road saltOn August 3, The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) released a draft Chloride Management Plan (CMP) and Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) report that seeks to protect surface and groundwater resources in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area from chloride pollution. The report also recommends restoring 37 surface waters in the metro area.

Created in partnership with several organizations across the metro area and state, the plan characterizes chloride-related impacts to water resources in the Twin Cities area and includes the development of a TMDL standard covering waters where chloride levels exceed water quality standards. The TMDL report quantifies pollutant levels in impaired water bodies, identifies the sources of the pollution, and proposes ways to restore water.

The TMDL report details the amount of chloride a body of water can receive and still meet water quality standards. The Chloride Management Plan builds on efforts to improve winter maintenance, reduce salt usage, and maintain public safety, and is intended to assist agencies, local governments, and other stakeholders in determining the best strategies for using less salt and better protecting Minnesota’s water resources.

Following a public review and comment period, the draft report will need final approval from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.