A public information meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 4 at the Lac qui Parle County annex building in Madison about a water quality study of the Lac qui Parle and Yellow Bank rivers.


A public information meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, June 4 at the Lac qui Parle County annex building in Madison about a water quality study of the Lac qui Parle and Yellow Bank rivers.
 
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) invites public comments on a draft report, which is on public notice May 29 through June 27, 2012. The Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report addresses water quality impairments from bacteria, turbidity, and low dissolved oxygen pollution in eleven sections of the rivers.
 
The Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank watershed drains about 1,712 square miles in western Minnesota (976 square miles) and eastern South Dakota (736 square miles). The Lac qui Parle starts at Lake Hendricks in Lincoln County and flows north through Yellow Medicine and Lac qui Parle counties. The Yellow Bank River is located in the northern portion of Lac qui Parle County. More than 90 percent of the land use in the watershed is agricultural, most in row crops, primarily corn and soybeans.
 
Sources of bacteria include failing septic systems, wastewater treatment plant bypasses and flushes, livestock manure from feedlots and land application, and stormwater from cities and commercial areas. Domestic pets and wildlife are lesser possible sources. Turbidity is caused by particles, such as sediment and algae, suspended or dissolved in water that scatter light making the water appear cloudy or murky. Low dissolved oxygen results from bacteria consuming algae and other organic matter.
 
Every two years, states are required to submit a list of impaired waters to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  The listing of impaired waters and the TMDL report are part of a nationwide effort, required by the federal Clean Water Act, to identify and restore polluted streams, rivers and lakes.  States must determine the maximum daily amount, or load, of pollutants that a water body can receive and still meet water quality standards, and then determine the sources of the pollutants. After receiving public comments, the MPCA may revise the draft Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank River TMDL report prior to submitting to the EPA for approval. Following EPA approval, plans will be developed to reduce pollution in the rivers.
 
The Lac qui Parle-Yellow Bank TMDL draft report is available for review at the MPCA Marshall office, 504 Fairgrounds Rd., Suite 200, or on the MPCA Web site at http://www.pca.state.mn.us/nwqh9b8. More information on the state’s impaired waters list and TMDL studies is available on the Web at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/tmdl/index.html, or by calling toll-free 1-800-657-3864.
 
Comments on the report must be in writing and received by 4:30 p.m. on June 27, 2012.  Send comments and requests for additional information to: Katherine Pekarek-Scott, MPCA, 504 Fairgrounds Rd., Suite 200, Marshall, MN, 56258, phone: 507-476-4267, or e-mail katherine.pekarek-scott@state.mn.us.
 
Written comments must include the following:

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.