Water Quality Standards

MESERB works to ensure that water quality standards that impact municipal wastewater facilities are based on open and transparent science, independently reviewed and result in meaningful benefits to water quality. Water quality standards issues that MESERB is currently focused on include:

  • Wild Rice Sulfate
  • Chloride (and other salty parameters)
  • Total Nitrogen Standard
  • Mercury
  • River and Lake Euthrophication Standards
  • Antidegradation

For information on current, future, and completed rulemaking projects, please visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Public Rulemaking Docket.

Innovative Approaches to NPDES Permitting

MESERB is always looking for innovate implementation methods to address water quality regulations to achieve maximum environmental benefit while responsibly utilizing state and local resources. Such activities include:

  • Water Quality Trading – Working to research and develop a more flexible trading framework including point to non-point trading.
  • Integrative Planning – Working to develop a framework that allows municipalities to meet regulatory obligations while optimizing infrastructure investments through prioritization and sequencing of work.
  • Plant Optimization – Working with members to identify, develop and share plant optimization techniques and technologies to maximize efficiency in existing infrastructure.

Public Notices and Requests for Comments

Draft ambient water quality criteria recommendations for lakes and reservoirs of the conterminous United States. These draft national criteria recommendations are models for total nitrogen and total phosphorus concentrations in lakes and reservoirs to protect three different designated uses—aquatic life, recreation, and drinking water source protection—from the adverse effects of nutrient pollution. These draft criteria recommendations are based on stressor response models, which link nutrient pollution stressors (nitrogen, phosphorus) to responses associated with protection of designated uses. These draft criteria recommendations, when finalized, will replace the EPA’s previously recommended ambient nutrient criteria for lakes and reservoirs. Comments must be received on or before July 21, 2020 DEADLINE EXTENDED to Aug. 20, 2020

State formula allocations for sewer overflow and stormwater reuse. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the proposed allotment formula for the Sewer Overflow and Stormwater Reuse Municipal Grants Program as required by the Clean Water Act. In order to determine the proportional needs of each state and distribute funds on a more equitable basis, EPA’s proposed allocation formula has identified additional factors and assigned weights respective to each. The bulk of the allocation weight rests on the Clean Watersheds Needs Survey (50%). A state’s annual average precipitation, total population, and urban population equally share in the remaining 50% and are weighted at 16.67% each. Comments on the proposed formula must be submitted by Sept. 3, 2020.

Notice of availability of the draft Shell Rock River Watershed Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) reports and request for comment. Public comment period ends at 4:30 p.m. Sept. 25, 2020.