IMA concerned by economic impacts of proposed wild rice standard rule

Posted August 21, 2017

IMA concerned by economic impacts of proposed wild rice standard rule

The Iron Mining Association of Minnesota (IMA) is surprised by today’s Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)’s announcement regarding proposed changes to the water quality standard regarding wild rice and sulfate.

“Our main concern is that the MPCA would draft a wild rice rule without taking into consideration all of the information, particularly from the communities, municipalities, and the industries that represent all of Northeastern Minnesota,” said IMA President Kelsey Johnson.

Early estimates show the proposed standard could have devastating economic implications for communities in Northeast Minnesota that discharge into wild rice waters – including municipal wastewater treatment facilities and the iron mines.

The State of Minnesota is well aware of these cost concerns, said Johnson, which is why during the 2017 legislative cycle, the Legislature passed a law changing the MPCA timeline to allow for the completion of an economic impact analysis which has not yet been completed.

“We feel that specific input is going to be very important in the final decision for this rule,” Johnson said.

The IMA and other interested parties are now reviewing the proposed rule before making any further comments. The comment period for the proposed changes is now open, and comments may be made online or at hearings to be held around the state between October 23 and November 2.

“Water quality is a core value for all Minnesotans,” Johnson said. “It’s important we get this right.”