A Ramsey County Court judge upheld Minnesota’s restrictions on sulfate pollution in waters that host wild rice plants, denying a Minnesota Chamber of Commerce challenge that the rules were vague and arbitrarily applied.
Minnesota Public Radio has the story HERE.
Minnesota restricts emission to 10 milligrams of sulfates per liter of water. Sulfate emissions, which can come from a variety of waste-water sources, are an environmental concern for the planned copper-nickel mining projects in Northeastern Minnesota. Some existing iron mining and waste-water treatment facilities also have trouble meeting the standard.
Environmental organizations and Ojibwe tribal agencies have argued that current standards should be strictly enforced. High sulfate levels have been shown to damage plants and are suspected of damaging wild rice seeds.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, which is tasked with enforcing the standards, was pleased with the ruling.