Minnesota's List of Polluted Waters Updated: Public Meetings Scheduled Throughout the State

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced recently its biennial update of the federally required list of the state's polluted lakes and stream segments. The draft update adds 287 new polluted waters to the existing list, bringing the current total to 1,469.

The listed waters, also known as "impaired waters" under the federal Clean Water Act, do not meet water-quality standards. The waters contain pollutants at levels above acceptable limits designed to protect public uses. The listed waters need further study to determine how they can be restored to a healthy condition.

Only a small fraction of Minnesota's lakes and streams have been assessed so far for impairments. As the agency gathers more data, other waters may be added to the list. In recent years, public concern about the number of waters on the list has risen. To help address issues related to impaired waters in our state lawmakers passed the Clean Water Legacy Act in 2006. In 2007, the Governor proposed and the legislature passed additional funding for water assessment, monitoring, clean up and protection activities.

The proposed 2008 Impaired Waters list, methodology for listing and regional maps are available on the MPCA's Web site at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/tmdl-303dlist.html. The list is formally on public notice from Oct. 8 to Nov. 7, 2007. Submit questions, comments or requests for additional information to Howard Markus at MPCA, 520 Lafayette Road N., St. Paul, MN, 55155, by phone at 651-296-7295 or e-mail at howard.markus@pca.state.mn.us.

The MPCA will host a series of public information meetings throughout the state as follows.

Thursday, Sept. 27, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. St. Paul-MPCA Office 520 Lafayette Rd. N

Monday, Oct. 1, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Duluth-MPCA Office 525 Lake Ave. S

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m International Falls Rainy River Community College

Wednesday, Oct. 3, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Brainerd-MPCA Office 7678 College Rd., Baxter

Thursday, Oct. 4 , 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Detroit Lakes-MPCA Office 714 Lake Ave.

Monday, Oct. 8, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Marshall-MPCA Office 1420 E. College Dr.

Wednesday, Oct. 10, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m. Rochester-MPCA Office 18 Wood Lake Drive SE

Wednesday, Oct. 17, 1:00 - 3:00 p.m Mankato Blue Earth County Library

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