Health Risk Limits
Under the Groundwater Protection Act of 1989, MDH protects public health by developing and establishing Health Risk Limits (HRLs) for contaminants in drinking water.
Health Risk Limits have been promulgated using the public process described in the Administrative Procedures Act (Minnesota Statutes Chapter 14). MDH will continue to conduct rulemaking in the future to promulgate additional HRLs.
- 2011 MDH-Derived HRLs (HRL11)
- 2008 MDH-Derived HRLs (HRL08)
- 2008 US EPA MCL-Based HRLs (HRLMCL)
- 1993/94 MDH-Derived HRLs (HRL93 or HRL94)
2011 MDH-Derived HRLs:
In 2011, MDH promulgated 14 new HRLs, and replaced or repealed 26 outdated HRLs. The 2011 HRLs were derived based on the methodology promulgated in the 2008 rule. The 2011 values are shown as HRL11 in the Human Health-Based Water Guidance Table.
2008 MDH-Derived HRLs:
In 2008 MDH revised the methods previously used for the 1993 and 1994 HRLs. The 2008 methods are an improvement over the earlier method because they are designed to take sensitive or highly exposed populations (e.g., infants and children) into account and are specific for different durations of exposure. HRLs promulgated after 2008 are intended to protect human health for a specified length of exposure (e.g., one day, one month, a lifetime). The 2008 values based on these revised methods are shown as HRL08 in the Human Health-Based Water Guidance Table.
2008 US EPA-MCL-Based HRLs:
The US Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) has established standards for public drinking water systems. The US EPA values are called Maximum Contaminant Levels (MCLs). In 2007, before MDH had finished developing the new methods referred to above, the Minnesota Legislature required MDH to set its HRL value at the MCL if the MCL was lower than the HRL value in effect at the time. These MCL-based HRL values initially went into effect in July 2007 and were included in the 2008 promulgation process. These values will remain in effect until replaced through new rulemaking. MCL-based HRLs are shown as HRLMCL in the Human Health-Based Water Guidance Table.
1993/1994 MDH-Derived HRLs:
HRLs were first promulgated in 1993 and 1994 using earlier US EPA methods based on protecting human health following a lifetime exposure to a groundwater contaminant. The 1993 and 1994 HRL values are shown as HRL93or HRL94 in the Human-Health Based Water Guiance Table.
For additional information about the MDH rulemaking process for HRLs, see Rulemaking Process.
For a complete list of MDH water guidance values, see the Human Health-Based Water Guidance Table.