Minnesota’s sulfate standard to protect
Wild rice is an important part of the ecosystems of many Minnesota lakes and streams. Wild rice is also a cultural resource to many Minnesotans, and is an important economic resource to those who harvest and market it.
Past studies have shown that wild rice is primarily found in waters with relatively low sulfate concentrations. In Minnesota, most sulfate in surface water comes naturally from soils and groundwater. But sulfate can also be in discharges from permitted facilities such as mining operations, wastewater treatment plants, and other industrial facilities.
In 1973, Minnesota adopted a water quality standard to protect wild rice — both natural stands and commercial rice fields. This 10 mg/liter sulfate upper limit protects “water used for production of wild rice during periods when the rice may be susceptible to damage by high sulfate levels.” These wild rice stands can be existing stands in a water body, or they can be previously documented stands present within a water body dating back to November 28, 1975.
Wild rice sulfate preliminary analysis
Several years in the making, this analysis begins to lay the scientific ground for a discussion of a wild rice sulfate standard. Scientific peer review, public policy discussion and deliberation will follow in the coming months.Wild Rice Sulfate Standard Study Preliminary Analysis
Study and process of revising the standard
Research about sulfate standard, advisory committee, and rulemaking
Assessment of waters used for wild rice production
Details about data collection, what waters are surveyed, and the evaluation methods
Maps and infographics
Visuals supporting current study and discussions
- General questions: Patricia Engelking, 651-757-2340, email@example.com
- Rulemaking — water used for production of wild rice: Mark Tomasek, 651-757-2788, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wild Rice Standards Study research: Edward Swain, 651-757-2772, email@example.com
- Wild Rice Standards Study Advisory Committee: Patricia Engelking, 651-757-2340, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Current implementation of wild rice sulfate standard: Katrina Kessler, 651-757-2490, email@example.com