Comments on impaired waters accepted until Sept. 30, 2016

At the request of citizens and water organizations, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is extending the public comment period for the draft 2016 impaired waters list by 30 days. This means the agency will accept written comments through September 30.

A body of water is considered “impaired” if it fails to meet one or more water quality standards. Minnesota water quality standards protect lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands by defining how much of a pollutant (bacteria, nutrients, turbidity, mercury, etc.) can be in water before it is no longer drinkable, swimmable, fishable, or useable in other, designated ways (called “beneficial uses”). Waters that do not meet their designated uses because of water quality standard violations are impaired. Monitoring suggests that about 40% of Minnesota’s lakes and streams are impaired for conventional pollutants, which is comparable to impairment rates in other states.

Part of Anoka County displayed in the Impaired Waters Viewer (IWAV)

Part of Anoka County displayed in the Impaired Waters Viewer (IWAV)

The list represents an assessment of how well lakes and streams support fishing, swimming, and other beneficial uses. Water bodies that fail to meet standards are considered “impaired.” This assessment is mandated by federal law and requires cleanup studies for each impaired water body.

Problems in Minnesota waters include fish and bugs at risk in hundreds of water bodies, high levels of phosphorus that cause algae, bacteria than can make water unsafe for swimming, and mercury that limits consumption of fish because of its toxicity. The draft list totals a little more than 4,600 impairments with 582 new listings this year.

For more information see Assessing and listing impaired waters.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress