The goal of this project is to develop statewide biological criteria for managing the state’s water resources, in keeping with the federal Clean Water Act. The MPCA is using the Biological Condition Gradient (BCG) for this development. The BCG is a conceptual model that describes changes in aquatic ecosystems on a gradient of increasing anthropogenic stress.
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.
This project will improve our understanding of the sources of sediment (turbidity), and the processes which deliver sediment to river channels. This project will address a suite of emerging questions regarding contributions and causes of non-field sediment, thereby providing watershed managers with a better understanding of how to manage these sediment sources.
This project will provide a shared working definition and principles for civic engagement, that enable state agencies to more effectively, strategically and collaboratively manage the social dimension of Minnesota’s water resource management efforts . The agencies included in the project are BWSR, MDNR, MDA, MDH and MPCA. The consultant and project participants will develop recommendations that will better enable policy and decision makers, CWF teams, the Clean Water Council and others to make informed decisions surrounding civic engagement efforts.
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.
BWSR will administer funding to eligible County projects that provide funds and other assistance to low income property owners to upgrade or replace Noncompliant Septic Systems. BWSR will also manage annual reporting completed by each County.
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.
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 goal of this project is to use the Watershed Data Integration Program (WDIP) Project to apply previous experience with business analysis to the MPCA’s efforts. Develop and document implications for the strategic approach of the business to Watershed projects, their communication and implementation plans to shift to the new strategy, and the daily processes of the business that will be required to change.
The goal of this project is to develop and implement a multiagency tracking framework that will help clarify connections between Clean Water Funds invested, actions taken and clean water outcomes achieved.
MPCA will administer funding to eligible Local Governmental Units to use MPCA-approved Advanced Inspectors to conduct work in accordance with Minn. Rules 7080, 7081, and 7083, which requires proper location, design, installation, use and maintenance of an individual subsurface sewage treatment system (SSTS) with a design flow of 2,500 gallons per day or more that protects the public health, safety, general welfare, and the environment by the discharge of adequately treated sewage to the groundwater. Multiple contracts will be awarded.
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.
The overall goal of this process is to compile the information developed by the MPCA into summaries, tables, graphics and tools that the MPCA can use to replace sections of the Stormwater Manual. CDM Smith has developed an approach and workplan that is aimed at complimenting the knowledge of the MPCA and assisting the MPCA through supplemental literature searches, compilation of materials into usable formats, and facilitation of discussions when needed.
The final outcome of this project will be a chloride management plan which will lay out a strategy for addressing chloride impacts to our surface waters for the 7-county metropolitan area. This chloride management plan will satisfy EPA requirements for impaired waters, address waters not yet listed, and develop a strategy to protect waters that are currently meeting the water quality standards. This management plan will also include implementation activities for reducing chloride to TCMA waters as well as identify high priority areas to target implementation activities.
This project will apply science to identify viable and priority wetland restorations and rehabilitations that will deliver sustainable water quality benefit, along with flood storage and habitat benefits. Decision tools will be developed to assist with selection of restoration projects.
This project will provide lab analyses and interpretation required for 2012 wild rice field survey. The 2012 lab analyses will be merged with the 2011 field survey data and determine what additional work, if any, is needed during the 2013 field season.
The MPCA is currently collecting additional information needed to evaluate the 10 mg/liter wild-rice-based sulfate standard and has received funding through legislation passed during the 2011 Special Session to implement a wild rice research plan and contract with scientific experts to further understand the effects of sulfate on the growth of wild rice. The goal of this project is to determine responses of wild rice to sulfate and the products of geochemical transformations of sulfate.
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.
This project will train MPCA field staff in the proper calibration, deployment, maintenance and storage of water quality collection Sondes. Training event will cover general sonde overview, sonde maintenance, calibration procedure, short-term storage, long-term storage and 650MDS overview.