ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is holding a two-day meeting to review research on the effects of sulfates on wild rice.
The St. Paul meeting Wednesday and Thursday is meant to provide scientific peer review for studies the MPCA commissioned as it prepares to decide whether the state’s sulfate standard for waters that produce wild rice should stay the same or be changed.
It’s a politically sensitive issue. Mining supporters say the current standard of 10 milligrams per liter is obsolete. But American Indians fear any weakening could imperil a food source they consider sacred and central to their culture. After two years of study, the MPCA decided in March that more analysis was necessary.
Paula Maccabee, an attorney for WaterLegacy, says the studies support keeping the existing standard year-round.
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