The past few months have been very active for rulemakings. First and foremost, the Class 3 & 4 water quality standards are currently under review by Administrative Law Judge Eric Lipman. MESERB, as well as a number of our member cities, submitted comments in support of the majority of the changes proposed by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). We will continue to keep our members apprised of any major developments throughout this process.

In addition, the Triennial Standards Review (TSR) process is underway. MESERB attorney Gretel Lee participated in the public hearing last week. Like other rulemakings, there is a public comment period on the TSR process. This has historically been a process that MESERB has monitored closely (and has utilized to advocate for the update of the Class 3 & 4 standards), and there are a few things that MPCA is proposing that we will be watching – specifically:

  • The Class 3 & 4 water quality standards changes (MESERB will comment that the ongoing rulemaking is the right avenue to address and implement the vital updates and will defend the rulemaking)
  • Updates to the Class 1 drinking water quality standards, including the regulation of five PFAS compounds
  • The technical development of a total nitrogen aquatic life standard and other nitrogen parameters (EPA is currently finishing up toxicity studies on this)
  • Addition of a shallow lake standard as an update to the Lake Eutrophication Standards

As a reminder, all water quality standards, rules, and variances are open for comment during this process. Further information on the TSR process can be found here. Specific projects and the proposed timeline for action by MPCA can be viewed here.

In addition to these issues we are monitoring, we are reaching out to our membership to ask if there are any specific water quality standards that need updating, changing, etc. If there are any standards that impact your community and you would like to see changed, please contact Gretel Lee at or Daniel Marx at as soon as possible. Written comments are due by 4:30 p.m. on Friday, April 9. Electronic submissions can be sent via email to

Furthermore, if you have any questions of MPCA staff, please contact the following people:

  • Scope of the TSR, technical comments or questions regarding water quality standards: William Cole – or 651-757-2788
  • TSR process, the public meeting (March 9), how to submit comments, or other questions about the TSR: Catherine O’Dell – or 651-757-2621
  • Questions regarding variances: Elise Doucette – or 651-757-2316