Issues

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

Triennial Review: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is conducting a triennial standards review to hear from the public about needed changes or additions to Minnesota’s water quality standards. The public comment period for this process began on January 19, 2021 and continues through Friday, April 9, 2021.

MS4  Permit Applications: If you are an MS4 permittee, you must complete the application forms for permit coverage under the new MS4 General Permit (MNR040000). The application forms include: 1) MS4 Part 2 Permit Application (PDF) and 2) if applicable, MS4 Permit TMDL Application (Excel workbook) which has been customized for each MS4. These forms must be electronically completed and submitted to the MPCA by April 15, 2021.

Regulation of Persistent, Bioaccumulative, and Toxic Chemicals under TSCA Section 6(h); Request for Comments: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting additional public comments on five final rules recently issued under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). On Jan. 6, 2021, EPA issued final rules to address its obligations under TSCA for five persistent, bioaccumulative, and toxic (PBT) chemicals:

  • 2,4,6- tris(tert-butyl)phenol (2,4,6-TTBP) (CASRN 732–26–3)
  • decabromodiphenyl ether (decaBDE) (CASRN 1163–19–5)
  • phenol, isopropylated phosphate (3:1) (PIP (3:1)) (CASRN 68937–41–7)
  • pentachlorothiophenol (PCTP) (CASRN 133–49–3)
  • hexachlorobutadiene (HCBD) (CASRN 87–68–3)

EPA invites public comment on the final rules, including whether there are further exposure reductions that could be achieved, including exposure reductions for potentially exposed or susceptible subpopulations and the environment; implementation issues associated with these final rules; and whether to consider additional or alternative measures or approaches. In particular, EPA is seeking comment on specifics of recently raised issues regarding the compliance date for the prohibition on the processing and distribution of PIP (3:1) for use in articles, and PIP (3:1)-containing articles.

Comments must be received on or before May 17, 2021. More information: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-03-16/pdf/2021-05138.pdf

Clean Water Act Effluent Limitations Guidelines and Standards for the Organic Chemicals, Plastics, and Synthetic Fibers Point Source Category : The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is initiating further data collection and analysis to support potential future rulemaking under the Clean Water Act (CWA) relating to the effluent limitations guidelines, pretreatment standards and new source performance standards applicable to the Organic Chemicals, Plastics and Synthetic Fibers (OCPSF) point source category to address discharges from manufacturers of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and is considering revising the same for formulators of PFAS.

EPA has identified several industries with facilities that are likely to be discharging PFAS in their wastewater, including OCPSF manufacturers and formulators. This advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) provides for public review and comment on the information and data regarding PFAS manufacturers and formulators that EPA has collected to date. EPA is requesting public comment on the information and data presented in this ANPRM. EPA is also soliciting additional information and data regarding discharges of PFAS from these facilities to inform future revisions to the wastewater discharge requirements that apply to the OCPSF point source category.

Comments must be received on or before May 17, 2021. More Information: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-03-17/pdf/2021-05402.pdf