Deal Reached Over Minnesota Wild Rice Sulfate Standards

MN Lawmakers Reach Deal Over Wild Rice Sulfate Standards

Lawmakers have reached a compromise with Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration over enforcing state standards for protecting wild rice.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the deal will temporarily prevent regulators from forcing mining companies to invest in new treatment technologies to protect wild rice from sulfate discharges.

Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, says the compromise will allow water permits for iron mines including U.S. Steel’s Minntac operation to go forward without complying with current sulfate limits until new rules are ready from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The MPCA would not force companies or wastewater treatment facilities to spend money to reduce sulfate discharges into surface waters in the meantime.

Once the rules are in place, the compromise would allow the MPCA to reopen those water permits and enforce its new standards.

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