Nitrate Response in SE MN & Bonding Proposals: Clean Water Council Update

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Minnesota Clean Water Council

Latest Update on Southeast MN Nitrate Response


This is a follow up to the State of Minnesota’s response to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) letter from November 3rd, 2023. The Minnesota Department of Health, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Minnesota Department of Agriculture sent their workplan to the EPA regarding collaborative efforts to reduce nitrate contamination in southeastern Minnesota. You can find the workplan and talking points at the following webpage: Response to EPA Nitrate Letter for Southeast Minnesota. More information about nitrate and drinking water can be found on the webpage as well.  

Upcoming Meetings & Project Updates

Minnesota Clean Water Council

Upcoming Meetings

NOTE: Seven positions on the Clean Water Council are up for appointment this year by the Governor. See more information at the Secretary of State's office web site.

Full Council: The next meeting is Monday, January 22nd (Topics: supplemental budget request for the Clean Water Fund). The packet from the December 18th meeting (topics: strategic planning; petition to EPA on nitrates in private wells) has been posted at our web site.

Policy Committee: The next meeting is Friday, January 26th. (Topics: Update on Nutrient Reduction Strategy, private wells.) The packet from the November 17th meeting (topics: Updated drainage policy statement) has been posted at our web site. The December 22nd meeting was cancelled.

Budget & Outcomes Committee: The next meeting is Friday, February 2nd. The packet from the January 5th meeting (topic: latest BWSR Clean Water Fund competitive grants and recommendations for supplemental Clean Water Fund requests) has been posted.

Updates on Projects Supported by the Clean Water Fund

Updated PFOA and PFOS Health Values: "The Health Risk Assessment Unit at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has completed their evaluations of Perfluorooctanoic Acid (PFOA) and Perfluorooctane Sulfonic Acid (PFOS) and updated their health-based values...The updated water guidance values for PFOA and PFOS, including their toxicological summaries and information sheets, are available on the Human Health-Based Water Guidance Table webpage. The Comparison of State Water Guidance and Federal Drinking Water Standards webpage has also been updated. When multiple contaminants occur in water and the cumulative risk must be assessed, MDH's Water Guidance and Additivity Calculator should be used. The new guidance values have been added to this calculator."

This article sums up the issue: Minnesota finds increased health risk from ‘forever chemicals’ | MPR News

Minnesota’s new Keep It Clean Law to prevent tons of garbage from entering lakes ( The Clean Water Fund's Water Partners Legacy grant program supported this effort. 

Renville SWCD awarded $773,000 for project between Olivia and Danube, Minnesota - West Central Tribune: "The Renville SWCD and the Renville County Drainage Department will use the [competitive BWSR grant] funds to help develop three sediment control basins and three ponds in an area drained by County Ditch 59, according to a news release from the SWCD and the Board of Water and Soil Resources."

Other Relevant Water News

The LCCMR’s 2025 Request for Proposals is now open! Approximately $90 million from the ENRTF is available for projects beginning July 1, 2025, and proposals will be accepted until March 27th, Read the RFP to see if your project qualifies and find more information on our website. Please share this with your wider networks!

MPCA wants your early feedback on updates to feedlot permits: "The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will host an information session on Monday, Jan. 29, 2024, from 2:30-4 p.m. to share initial updates to Minnesota’s feedlot permits. There will be time for questions and to hear your early feedback. MPCA officials will explain the state’s feedlot permit program and present some of their initial ideas for changes to the permits. Your early feedback will help improve the draft permits which will be on public notice later this year. Officials will also share the overall timeline for the draft permit revision process, including when farmers ideally can start applying for a permit. There will be significant time for questions and dialogue. The meeting on Monday, Jan. 29, is an information session open to anyone and will take place virtually via Zoom. Advance registration is not required for the meeting."

2024 Minnesota Water Resources Conference Abstract Submission Period Open: The University of Minnesota's Water Resources Conference seeks abstracts for its October 15-16 conference at Saint Paul RiverCentre. 

UMRBA 2023 How Clean is the River? Report | Upper Mississippi River Basin Association "We are pleased to share with you UMRBA’s second collaborative assessment of water quality on the Upper Mississippi River System, the “How Clean is the River?” report, which presents trends between 1989 and 2018.  This new report underscores the value of coordinated and comprehensive water quality monitoring and management on the Upper Mississippi River System, while revealing where future work is needed."

Governor's Bonding Proposals for Water

The Governor released his proposals for capital investment this week. They included requests to the Legislature for the following agencies:

Metropolitan Council

  • $5,000,000 Inflow and Infiltration Grant Program

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

  • $10,000,000 Statewide Drinking Water Contamination Mitigation for Private Wells (at select sites with PFAS and 1,4-dioxane)
  • $2,000,000 Continuous Nitrate Sensor Network

Public Facilities Authority

  • $39,000,000 State Match for Federal Grants to State Revolving Loan Programs
  • $23,485,000 Water Infrastructure Funding Program
  • $18,527,000 Point Source Implementation Grant Program
  • $18,000,000 Emerging Contaminants Grant Program (for manganese and PFAS at public water suppliers)
  • $10,000,000 Lead Service Line Replacement Grant Program

Board of Water and Soil Resources

  • $10,000,000 Reinvestment in Minnesota (RIM) Reserve Program

More Details