a “mercury source” by definition in the rule and emit more than 3 lbs. of mercury (or 5 lbs. for Industrial boilers) must complete a mercury reduction plan. Facilities that are not ferrous mining or processing must submit a plan by June 30, 2015.
- Mercury Reduction Plan submittal (aq-ei2-04)
- Mercury Reduction Plan submittal: Ferrous mining/processing (aq-ei2-04a)
A number of Minnesota facilities that emit mercury have improved mercury emission estimates and are below the threshold for submitting a plan.
- Mercury Reduction Plan: Gerdau Ameristeel Submittal
- Mercury Reduction Plan: American Crystal Sugar East Grand Forks Submittal (aq-ei2-05b)
Quantifying mercury emissions from cremation of dental amalgam
- Quantification of Mercury Emissions from Cremation of Dental Amalgam in Minnesota Final Report
- Univ. of Minn. Presentation on the Quantification of Mercury Emissions from the Cremation of Dental Amalgam in Minnesota
- 2014 Minnesota Crematory Mercury Emissions Estimate
TMDL implementation plan
- Implementation Plan for Minnesota’s Statewide Mercury Total Maximum Daily Load
- Guidelines for New and Modified Mercury Air Emission Sources, December 6, 2012
- Stakeholder process report
- Agenda: Statewide mercury TMDL implementation plan oversight committee meeting (wq-iw4-02g1)
- Introduction to Minnesota's plan to reduce mercury (wq-iw4-02g2)
- 2017 State of the knowledge on mercury (wq-iw4-02g3)
- Mercury in wastewater (wq-iw4-02g4)
- Mercury TMDL Emissions Inventory 2017 (wq-iw4-02g5)
- Agenda: Statewide mercury TMDL implementation plan oversight committee meeting (wq-iw4-02f7)
- Mercury TMDL Implementation Plan Progress Report 2016 (wq-iw4-02f8)
- Research on Rivers for Mercury in Fish (wq-iw4-02f9)
- Mercury Emissions Inventory for distribution (wq-iw4-02f10)
- Forecasting Mercury Reductions in Minnesota 2014-2025 (wq-iw4-02f11)
- Agenda for 2015 Statewide Mercury TMDL Implementation Plan Oversight Committee Meeting, Sept. 23, 2015
- Statewide Mercury TMDL Emission Inventory for Minnesota (pounds per year), September 2015
- Minnesota Mercury Rule and Implementation, September 2015
- Mercury in Municipal Solid Waste, September 2015
- Mercury — state of the knowledge, Sept. 23, 2015
- Gerdau Mercury Control Technologies — Hg Emission Control Technologies Investigation, Sept. 10, 2015
States with Mercury TMDL studies
- North Carolina
- Northeast Region: CT, ME, MA, NH, NY, RI, and VT
- San Francisco Bay Mercury TMDL
- South Dakota
For more information about mercury pollution in Minnesota and how the MPCA is addressing the problem, contact MPCA Statewide Mercury Reduction coordinator, Hassan Bouchareb, 651-757-2653.