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MPCA’s Wild Rice/Sulfate Rules Rejected

Adam Ripple

If you follow water quality or local government issues in MN, you might be interested to know that an Administrative Law Judge has disapproved the MPCA’s proposed sulfate rules intended to protect wild rice. The rules pitted tribal and environmental groups against municipal and industrial dischargers. In the words of one of my mayors, the rules would have a “devastating economic impact,” on the small city due to unknown, but likely astronomically high treatment costs– with no certainty on the actual impacts of current limits.

The situation is the same for many communities throughout the state. It’s too early to know how the MPCA will proceed, but new proposed rules are required by 2019. MPCA is really in a no-win situation and many local governments are still wringing their hands at the likely consequences of the future rules. You can read the full 82 page, very technical opinion here.

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