Copper Mining Runs Afoul of Wild Rice
Source: Bloomberg, Steve Karnowski (4/17/11)
"Minnesota lawmakers and business interests are working to loosen water quality standards to encourage copper mining."
Lawmakers and business interests are working to loosen water quality standards to make it easier to start copper mining in northeastern Minnesota. The fight is being closely watched by the Fond du Lac Band of Chippewa. They fear pollution could wipe out important stands of wild rice.
Nancy Schuldt, water projects coordinator for the band, says wild rice is central to Ojibwe cultural identity.
At issue is whether Minnesota's limits on discharges of sulfates are outmoded and what levels are safe for wild rice. Mining supporters point out that the state's rules are based on research done in the 1940s.