The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, as the Responsible Governmental Unit for environmental review of the Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project in Big Stone, Lac qui Parle, and Swift Counties, Minnesota, has issued the attached Record of Decision regarding the Need for an Environmental Impact Statement for the project. The project's Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) notice was published in the July 11, 2016 issue of the EQB Monitor (Vol. 40, No. 28).
The DNR has concluded that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is not required because the project does not have the potential for significant environmental effects. The justification for this determination is contained in the Record of Decision. The Record of Decision also contains the Department's responses to all substantive written comments received on the Environmental Assessment Worksheet during the 30-day review and comment period.
Issuing this Record of Decision concludes the State environmental review process for this project according to the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board rules, Minnesota Rules, part 4410.1000 to 4410.1700. This project can proceed to permitting and approvals.
For additional information, or copies of the Record of Decision, please call 651-259-5072.
- Record of Decision Cover Letter
- Record of Decision (August 30, 2016)
- Record of Decision, Attachment A - Public Comments on the EAW
The proposed project
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Wildlife Section proposes to restore the aquatic and riparian ecosystems within the Marsh Lake project area, which is along the Minnesota River and within the Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area (WMA) boundary. Marsh Lake is a 5,000 acre shallow reservoir along the Minnesota River in Big Stone, Chippewa, Lac qui Parle, and Swift Counties. The project includes construction of a rock-ramp fishway, a water control/drawdown structure, a new dam access road and embankment features, restoration of the Pomme de Terre River to its historic channel, additional parking areas, and use of a borrow location for the earthen materials needed for project construction. Modifications to the existing dam structure would provide more natural variability in water levels and also provide habitat connectivity through the rock-ramp fishway.
The Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project is a cooperative project between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the Upper Minnesota River Watershed District.
Public notice of the availability of this EAW was in the July 11, 2016 EQB Monitor. A 30-day public review and comment period was open from July 11, 2015 until 4:30 p.m., August 10, 2016.
- Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project EAW Cover Letter
- Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project EAW
- Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project Attachments
- Attachment A - Project Maps
- Attachment B - Natural Heritage Information System Review and Rare Features Database Index Report
- Attachment C - Marsh Lake Draft Operation and Management Plan
- Attachment D - Journal of Wildlife Management Research Article
- Attachment E - Mussel Survey
- Attachment F - Mussel Rescue and Translocation Plan
- Attachment G - Minnesota State Historic Preservation Office Correspondence and Agreement
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project and Environmental Documents
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment, Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project, July, 2011
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment Appendices, Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project, July, 2011
- U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Supplemental Environmental Assessment, Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project, April, 2016
Written and signed comments on the EAW must be received by Wednesday, August 10, 2016 at 4:30 p.m.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Ecological and Water Resources Division, Box 32
Attn: Charlotte Cohn
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155-4025
Send to [email protected]. "Marsh Lake Ecosystem Restoration Project" must be included in the subject line. Include your name and mailing address so you can be added to the mailing list.
Submit signed comment letters by fax to 651-296-1811.
Please call 651-259-5072.
If documents are needed in an accessible format, please contact the Minnesota DNR at 651-296-6157.