The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has released the draft Lake Pepin TMDL Report for informal public comment, which is focused on reducing phosphorus levels that reach Lake Pepin. Many MESERB members may have Lake Pepin-based phosphorus limits in your permits; one way to quickly determine whether this draft TMDL changes any of your city’s requirements is to look for your facility in this list of impacted WWTP wasteload applications. Based on our initial assessment, we believe that 26 MESERB members stand to be impacted:
- Alexandria Lake Area Sanitary District
- Cannon Falls
- Granite Falls
- Lake Crystal
- Little Falls
- Minnesota River Valley Public Utilities Commission
- New Prague
- New Ulm
- Red Wing
- Redwood Falls
- St. Francis
- St. Michael
We have been informed by the MPCA that the draft TMDL does not include any River Eutrophication Standard (RES) related wasteload applications for the Minnesota River Basin facilities due to the ongoing stakeholder process within the basin, but it does include them for the other major tributaries. Furthermore, the draft TMDL does include lake-based wasteload applications for all tributaries, including the Minnesota River and the facilities within the basin.
While we have limited information as to how this will impact specific facilities at this point, we do know that this process may impact any future phosphorus limits received in NPDES permits. MESERB will work with the executive committee to determine the impacts this draft TMDL will have on MESERB members, and will likely submit comments on behalf of the organization.
If your city is impacted, we recommend that you or someone from your city participate in this process by 1) working with your environmental engineer or consultant, and reviewing the Draft: Lake Pepin Watershed Phosphorus TMDL Report and 2) submitting comments to the MPCA. Comments for this stage of the draft TMDL process must be submitted by Sept. 20, 2019.