Public participation and involvement are important in the successful design, review, and implementation of a TMDL study. For this reason, the UCL TMDL project worked closely with a broad array of county, state and citizen groups and organizations.
To address the broad interests involved in the project, the technical advisory team was created and was composed of various representatives of stakeholders groups to help ensure that all groups would remain up to date and able to raise concerns and/or opinions as necessary.
The Technical group included state, and local government employees, research groups and projects, and joint powers boards. Agencies on the mailing and contact lists included SWCD, MPCA, CRWP, BWSR, MSU, DNR, County Employees, and LVLA members.
Stakeholder and Advisory Meetings
· Organized & hosted public/stakeholder open house meeting on April 22nd, 2009. This meeting was held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, which is in close proximity to Lake Volney. The overall objectives for the TMDL study were discussed at this time. A large number of stakeholders and concerned citizens voiced their opinion in regards to different aspects of the study. All of these opinions were documented and implemented into the overall project design.
· Stakeholder Meeting November 12th 2009: The WRC at MSU, Mankato in conjunction with the MPCA, and CRWP provided a PowerPoint presentation highlighting progress made to date. A majority of the presentation focused on water quality data collected during the 2009 season as well as results from the aquatic plant survey conducted in 2009. This information was presented by Katie Brosch Rassmussen and Joe Pallardy of the WRC at MSU, Mankato. Shaina Keseley of the MPCA provided additional data regarding the overall TMDL process. All questions and input from stakeholders were addressed accordingly at this time.
· Technical Committee Meeting June 17th 2010: The WRC at MSU, Mankato in coordination with the MPCA, Le Sueur County, and the CRWP held a technical meeting. A large amount of information was discussed at this time, including many historical and future implementation strategies. People from the previously mentioned groups were in attendance.
· Implementation Meeting April 20th, 2011: Joe Pallardy of the WRC at MSU, Mankato met with Hugh Valiant of the MNDNR and three of the property owners that own land
that directly borders the wetland complex in the Lake Volney watershed to discuss potential wetland restoration options.
· Lake Association/Stakeholder Meeting May 21st, 2011: Shaina Keseley from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Joe Pallardy of the WRC at MSU, Mankato presented a draft of the Lake Volney TMDL to the LVLA. Aaron Willis of the CRWP provided technical support and helped to arrange the meeting location. Members of the LVLA were given the chance to ask questions about the TMDL. The members of the LVLA were supportive of findings from the TMDL study.
Websites, Mailings, and Citations in Newsletters
· The CRWP website maintained updates on the progress of the TMDL study on their websites www.cwrp.net
· In May 2010, CRWP sent out a newsletter to Lake Volney property owners with information highlighting progress made on the TMDL study to date.
· The CRWP sent out a mailing to all stakeholders within the Lake Volney watershed informing stakeholders of the November 12th, 2009 meeting.
· The CRWP sent out a mailing to all stakeholders within the Lake Volney watershed informing stakeholders of the April 22nd, 2009 meeting.
· A press release was sent out to local newspapers informing area residents of the April 22nd, 2009 and November 12th, 2009 meeting.
This TMDL study was open for public comment from December 9, 2013 to January 9, 2014 and then again for an extended public comment period from February 17 to March 3, 2014. Four public comment letters were received and responded to.