IMA applauds MPCA’s withdrawal of wild rice proposal

Posted April 26, 2018

IMA applauds MPCA’s withdrawal of wild rice proposal

The Iron Mining Association (IMA) is pleased that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has announced that it will withdraw its proposed wild rice rule from the rule making process. This is an important step in the right direction towards recognizing serious flaws with the rule and moving towards a holistic approach to sustain Minnesota’s wild rice.

The withdrawal comes after two Administrative Law Judges rejected the proposed rule after reviewing public comments from thousands of stakeholders. Many – including wastewater treatment facilities and Minnesota’s iron mines – argued the science did not support the rule, implementation of the proposal would not actually benefit the health of wild rice, and that it would needlessly cost billions of dollars to comply.

“We all think it’s important to protect wild rice, but this proposed standard was on the wrong path,” IMA President Kelsey Johnson said. “The IMA is pleased that the MPCA will discontinue the rule making process, and we look forward to working together to ensure the wild rice crop continues to flourish, while protecting the well-being of our state’s economy and communities.”

Johnson said it is now time to eliminate the state’s 10 mg/L standard.

“We are pleased that the Minnesota House of Representatives heard the appeal of communities, labor unions and businesses and passed House File 3280 to remove the outdated standard this week and are looking forward to the Minnesota Senate passing the companion bill on Monday,” she said. “That important legislation will move Minnesota away from the narrow focus of enforcing an obsolete rule and towards a more complete and effective path of funding management practices that would promote healthy wild rice.

As that legislation advances, we encourage the Dayton Administration to work with the legislature and sign that legislation into law.”