Nearly 2,000 MN Water Bodies Now Require
FOR RELEASE: July
Contacts: Ralph Pribble, 651/296-7792
Howard Markus, 651/296-7295, 800/657-3864
Minn. - The Minnesota
Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has released a draft
list of lakes and stream segments in Minnesota
that are considered "impaired" and need to
be cleaned up under federal law.
The 2002 draft Impaired Waters list contains
1,780 lakes or streams.
About 500 are new additions since the last list,
published in 1998.
The list includes a number of lakes
in northeastern Minnesota
that are affected by mercury and other lakes throughout
the state that have excess nutrients.
It also includes segments of streams, including
parts of the Mississippi,
Red, Long Prairie, Minnesota,
Chippewa, Grindstone and Whitewater rivers.
Under the federal Clean Water Act,
states are required to list every four years their lakes
and streams that do not meet federal water-quality standards
established to protect them from pollution. The states then must prepare studies called
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) for the impaired water
bodies. Minnesota's list has grown as the MPCA collects
more information on water quality.
A TMDL defines the maximum amount of
a pollutant that a water body can receive and still
meet its water-quality standards. Examples of TMDL pollutants include ammonia,
mercury, bacteria and sediment.
A water body may also be impaired if its level
of dissolved oxygen is too low or its temperature is
too high, conditions that can harm aquatic life. TMDLs set limits and reduction goals to ensure
impaired water bodies will be restored to and maintained
at applicable water-quality standards.
The MPCA is required to list, prioritize
and attach a schedule estimating starting and completion
dates for TMDLs on each of the newly listed lakes or
stream segments. Notice
of the availability of the draft 2002 list for Minnesota
was published in the State Register on July 8, 2002. The MPCA solicits the public's comments on the
list through August 7, 2002.
The agency will then finalize the draft list
and submit it to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
for federal approval.
The proposed 2002 Impaired Waters list,
methodology for listing, and regional maps may be accessed
on the MPCA's Web site at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl.html.
Questions and requests for printed copies of
the list may be directed to Howard Markus at (651) 296-7295
or (800) 657-3864. Comments on the draft 2002 Impaired Waters list
should be mailed to him at MPCA, Environmental Outcomes
Division, 520 Lafayette Rd.
N., St. Paul, MN 55155-4196.