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PCA wants comments on Knife River water quality

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is again taking public comments on a revised pollution report for the Knife River near Duluth. The PCA has determined that the 25-mile-long Knife River is below state water quality standards for turbidity, t...

Knife River
The PCA will take public comments on the Knife River plan, called a Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL, through May 12. (2009 file / News Tribune)

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is again taking public comments on a revised pollution report for the Knife River near Duluth.

The PCA has determined that the 25-mile-long Knife River is below state water quality standards for turbidity, the amount of sediment in the water.

Reducing sediment in runoff across the river's 53,000-acre watershed in Lake and St. Louis counties will be critical to solving the problem, and the new plan has been expanded to include Duluth Township as well as other townships already included along the river.

The PCA says turbidity, one indicator of water clarity, is caused by erosion, suspended clay, silt, organic matter and algae. High turbidity levels can be harmful to fish.

The PCA will take public comments on the Knife River plan, called a Total Maximum Daily Load or TMDL, through May 12.

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A TMDL is the maximum amount of a pollutant, such as turbidity, that a water body can receive and still meet its designated uses and water quality standards.

The PCA has proposed several ideas to fix the problem, including stream bank and channel restoration, gully stabilization, water storage to slow storm runoff, tree plantings, ditch maintenance, slowing stormwater runoff at construction sites and creating buffer zones of trees and plants along the river and its tributaries.

For more information about the draft Knife River study, contact Greg Johnson of the MPCA at (651) 757-2471. The Knife River Watershed Project Web site is here .

Related Topics: ENVIRONMENTFISHING
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