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Impaired Waters List Input Opportunity

DNR Seeks Public Comment On Updated Water Condition Lists

Wisconsin Lakes reposts relevant news releases from the WI DNR as a service to its members

Contact: Ashley Beranek, DNR Surface Water Quality Assessments Coordinator
 or 608-267-9603

MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking public comment on revised water condition lists included in the draft 2022 Impaired Waters List.

Updates include moving 48 waterbody pollutant listings from the draft 2022 Impaired Waters list to the Restoration Waters list by adding them to the following three Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) plans: Milwaukee River Basin, Upper Fox-Wolf Basins and Wisconsin River Basin. By moving the 48 listings to the Restoration Waters List, they will no longer require a TMDL.

Pollutant listings placed on the Restoration Waters list have fulfilled a Clean Water Act requirement of having a TMDL for identified pollutants. Application of the TMDLs’ pollution limits over time is intended to reduce pollutant load and its negative impacts on the waterbody.

The three TMDL plans will be sent to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval prior to submittal. The TMDL appendices and list of waters can be found on the DNR’s website.

The DNR sought public comment on the draft 2022 lists in fall 2021. During this process, the 48 waterbody pollutant listings were determined to be part of the Restoration Waters list.

Impaired waters are those that do not meet water quality standards and may not support fishing, swimming, recreating or public health and welfare. In Wisconsin, impaired waters are largely addressed through a TMDL analysis. A TMDL is the amount of a pollutant a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards. While some waters may be restored through alternative projects such as watershed restoration plans, many issues are addressed through TMDLs.

The department follows standard procedures to assess waterbodies against water quality standards and submits water condition lists to the EPA every even-numbered year as required by the federal Clean Water Act.

The public is encouraged to submit comments regarding the 48 waterbody pollutant TMDL additions by Jan. 7, 2022 to:

Department of Natural Resources
C/O Ashley Beranek, Water Quality
P.O. Box 7921
Madison, WI 53707

More information about water quality and impaired waters is available on the DNR’s website.