MPCA to List Impaired Wild Rice Waters

Created: 11/29/2012 11:46 AM By: Leslie Dyste

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has agreed to add lakes and rivers that can't sustain wild rice beds because of pollution to its list of impaired waters.

Federal law requires states to clean up polluted waters. But Minnesota Public Radio reports the MPCA didn't agree to include impaired wild rice waters until the environmental group WaterLegacy spoke up. Researchers suspect sulfate from mining harms wild rice beds.

Water Legacy attorney Paula Maccabee the list is needed to solve the problem, water body by water body.

The MPCA is supervising research on whether the state's sulfate standard should be revised. MPCA Citizens Board members got an update this week.

The Chamber of Commerce says there's no point in designating waters under the existing standard when it might be revised soon.

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