Principal Investigator: Tom Miller
Co-Investigator(s): Joel Peterson
Organization(s): Emmons & Olivier Resources, Inc.
Award Amount: $94,500
Start Date: 3/22/2011 | End Date: 6/29/2012
Project Manager(s): Adam Birr
The 2012 and 2017 versions of the Ag BMP handbook are available in the Minnesota Water Research Digital Library.
** Recipient of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Minnesota's 2013 ENGINEERING EXCELLENCE HONOR AWARD !
Purpose and Scope
The purpose of this project was to conduct a comprehensive inventory of agricultural Best Management Practices (ag-BMPs) that address water quality impairments in Minnesota. The final product contains:
A definition of ag-BMPs that affect water quality
- An estimate of the effectiveness of each ag-BMP
- An estimate for the cost of design, installation and maintenance
- A list of the potential barrier to adoption
- A list of knowledge gaps
The 2012 Ag-BMP Handbook provided watershed professionals (i.e. local soil and water conservation staff, project managers, engineers, consultants, etc) the information necessary to identify suitable Ag-BMPs. It was a valuable tool and helped all persons involved with Total Maximum Daily Load studies (TMDLs) make more informed decisions.
The handbook was well received and has been updated to include more BMPs, a better definition of effectiveness variability, maintenance requirements and a more detailed cost and economic consideration. The revised handbook was released in late 2017.
What is a TMDL?
Visit the EPA's TMDL webpage for general information
Visit the MPCA's TMDL webpage for information specific to Minnesota
The federal Clean Water Act requires states to adopt water quality standards to protect waters from pollution. These standards define how much of a pollutant can be in the water and still allow it to meet designated uses such as drinking water, fishing and swimming.
Water Standards are set for:
- Dissolved oxygen
- Turbidity (how clear or unclear the water is)
What is an impaired waterbody?
A waterbody is impaired if it does not meet water quality standards as set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), does not support it's desired use (i.e. drinking water, swimming, trout stream, etc), and is listed on the EPA's 303(d) list.