Minnesota’s Impaired Waters List

Close up of MPCA staff on a boat handling water samplesAs required by the federal Clean Water Act, the MPCA creates a list of impaired waters — those that fail to meet water quality standards — every two years. The listings are based on intensive water monitoring of major lakes and streams in Minnesota’s 80 watersheds, along with data from several partners.

For the draft 2022 list, the MPCA is adding 305 water bodies with 417 new impairments, bringing the total to 2,904 water bodies with 6,168 impairments.

Common impairments include:

The MPCA works with many partners to identify the sources of pollutants and stressors to aquatic life, and determine reductions in pollutants and other changes needed to restore waters to meet water quality standards.

In addition to the impairments above, the list also includes:

  • PFOS impairments — Bodies of water where PFOS is found in fish tissue in several water bodies.
  • Sulfate impairments — Water bodies with sulfate levels that may hinder the production of wild rice.

Draft 2022 Impaired Waters List

File Draft 2022 Impaired Waters List (wq-iw1-73)
  • 2022 TMDL list (303(d))
  • 2022 Inventory of all impaired waters
  • Delisted waters
  • Appendix A of the Statewide Mercury TMDL

Use the Impaired Waters Viewer (IWAV) tool to view all impaired waters.

PDF icon 2022 Guidance manual for assessing the quality of Minnesota surface waters for determination of impairment: 305(b) Report and 303(d) List (wq-iw1-04l)

Describes Minnesota's monitoring and assessment strategy, assessment tools, and the redesigned assessment process. The purpose of this guidance is to define the required data and information and lay out the criteria by which waterbodies are assessed to determine if beneficial uses are supported.

Public comment

The MPCA accepted written comments on the draft 2022 list through Friday, Jan. 7, 2022, and is currently working on responses.

PDF icon Public comments received on Minnesota’s draft 2022 Impaired Waters List (wq-iw1-79a)

EPA approval

After deciding whether to change the list, based on comments received, the MPCA will submit the draft list, along with comments and responses, to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for final approval.

Public information meetings

The MPCA held five online public meetings in December 2021 to address regional impairments and statewide assessments. For more information, or to see a recording or slide presentation from the meetings, email Miranda Nichols.

Resources

PDF icon 2022 Minnesota Water Quality - Narrative report to Congress (wq-s7-53)

Also known as the 305(b) Integrated Report, combines two requirements of the Clean Water Act to report to Congress on the quality of Minnesota's waters.

MPCA's spatial data webpage — GIS professionals can download shapefiles on Minnesota's impaired waters.