Provides grants to Soil and Water Conservation Districts that focuses on increasing capacity to address four resource concern areasSoil Erosion, Riparian Zone Management, Water Storage and Treatment, and Excess Nutrients.
This program annually evaluates a sample of up to ten Clean Water Fund restoration projects, provides a report on the evaluations in accordance with state law and delivers communications on project outcomes and lessons learned in restoration practice.
Governor Mark Dayton's landmark buffer initiative was signed into law in 2015. The law establishes new perennial vegetation buffers of up to 50 feet along rivers, streams, and ditches that will help filter out phosphorus, nitrogen, and sediment. The new law provides flexibility and financial support for landowners to install and maintain buffers.
For grants to Soil and Water Conservation Districts to ensure compliance with riparian buffer or alternate practice requirements for state required buffers and soil erosion law.
The County Well Index (CWI) contains well and boring records wells within Minnesota; over 400,000 records. It is the principal source of well construction information and geologic interpretations of well records and also contains soil boring records, mineral exploration test hole records, and scientific/research test hole records.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) offers grants to counties for Subsurface Sewage Treatment System (SSTS) program administration and special projects to improve SSTS compliance rates, and assistance for low-income homeowners with needed SSTS upgrades. The MPCA will determine grant allocations based on applications review; funds will flow to counties through the Board of Water and Soil Resources' Natural Resources Block Grants.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has identified streamflow alteration as a key stressor on aquatic life, but the characteristics of streamflow alteration acting as stressors have not been identified in the MPCA Watershed Restoration and Protection Strategy (WRAPS) process. Without indices that characterize streamflow alteration, the MPCA cannot quantitatively associate metrics of aquatic life condition to streamflow alteration. The lack of quantifiable indices limits the ability of the MPCA to assess environmental streamflow needs for streams and rivers throughout Minnesota.
The Drinking Water Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC) program identifies environmental contaminants for which current health-based standards currently do not exist or need to be updated, investigate the potential for human exposure to these chemicals, and develop guidance values for drinking water. Contaminants evaluated by CEC staff include contaminants that have been released or detected in Minnesota waters (surface water and groundwater) or that have the potential to migrate to or be detected in Minnesota waters.
This project will determine the magnitude and frequency of contamination from endocrine active compounds (EAC's) and other contaminants of emerging concern in shallow groundwater in non-agricultural areas of Minnesota. EACs and other contaminants of emerging concern in this study include compounds typically found in waste water, including, pharmaceutical compounds, antibiotics, and hormones. This project supports the third phase, including laboratory analysis of samples for an additional 80 wells to be sampled by MPCA staff.
Appropriations from the Clean Water Fund allow the Minnesota Department of Health to expand and improve the way groundwater and drinking water protection is implemented at the local level. In 2015, $300,000 was allocated to update wellhead protection areas within groundwater management areas. From 2016 onward, funding will be dedicated to the Groundwater Restoration and Protection Strategies (GRAPS) initiative which will provide groundwater and drinking water information and management strategies on a HUC 8 watershed scale.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. MIDS offers guidelines, recommendations and tools that help low impact development practices be implemented more uniformly across Minnesota's landscape and provides guidance to effectively implement the concepts and practices of low impact development. Products include performance goals for new development, redevelopment and linear projects, a graphic user interface calculator and flexible treatment options for sites design.
The Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project represents the next generation of stormwater management in Minnesota. The consultant was hired to conduct research and design specifications for permeable pavement and turf.
This project will develop a reasonable statewide estimate of recharge using the Soil-Water-Balance (SWB) Code (Westenbroek and others, 2010), validate the simulation results, and conduct a parameter sensitivity analysis to identify the most sensitive model parameters. For the purposes of this application of the SWB application, comparing the simulation results will be conducted on selected watershed basins in the state against previously established recharge estimates.
The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) will conduct water sample analysis and collect data for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to meet the requirements of the MPCA’s environmental programs.
The objective of this project is to build on previous efforts aimed at determining the public health risk due to virus contamination in Minnesota groundwater. The Minnesota Department of Health will examine the occurrence of viruses in non-disinfecting groundwater sources in Minnesota as well as evaluate the association between source water virus occurrence and community acute gastrointestinal illness.
This project will assist in assessing the quality of the Mississippi River bordering with Wisconsin in partnership with the Minnesota DNR (MNDNR), the Wisconsin DNR (WIDNR) and the Metropolitan Council of Environmental Services (MCES). Sampling will be conducted in 2016 using water chemistry and biological indicators, using a 5 state strategy recently developed recently with the leadership of the Upper Mississippi River Basin Association. The Minnesota entities will focus their work on the River from St Anthony Falls to the Chippewa River confluence in Lake Pepin.
