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More time to comment on water impairments

The public comment period for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's draft 2016 impaired waters list has been extended by 30 days, through Sept. 30.

The list is an assessment of how well lakes and streams support fishing, swimming, and other beneficial uses. Water bodies that fail to meet standards are considered "impaired." This assessment is mandated by federal law and requires a cleanup study for each impaired water body. Problems could be not fully supporting fish or invertebrates, turbidity or too many of the wrong chemicals in the water.

In all, 4,603 waters are on the list, with 582 new listings. Many of those are along rivers in the Southeast. The new list includes more for the Zumbro River than were assessed in 2014 and 2015.

Comments, which must be in writing, should be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on Sept. 30 to: Miranda Nichols, MPCA, 520 Lafayette Rd N, St. Paul, MN 55155 (you must provide a return address) or miranda.nichols@state.mn.us.

For a map showing impaired, and good stretches, go to www.pca.state.mn.us/water/minnesotas-impaired-waters-list.

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