MPCA seeks comments on lake water quality report

For the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is seeking comments on a water-quality-improvement report for the Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District. The watershed, located in northern Washington County, stretches along the St. Croix River from Stillwater Township to north of Scandia.

The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load, focuses on pollution caused by excess phosphorus in 10 lakes within the watershed. A public comment period is open and continues through May 16.

The 10 lakes within the CMSCWD on this list of impaired waters are East Boot, Fish, Goose, Hay, Jellum’s Bay, Long, Loon, Louise, Mud and South Twin. This report addresses these impairments and includes an evaluation of the ecological health of each lake, an assessment of the phosphorus sources to each lake, and guidelines on how to restore the aquatic recreational use of each lake.

The report indicates one or more of these sources — watershed runoff, internal loading, atmospheric deposition (airborne pollution), feedlots and septic systems — contribute to the phosphorus issues in the lakes. To restore aquatic recreation uses in the lakes, the following phosphorus load reductions are needed: East Boot Lake, 14 percent; Fish Lake, 33 percent; Goose and Hay lakes, 34 percent; Jellum’s Bay, 29 percent; Long Lake, 25 percent; Loon Lake, 32 percent; Lake Louise, 26 percent; Mud Lake, 17 percent; South Twin Lake, 19 percent.

The TMDL report is part of a nationwide effort under the federal Clean Water Act to identify and clean up pollution in streams, rivers and lakes. Every two years, states are required to submit a list of impaired waters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. A TMDL report is a scientific study that calculates the maximum amount of a pollutant a water body can receive (known as the “loading capacity”) without exceeding water-quality standards.

After receiving public comments, the MPCA will revise the TMDL report and submit it to the EPA for approval. Following EPA approval, a plan will be developed to reduce pollution throughout the watershed.

The TMDL draft report is available online at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/ktqh9f7 or at the St. Paul MPCA office, 520 Lafayette Road N. Written comments should be mailed to Christopher Klucas, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd. N., St. Paul, MN 55155, or sent by email to christopher.klucas@state.mn.us by May 16, 2012. For more information, call Klucas at 651-757-2498.

Written comments must include (1) a statement of your interest in the draft TMDL report; (2) a statement of the action you wish the MPCA to take, including specific references to sections of the draft TMDL that you believe should be changed; and (3) specific reasons supporting your position.

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