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 and request for comment on the Draft Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies (WRAPS) Report and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) Report for the Lake Superior South WatershedThe TMDL report focuses on pollution caused by excess E. coli bacteria and total suspended solids (TSS) in streams. These reports address a portion of the Lake Superior South Watershed (U.S. Geological Survey HUC 8 #04010102) located north and east of the Lester River Watershed. The remaining area within the Lake Superior South Watershed is addressed in the Duluth Urban Area Streams WRAPS and TMDL reports. The project area is approximately 548 square miles in size, and is referred to as the “Lake Superior South Watershed”. Eroding banks and bluff, roads and road crossings, wastewater, and watershed runoff are all sources of sediment in the watershed. Geomorphic analysis and other field data have identified priority locations where erosion is likely contributing to impairment. Many of these areas correspond to soils with high clay content and higher stream power. Potential  sources of E. coli in the Skunk Creek Watershed include watershed runoff, failing septic systems and other sources of untreated wastewater, wildlife, and pets. Comments due March 28, 2018 to
  • BWSR FY 2020-21 Biennial Budget Requests period opens March 5. The Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will solicit information regarding local government planned activities and associated budgets for the FY 2020-21 Biennial Budget Request (BBR) in eLINK, BWSR’s Grants Management System. The period to submit a BBR will open March 5, 2018 and end at 4:30 p.m. April 12, 2018.
  • Clean Water Act Coverage of ‘‘Discharges of Pollutants’’ via a Direct Hydrologic Connection to Surface Water. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is requesting comment on previous statements regarding the Clean Water Act (CWA) and whether pollutant discharges from point sources that reach jurisdictional surface waters via groundwater or other subsurface flow that has a direct hydrologic connection to the jurisdictional surface water may be subject to CWA regulation. You can read more here. Comments are due May 21, 2018. PLEASE NOTE: MESERB is evaluating this notice to determine how/whether our members would be affected and whether we should submit comments in this matter.