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

  • Pre-public comment period for storm sewer permit. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) recently released a draft of the general municipal separate storm sewer system (MS4) permit. During the pre-public comment periodinterested parties may review the draft permit and weigh in prior to the official public comment period. The general permit applies strictly to stormwater and gives owners or operators approval to discharge stormwater to lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands in Minnesota. The goal and purpose of the MS4 general permit is to improve water quality by reducing pollutants in stormwater discharges. The general permit is up for renewal every five years. The pre-public comment period ends June 6.
  • Notice of Hearing: Proposed amendment to rules governing environmental review, Minnesota Rules, 4410.0200, 4410.0500, 4410.4300, 4410.4400, 4410.5200, 4410,7906, 4410.7926, 4410.460. The Environmental Quality Board (EQB) intends to adopt rules after a public hearing following the procedures in the rules of the Office of Administrative Hearings, Minnesota Rules, parts 1400.2200 to 1400.2240, and the Administrative Procedure Act, Minnesota Statutes, sections 14.131 to 14.20. The agency will hold a public hearing on the rules in Room 100, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, 520 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN, starting at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, May 31, and continuing until the hearing is completed. For more information and additional hearing locations visit the EQB website.
  • Reissuing the Industrial Stormwater General Permit: The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is currently working on the next NPDES General Industrial Stormwater Permit that will be effective from April 1, 2020 to April 1, 2025. Note: Public notice dates are when permittees can provide comments and ask questions about potential permit changes.
    • Public notice period: 5/20/2019 – 6/18/2019
    • Review, respond to comments, MPCA Commissioner approval: 6/19/2019 – 6/30/2019
    • Permit application cycle: 9/1/2019 – 10/1/2019
    • Permit becomes effective: 4/1/2020