Thank you to all of our members who made it to Fergus Falls for the MESERB Annual Meeting on June 6. We had a great turnout, excellent discussion about our priorities for 2019-2020, and informative presentations from the City of Albert Lea, Bill Dunn from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA), and Flaherty & Hood, P.A.
Among the things we covered at the meeting were our major accomplishments for the year. One of our key accomplishments was an improved relationship with MPCA and the new leadership team at the agency. We also witnessed years of hard work come to fruition with the passage of the independent peer review policy initially advocated for by MESERB and then picked up by the Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC), as well as major progress on efforts to work with MPCA to update to the Class 3 and 4 water quality standards. We also had a near-record year for recruitment, with 11 new members joining the MESERB ranks.
At the meeting we started to outline our priorities for 2019-2020. Among the key issues that the membership identified are:
- Continued focus on establishing a strong working relationship with MPCA through joint efforts and improved stakeholder engagement
- Ensuring that MPCA adopts the proposed changes to the Class 3 & 4 water quality standards
- Participation in the 2019-2020 impaired waters listing process
- Continued efforts to further innovative and cost effective NPDES permitting solutions such as nutrient trading, integrative planning and adaptive management
- Proactively addressing emerging concerns related to PFAS and the land application of bio-solids
Lastly, we want to remind you about the importance of being proactive when it comes to the renewal of your NPDES permits. As you know, one of the principal benefits of MESERB membership is a free permit review. If you are going through the permit renewal process and have questions, please feel free to reach out and request your free MESERB permit review. The earlier you engage MESERB and your consultants in the permit review process the better.
Thank you again for your participation in MESERB and we look forward to continued progress in 2019-2020.