Sulfate impairments

Minnesota’s impaired waters list is an important part of the MPCA’s work to restore waters that fail to meet standards. As of 2021, the list includes waters with sulfate levels of more than 10 parts per million (ppm), which fail to meet the standard for protecting wild rice.  

In 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) disapproved part of Minnesota’s draft impaired waters list for 2020. The EPA overturned the MPCA’s decision to not list any waters that fail to meet the sulfate standard to protect wild rice. Instead, the EPA said existing and readily available data and information indicate those waters should be listed. Learn more:

The EPA added 32 bodies of water that are capable of producing wild rice to Minnesota’s 2020 Impaired Waters List due to sulfate levels above 10 ppm. For the 2022 list, the MPCA has included those waters and added three more as impaired: Goodners Lake, Lake Stella, and the Long Prairie River from Spruce Creek to Eagle Creek.

Map of Minnesota wild rice waters that do not meet the wild rice sulfate water quality standard