The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has released its annual legislative report on municipal NPDES permitting and water quality standards. There is always useful information in this report, and we recommend that all MESERB members review it. If you read the report carefully, you will see the impact that MESERB is having on the MPCA’s municipal NPDES program.

A few highlights from the report:

  • Passage of Minn. Stat. § 115.456, which requires the MPCA to consider current debt service on existing municipal wastewater treatment infrastructure when developing compliance schedules for new effluent limits in municipal NPDES permits. The Coalition of Greater Minnesota Cities (CGMC) led efforts to pass this legislation in 2017 and used feedback from MESERB in working with legislators to draft the language. MPCA has developed a worksheet for implementing this legislation.
  • Protection of Water Quality Investment Act (Minn. Stat. 115.455), which provides a minimum of 16 years of regulatory certainty after a municipality constructs POTW to comply with a new or modified effluent limit. This legislation was pushed by the League of Minnesota Cities and was supported by the CGMC. MESERB was active in encouraging the MPCA to support it as well, after the original rulemaking doing the same was blocked by an administrative law judge.
  • MESERB members have either led or been active in all of the three examples cited by MPCA as innovative approaches.