Minnesota DNR accepting comments on final environmental impact statement for Grindstone River Dam removal project

Removing dam would improve safety and remove barriers to fish movement — and drain a small reservoir.




2 minute read

Note: The Grindstone River is a tributary of the Kettle River, which ultimately flows into the St. Croix.

Grindstone River dam (MNDNR)

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is accepting comments on adequacy of the final Environmental Impact Statement for a proposal to remove the Grindstone River Dam in Hinckley. Comments will be accepted through Monday, Oct. 9.

The Minnesota DNR proposes to remove the dam on the Grindstone River in Hinckley and restore connectivity to the river channel. This would result in the permanent removal of the 26.6-acre Grindstone Reservoir, which is a public water basin.

Removing the dam, which is in poor condition, would mitigate a safety hazard, remove a barrier to movement of fish and other wildlife in the river, and allow for natural sediment transport and greater habitat diversity. The final EIS responds to comments received on the draft EIS, evaluates the proposed project and alternatives and addresses their potential environmental effects.

At this point in the environmental review process, having already taken public comment on the draft EIS and responded to those comments in the final EIS, the Minnesota DNR is focused on the specific questions relevant to what is known as the EIS “adequacy determination.” Therefore, the most helpful comments on the final EIS will be those that directly address the following three questions:

  • whether the potentially significant issues outlined in scoping were addressed,
  • whether the Minnesota DNR responded to all substantive comments, and
  • whether the document was prepared in accordance with state environmental review rules.

Comments received on the final EIS will inform the Minnesota DNR’s decision on EIS adequacy.

A copy of the final EIS is available on the project page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/input/environmentalreview/grindstone). The final EIS is also available for public review at the Hinckley Public Library, 106 1st St. Southeast, Hinckley. A hard copy may be requested by calling 651-259-5122. The final EIS was published in the Tuesday, Sept. 26 Environmental Quality Board Monitor (eqb.state.mn.us/eqb-monitor-volume-47-number-39)

Comments must be submitted no later than 4:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 9, 2023.

  • Mailed comments should be sent to the attention of Becky Horton, EAW project manager, Ecological and Water Resources Division, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road N, St. Paul, MN 55155.
  • E-mail comments should be sent to environmentalrev.dnr@state.mn.us with “Grindstone EIS” in the subject line.

People who submit comments will receive a copy of the adequacy decision and responses to comments. Because all comments and related information are part of the public record for this environmental review, commenters’ names and email or postal addresses will also be published and publicly available as they appear in the materials they submit.


You may republish this article online or in print under our Creative Commons license. You may not edit or shorten the text, you must attribute the article to St. Croix 360 and you must include the author’s name in your republication.

If you have any questions, please email greg@stcroix360.com

Minnesota DNR accepting comments on final environmental impact statement for Grindstone River Dam removal project