While cities and producers across the Minnesota River Basin have made changes to help water quality, the state's namesake river and its tributaries continue to face several pollution challenges. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and local partners have drafted several studies that identify the pollutant sources, reduction goals and strategies to get there:

*Minnesota River and Greater Blue Earth River Total Maximum Daily Load for Total Suspended Solids

*Minnesota River-Mankato watershed TMDL and Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategies.

* Watonwan River watershed TMDL and WRAPS 

* Lower Minnesota River watershed TMDL and WRAPS

Altogether, the studies look at dozen of river segments impaired by bacteria, sediment, nutrients and/or chloride as well as 50 lakes with nutrient levels high enough to cause algae. See the stories and web links below for more information.

The studies are open for comment through 4:30 p.m. Sept. 20. The agency is especially interested in comments that focus on policies and practices to expand or implement to reach water quality goals. After the comment period closes, the MPCA will revise the reports according to comments received and then submit them to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for final approval.

For details, please visit:

*The Minnesota River Basin portal at www.pca.state.mn.us/water/minnesota-river-basin

*The "How to comment" webpage at www.pca.state.mn.us/help-us-help-our-water-comment

This article was submitted by the MPCA.