Sunday, February 23, 2020

Minnesota seeks input on pollution-reduction plan for Lake Winona, streams

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) said on Monday that it is accepting public comments on pollutant-reduction measures suggested in a new Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) study report on Lake Winona and 17 streams in the Mississippi River-Winona Watershed through Sept. 24.

The study measures levels of pollutants – in this case, phosphorus, bacteria, sediments and nitrate – to ensure they comply with safety standards. The study's data were compiled based on a decade's worth of water-quality data, as well as fish surveys, stressor identification investigations and stakeholder input.

Calling for a range of 31 to 39 percent reductions in phosphorus for Lake Winona and flow-dependent reductions for the Whitewater River and its tributaries, the report offers pollutant-reduction strategies, such as wastewater-discharge limits, urban stormwater controls and updated agricultural practices, among other measures.

These strategies and reduction goals are important for this area of Minnesota, which is typified by a karst landscape, meaning the porous bedrock is only covered by a thin layer of topsoil. This means pollutants are easily introduced into the groundwater.

EPA Testimony Statements --

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U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

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