Public asked to comment on Mississippi River TMDLWith a draft pollution-reduction report for the south metro portion of the Mississippi River completed, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is accepting public comment and one area group is highly encouraging participation.
By: Regan Carstensen, The Republican Eagle
With a draft pollution-reduction report for the south metro portion of the Mississippi River completed, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is accepting public comment and one area group is highly encouraging participation.
The Lake Pepin Legacy Alliance, a non-profit organization working to preserve and restore Lake Pepin, is hosting a clinic from 1 to 4:30 p.m. March 29 at the St. James Hotel to help people get involved.
“It’s focused specifically on how to provide comment on the project,” MPCA spokeswoman Cathy Rofshus said.
The event will feature experts who can explain details about the draft report — known as a total maximum daily load or TMDL — that was completed for the stretch of the river that runs from St. Paul to Red Wing — often referred to as the South Metro Mississippi. Experts will also be able to help people turn their thoughts and concerns into an effective letter to submit to the MPCA.
Whether individuals have changes to recommend or they fully back the draft TMDL, Rofshus said comments should be submitted regardless.
“A lot of times people think if they agree with the report they don’t need to comment, but all comments become part of the public record so it’s just as important to comment if they do support it,” she explained.
Suggested changes will be considered before the MPCA submits the final TMDL report to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“In the past, we have changed draft reports according to comments received. That’s why the comments are so important,” Rofshus said.
Although the South Metro Mississippi stretches only about 64 miles long, its drainage area is about 50,000 square miles. The MPCA recommends reducing the total suspended solids from river systems that drain to the Mississippi, such as the Minnesota and Cannon rivers, in order to bring about more aquatic life.
“This project has been a big undertaking for the MPCA. We are talking about a high-profile and highly valued resource,” MPCA regional manager Bob Finley said. “We are looking at changes needed across half of Minnesota — the area of land that drains to the Mississippi — to achieve clearer water in the river and upstream waters.”
Following the LPLA’s clinic March 29, the same organization will host a dinner and citizen-led meeting at the St. James Hotel about water quality issues.
“It’s going to be a full day of conversation and dialogue about the Mississippi River,” Rofshus said.
Details about the events can be found at www.lakepepinlegacyalliance.org.
Submit your comments
What: Public comment period for the South Metro Mississippi River TMDL
When: Open until 4:30 p.m. Friday April 27
How: Submit comments in writing via email or letters to Robert Finley at email@example.com or 12 Civic Center Plaza, Suite 2165, Mankato, MN 56001.
More info: Call Robert at 507-344-5247 or Cathy at 507-206-2608