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

EPA draft memorandum guidance for regulated community and permitting authorities: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a draft memorandum to provide guidance to the regulated community and permitting authorities on applying the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in County of Maui v. Hawaii Wildlife Fund, 140 S. Ct. 1462 (2020), in the Clean Water Act Section 402 National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit program for point source discharges that travel through groundwater before reaching waters of the United States. EPA may pursue a future rulemaking action to provide greater regulatory certainty concerning discharges subject to the NPDES permit program. This draft guidance document does not have the force and effect of law and it does not bind the public in any way. By issuing this draft guidance memorandum, the Agency intends only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or Agency policies. Comments must be received on or before Jan. 11, 2021.

Draft compliance guide for imported articles containing surface coatings subject to the long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate and perfluoroalkyl sulfonate chemical substances significant new use rule: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing the availability of and soliciting public comment on the draft compliance guide for the significant new uses EPA identified under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) for the import of articles with certain long-chain perfluoroalkyl carboxylate (LCPFAC) chemicals as part of the surface coating, as established by EPA’s final rule ‘‘Long-Chain Perfluoroalkyl Carboxylate and Perfluoroalkyl Sulfonate Chemical Substances; Significant New Use Rule.’’ Specifically, the guide provides additional clarity on what is meant by a ‘‘surface coating,’’ identifies which entities are regulated, describes the activities that are required or prohibited, and summarizes the notification requirements of the final significant new use rule (SNUR). Comments must be received on or before Jan. 15, 2021.

Interim PFAS destruction and disposal guidance and notice of availability for public comment: The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 (FY 2020 NDAA) directs the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish interim guidance on the destruction and disposal of perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and materials containing PFAS. EPA is releasing the interim guidance for public comment. The guidance provides information on technologies that may be feasible and appropriate for the destruction or disposal of PFAS and PFAS-containing materials. It also identifies needed and ongoing research and development activities related to destruction and disposal technologies, which may inform future guidance. Comments must be received on or Feb. 22, 2021.