Published on Wednesday, 30 November -0001 00:00
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking comments on a water quality improvement report for the Clearwater River Watershed in parts of Meeker, Stearns and Wright counties. The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), focuses on pollution caused by excess nutrients in five lakes within the watershed. A public comment period begins June 21, and continues through July 21.
The watershed is located in northern Meeker, southern Stearns, and northwestern Wright counties, including the cities of Watkins, Kimball, South Haven, Annandale, and Clearwater. The entire watershed drains into the Mississippi River.
A TMDL study was completed in 2009 that focused on a bacteria-impaired stretch of the Clearwater River, and six nutrient-impaired lakes. This most recent TMDL study focuses on five nutrient-impaired lakes including Albion, Augusta, Caroline, Henshaw and Swartout.
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.
After receiving public comments, the MPCA will revise the draft Clearwater River Watershed TMDL report and submit it to the EPA for approval. Following EPA approval of the study, a plan will be developed to reduce pollution throughout the watershed.
The Clearwater River Watershed TMDL draft report is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/index.php/water/water-types-and-programs/minnesota-s-impaired-waters-and-tmdls/tmdl-projects/upper-mississippi-river-basin-tmdl-projects/approved-tmdl-clearwater-river-watershed-low-dissolved-oxygen-fecal-coliform-and-lake-nutrients.html, or at the St. Paul office, 520 Lafayette Road North. Comments may be submitted to MaggieLeach, MPCA, 7678 College Rd, Ste. 105, Baxter, MN 56425, or by e-mail to
. For more information, contact Maggie Leach at (218) 316-3895, or toll-free at (800) 657-3864.
Written comments must include the following:
¥ A statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report;
¥ 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
¥ 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 (800) 657-3864.