The draft Impaired Waters List for 2022 is here. We encourage all MESERB members to review the list and contact your consultants to determine if and how any changes to the list will impact your facility. More details on the list, and changes on the 2020 and 2022 lists can be found below:
Final 2020 Impaired Waters List
In March 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) partially disapproved Minnesota’s 2020 Impaired Waters List citing the lack of sulfate impairments for waters used for the production of wild rice. After two public comment periods, EPA recently finalized the 2020 List with the addition of 32 waters impaired for sulfate.
Draft 2022 Impaired Waters List
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) released its draft impaired waters list for 2022 that added 305 water bodies with 417 new impairments, bringing the total to 2,904 water bodies with impairments.
Unhealthy conditions for fish and bugs continue to be the most common impairment, with 39 more lakes proposed for fish impairments and 104 streams for fish and/or bugs. These impairments result from poor habitat and other conditions that stress aquatic life. Other proposed listings include high levels of bacteria (30 streams), sediment (25 streams), and nutrients (18 lakes). MPCA added 15 water bodies as impaired for PFOS in fish tissue on the draft list and, for the first time, includes water bodies in Greater Minnesota. After feedback from EPA and Minnesota’s Tribal Nations, MPCA included three new waters that exceed the sulfate wild rice standard. This brings to total number of wild rice sulfate impairments to 35 on the 2022 list.
Public comments encouraged through Jan. 7, 2022
Minnesota’s draft impaired waters list will be on public notice through Jan. 7, 2022. MPCA invites Minnesotans to submit comments on whether additional waters should be placed on the list or be removed. Public meetings will be held virtually in December 2021. For information about upcoming public meetings and how to comment please visit the MPCA’s impaired waters list webpage.
As required by the federal Clean Water Act, Minnesota develops a list of impaired waters every two years. The draft 2022 list is due on April 1, 2022 to the U.S. EPA, which will make the final decision on approving the list.