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

Notice of availability of the draft Cloquet River Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) Report – Public comment period ends June 3, 2020.

Notice of a vailability of the draft Rock River specific conductance and sodium site-specific standards and request for comment – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is requesting comments on proposed site-specific water quality standards (SSS) for the Rock River. For more information about the SSS, visit

To submit written comments on the proposed SSS for the lower Rock River, you must include:

  1. A statement of your interest in the proposed site-specific standards;
  2. A statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the proposed SSS that you believe should be changed; and
  3. The reasons supporting your position, stated with sufficient specificity as to allow the MPCA commissioner to investigate the merits of your position.

Written comments on the proposed site-specific standards should be directed to Scott Kyser at The deadline to submit comments is 4:30 p.m. on June 18, 2020.

Notice of availability of the draft Lake Pepin and Mississippi River Eutrophication Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) – Report and Request for Comment The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) produced this report to set pollution reduction goals for the Lake Pepin and Mississippi River Watershed. Written comments and requests for more information should be directed to Justin Watkins at Public comment period ends at 4:30 on June 19, 2020.