Iron Range Mining Supporters Sound Off Against MPCA

VIRGINIA, Minn. – Lawmakers and supporters of mining gathered in Virginia Tuesday night to push back against new sulfate and wild rice standards proposed by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The agency says the proposed enforcement would change Minnesota’s standards for sulfate discharges into the water where wild rice grows.

But mining supporters say the standard is based off of poor science and would cost mining companies hundreds of millions of dollars to implement, which they believe could eventually close mines on the Iron Range.

“We’re here to say this is unnecessary. It’s not proven. The rule has been in place since 1973, it’s never been enforced and wild rice is growing. In fact, the DNR just stated this year that we have a bumper crop of wild rice,” said Sen. David Tomassoni, DFL from Chisholm.

The agency has not set a deadline for deciding on the new rules. Another public hearing is happening Thursday evening in Cloquet.

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