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

  • Public Comment Period Now Open on Groundwater Protection Rule The Department of Agriculture has opened an 80-day public comment period on its proposed Groundwater Protection Rule. The rule is aimed at reducing elevated in nitrate levels in groundwater by regulating the use of nitrogen fertilizer where soils are vulnerable to leaching and where drinking water supplies have high nitrate levels. A series of public hearings will be held in July for comment; the schedule can be found here. Comments can be submitted through the OAH site and are due August 2.
  • Apply to serve on Governor’s Wild Rice Taskforce. On May 30, Gov. Dayton issued Executive Order 18-08 to establish the Governor’s Wild Rice Task Force to review the scientific literature concerning wild rice and sulfates, recommend a list of wild rice waters, and produce a report including recommendations for best practices. They are seeking a representative from a municipal wastewater discharger. You can apply for the position on the open positions listings at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. Apply by June 22 to make sure your application is considered.
  • Draft Water Quality Report and Notice of Comment for Mississippi River Headwaters. The watershed that includes the Mississippi River Headwaters has very good overall water quality, and forest protection is critical to preserve it, according the draft TMDL and WRAPS documents recently released by the MPCA and local partners. Two lakes in Beltrami County are impaired for phosphorus. The MPCA is seeking public comments on the reports through July 5, 2018.