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Comment period extended for pollution study on Pope County lakes

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has extended the comment period for a TMDL report, or a pollution study, conducted for eight lakes in Pope County that are impaired due to excess phosphorus. The lakes are Ann, Emily, Gilchrist, Leven, Malmedal, Pelican, Reno and Strandness. Comments must be sent to MPCA by October 17.

A TMDL report determines the maximum amount of a pollutant that a water body can accept from various sources and still meet water quality standards. Phosphorus was identified as the primary pollutant leading to excessive growth of plants, such as algae, in these lakes. The study determined phosphorus reductions ranging from 35 to 90 percent are needed for these lakes to meet state standards.

Implementation of the TMDL will be accomplished by both state and local action. Water quality restoration efforts will be led by the Pope County Soil and Water Conservation District, Pope County, the Chippewa River Watershed Project, and through lake associations and the Pope County Coalition of Lakes Association.

Copies of the TMDL report are available for review at the MPCA office and on the MPCA website. Alternatively, an electronic copy of the report is available from Tim James of the MPCA at or (218) 846-8103.

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 report that you believe should be changed and 3) the reasons supporting your position, stated with sufficient specificity to allow the MPCA commissioner to investigate the merits of your position.

Comments should be mailed to Tim James, MPCA, 714 Lake Avenue, Ste. 220, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501 or e-mailed to Comments must be received by October 17.

People may also request a public informational meeting to discuss the report or to have an issue addressed at a meeting of the MPCA Citizen's Board. Call Tim James for more information.