4.3.2 TMDLs & NPDES & Nondegradation
Water resources are regulated at the federal, state, regional, and local levels. These regulations are intended to accomplish the same goal - the protection and improvement of water resources - but compliance with the various standards can be difficult, especially when they overlap. Most of the cities in the watershed are subject to the stormwater permitting regulations of the State of Minnesota’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for discharge, which requires cities to prepare and implement a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan (SWPPP). Some of these cities are subject to a more stringent SWPPP requiring them to demonstrate that they have not degraded water quality, or if they have, to identify how they will mitigate that degradation.
There are several Impaired Waters in the watershed, for which the District is partnering with the MPCA to prepare Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) studies. Cities must also include in their SWPPPs activities demonstrating that they are not contributing to the further degradation of an Impaired Water. After a TMDL is approved, cities have 18 months to amend their SWPPP to include TMDL implementation activities and demonstrate that they are in compliance with the TMDL Implementation Plan.
To help reduce this regulatory burden, this Plan establishes water quality goals and an Implementation Plan that will be consistent with TMDL, NPDES, and nondegradation requirements. LGU requirements of this Plan can be integrated into a city’s SWPPP to help meet the city’s obligations under NPDES.