The Clean Water Council was created through the Clean Water Legacy Act (Minn. Stat. Ch 114D) which was signed into law June 2, 2006. The council’s role is to advise on the administration and implementation of the Clean Water Legacy Act. See the Council’s FY18-19 Clean Water Fund and Policy Recommendations Report (December 1, 2016). The 28-member Clean Water Council (Council) represents organizations with a major role in achieving clean water, enabling consensus building and coordination on a wide array of issues critical to the people of Minnesota.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Environmental Outcomes staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities within the described priority watersheds. Lake Monitoring: Lakes are monitored for nutrients, clarity and other information to provide the data needed to assess the aquatic recreation use support. Biological and Water Chemistry Stream Monitoring: Monitoring to assess the conditions of streams in each watershed.
This project supports monitoring and assessment activities by Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Environmental Outcomes staff and includes lab analysis, equipment, fieldwork, data management, and interpretation expenses associated with monitoring and assessment activities. The ambient groundwater monitoring network describes the current condition and trends in Minnesota's groundwater quality.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) uses a watershed-oriented approach to assess surface water quality and define restoration and protection measures. Each of Minnesota's 81 major watersheds is assessed intensively every 10 years, based on a staggered schedule that addresses, on average, eight watersheds per year. To increase the amount of data directly available to the public online, and to make internal operations more efficient, the MPCA started a multi-year Watershed Data Integration Project (WDIP).
This project supports activities by Minnesota Pollution Control (MPCA) Watershed Division staff that provide technical assistance, project oversight, coordination, outreach and other agency activities associated with assessing, listing and conducting Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies throughout the State of Minnesota. Project also includes lab analysis, equipment, and fieldwork expenses associated with TMDL work at the MPCA.
Support for the subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) program administered by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The MPCA offers grants to counties for SSTS program administration and special projects to improve SSTS compliance rates, and assistance for low-income homeowners with needed SSTS upgrades.
This project will evaluate best management performance and effectiveness to support meeting total maximum daily loads; develop standards and incorporate state of the art guidance using minimal impact design standards as the model; and implement a knowledge and technology transfer system across local government, industry, and regulatory sectors.
Staffing support to evaluate the performance of existing stormwater infiltration sites, as identified in the Minimal Impact Design Standards (MIDS) project. Monitor the range of existing infiltration devices in Minnesota and compare to design criteria, maintenance records, and quantify year-round infiltration rates. Develop and refine pretreatment options and standards for municipal stormwater treatment.
This project will provide an interpretive assessment of nitrogen concentrations in Minnesota rivers and streams, including spatial and temporal trends based on historical data sets. The trends analyses will provide information useful for evaluating nitrogen reduction efforts in the past couple of decades.
The goal of this project is the development of a model of wild rice population dynamics, using RAMAS software, which mimics natural variability of population levels and calculates the probability of population extinction.
The Statewide Sediment Network was established to measure the levels of suspended sediment concentrations and particle size distributions at eight sites across Minnesota to evaluate the amount of sediment carried by rivers. USGS sample collection and laboratory analysis techniques provide a more rigorous, robust, and technically accurate measure of sediment in water than the current use of total suspended solids as the measure of sediment in water.
This project will improve water management in the State of Minnesota. The result will be a water management tool that can be used by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to determine low flow statistics when establishing permit discharge limits and by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to help in water appropriations and permitting. This tool will also be used by watershed districts in understanding and quantifying the State's water budget, the Nature Conservancy in its Ecological Limits of Hydrologic Alteration (ELOHA) process, and the U.S.
Cognizant to the needs of the stormwater community, a group that has engaged in stormwater research at the University of Minnesota (UMN) has developed a research program for the biennium that addresses pressing needs: a stormwater research roadmap and framework for priority needs, research required to improve stormwater pond maintenance, and information transfer related to these needs.
The MDH Environmental Laboratory provides essential analyses of water for the MPCA Wild Rice Standards Study, which is gathering information about the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. For this study, the lab developed a ultra-sensitive test for hydrogen sulfide, which greatly facilitated the research. For this large study, the lab staff analyzed several thousand water and sediment samples from lakes, wetlands, rivers, rice paddies, experimental mesocosms, and hydroponic experiments.