IMA applauds Administrative Law Judge’s wild rice sulfate decision

Posted January 11, 2018

IMA applauds Administrative Law Judge’s wild rice sulfate decision

The Iron Mining Association of Minnesota (IMA) today voiced its gratitude for Administrative Law Judge LauraSue Schlatter’s decision to disapprove the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)’s proposed wild rice water quality standard.

Judge Schlatter made the decision following a months-long comment period and weeks of hearings, during which thousands of letters and comments opposing the proposal were submitted by iron mining industry employees and supporters as well as community members concerned about scientific flaws in the MPCA’s proposal.

“The IMA and our supporters are pleased that the Administrative Law Judge heard our message and understood that the MPCA’s proposed rule is flawed and would result in dire consequences for the iron mining industry and Minnesota communities,” said IMA President Kelsey Johnson.

Many who voiced opposition to the proposal were troubled by the MPCA’s decision to publish this draft rule before completing a legislatively-mandated economic impact analysis to determine the cost of compliance for Minnesota residents, workers, and businesses.

Early estimates show compliance could cost affected municipal wastewater treatment facilities and industries billions of dollars to comply – even though there is no proof that compliance would protect wild rice.

Johnson said she is grateful to the IMA members, supporters, and partners who voiced their opposition during the comment period for this proposal.

“This truly was a coalition effort, with partnerships formed by labor, communities, businesses across the region, lawmakers, and industry,” Johnson said. “We could not have accomplished this outcome without each integral voice.”