Public Comment on Recommendations by the International Red River Board on proposed nutrient concentration objectives and nutrient load targets for the Red River at the boundary between the United States and Canada
The International Joint Commission (IJC) has announced that it is inviting public comment on recommendations made by the International Red River Board (IRRB) in a report describing proposed nutrient concentration objectives and nutrient load targets for the Red River at the boundary between the United States and Canada. Comments will be accepted at a public hearing to be held on January 16, 2020 in Fargo, North Dakota and by mail, email and on-line until February 28, 2020.
The IRRB’s full report can be found on the IJC website at the following link: https://ijc.org/en/rrb/proposed-nutrient-concentration-objectives-and-loading-targets-red-river-uscanada-boundary. For more background documents please scroll to the end of this page.
Public Hearing on IRRB’s Report on Proposed Nutrient Water Quality Objectives
Date: January 16, 2020
Time: 7-9 p.m. (CST)
Location: Delta Marriott Fargo
1635 42nd St SW
Fargo, ND. 58103
The Commission reports on water quality of the Red River as it crosses the boundary pursuant to a reference under Article IX of the Boundary Waters Treaty between the United States and Canada. Commission recommendations to the two federal governments under Article IX References of the Boundary Waters Treaty are not binding and not to be considered decisions of the two federal governments.
The International Red River Board was established by the Commission in part to assist in reporting on the water quality of the Red River as it crosses the boundary and to recommend amendments or additions to the water quality objectives approved by the U.S. and Canadian governments in 1968 when considered warranted by the Commission.
In the 2000s the IRRB identified nutrients as an issue of concern. The Board established a Water Quality Committee to develop recommendations for potential nutrient load allocations and/or targets. At the IRRB’s September 2019 meeting the Board agreed to recommend the following nutrient concentration objectives and nutrient load targets for the Red River at the boundary between the U.S. and Canada:
Nutrient concentration objective
- Total Phosphorus 0.15 mg/L
- Total Nitrogen 1.15 mg/L
- Seasonal Average (April 1-October 30)
Nutrient load target
- Total Phosphorus 1,400 tonnes/year
- Total Nitrogen 9,525 tonnes/year
- Five year running average
Commissioners will be present to hear comments at the above referenced public hearing in Fargo, North Dakota on January 16, 2020 from 7-9 p.m. A public comment period on the IRRB’s report will also be open through February 28, 2020. Public input is essential to the Commission’s consideration of a recommendation to the Governments of the United States and Canada.
- A Proposed Approach to Developing a Basin-Wide Nutrient Management Strategy for the International Red River Watershed (September 2011)
- RESPEC Report (March 2013)
- RESPEC Report (June 2016)
- IRRB letter to IJC introducing their report and recommendations for nutrients (December 2019)
- IJC Presentation at Public Hearing in Fargo, ND (January 16, 2020)
The International Joint Commission was established under the Boundary Waters Treaty of 1909 to help the United States and Canada prevent and resolve disputes over the use of the waters the two countries share. Its responsibilities include investigating and reporting on issues of concern when asked by the governments of the two countries.
Public Comments Received
United States Environmental Protection Agency - Region 8
Minnesota Cities of Breckenridge, Moorhead, Roseau, Thief River Falls and Warroad
- October 16, 2019
- December 9, 2019
- January 16, 2020 - Presentation
- January 16, 2020 - Handout
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency