ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) – Research begins this spring into the effects of sulfates in water on Minnesota’s wild rice stands.

The research will be conducted by a team from the University of Minnesota. The study plans include field surveys, laboratory students and outdoor experiments.

A preliminary field survey of 50 sites was conducted last August and September in preparation for the study, and the research will continue into fall 2013. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency said Monday it will then evaluate the new information, along with existing data and scientific literature, to determine whether any changes are needed.

Mining and other business interests say the standards should be relaxed, noting they’re based on research from the 1940s. But tribal biologists blame sulfates for the decline of wild rice stands important to Minnesota’s Ojibwe bands.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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