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MPCA Releases Wild Rice Sulfate Studies

Flickr, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency plans to make preliminary recommendations by the end of February on whether state standards to protect wild rice from sulfates should be changed.

The agency has just released a stack of reports and data from a major study on the wild rice standards, conducted by scientists at the University of Minnesota in Duluth and the Twin Cities. Shannon Lotthammer of the MPCA says the agency needs to do more work before it can conclude whether the sulfate standards need to be changed.

Minnesota limits sulfate discharges into wild rice waters to 10 milligrams per liter. It’s based on research from the 1940s.

Tom Howes, natural resources manager of the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa, says he’s glad the issue is being studied so intensely.

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