Earlier this month, MESERB submitted formal comments on the site specific standard for specific conductance on the Rock River. The standard arose in response to problems some MESERB member cities, including Luverne, have faced due to outdated limits for salty parameters in their permit. The outdated limit has hampered economic development. MESERB supports the site-specific standard proposal as it would replace outdated permit limits with updated science. MESERB also urges the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to take the next step and complete rulemaking on the outdated Class 3 and 4 waters that led to this problem in the first place.

MESERB also submitted comments this month on the Lake Pepin Draft Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report, which sets waste load allocations for wastewater, stormwater and other discharges that ultimately end up in Lake Pepin. Nearly half of the state’s landmass drains to Lake Pepin, located on the Mississippi River just south of Red Wing. The quality of the lake has significantly improved, with 81% of the phosphorus reductions coming from wastewater facilities. Despite these improvements, the TMDL would require further reductions at some wastewater facilities and from many city stormwater systems.  

In our comments, MESERB expressed concern that MPCA continues to pursue additional reductions even though according to its own data the lake is no longer impaired. MESERB remains concerned that many of the limits in this draft were already placed into local wastewater permits before the TMDL was proposed, thereby circumventing a city’s right to provide meaningful comment.

Copies of MESERB’s comments will be sent to members in an email update.