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MPCA seeks comment on Snake River watershed report

MPCA seeks comments on Snake River Watershed water quality improvement report

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is seeking comments on a water quality improvement report for the Snake River Watershed in east-central Minnesota. The report, known as a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL), focuses on pollution caused by excess bacteria and nutrients, mainly phosphorus. A public comment period began Sept. 3 and continues through Oct. 3.

The Snake River Watershed, which includes parts of Aitkin, Chisago, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, and Pine counties, is a major watershed in the St. Croix River Basin. The report focuses on pollution impairments in three stream reaches (Upper Mud Creek, Lower Mud Creek, and Bear Creek) and four lakes (Knife Lake, Quamba Lake, Pokegama Lake, and Cross Lake) in the watershed.

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. The report indicates that nutrient reductions of between 25 and 73 percent, sediment reductions of 67 percent, and bacteria reductions of up to 72 percent will be needed at several locations throughout the Snake River Watershed to meet water quality standards.

The Snake River Watershed TMDL draft report is available on the MPCA’s TMDL projects webpage ( or at the agency’s St. Paul office at 520 Lafayette Road N. Comments should be submitted to Christopher Klucas, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd N, Saint Paul MN 55155, or by e-mail to For more information, call Klucas at 651-757-2498 or toll-free at 800-657-3864.

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.

More information on the state’s impaired waters list and TMDL studies is available on the MPCA’s Impaired waters and TMDLs webpage ( or by calling the agency toll-free at 800-657-3864.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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