Letter to Governor Dayton: The Wild Rice Conference Committee Report is no Compromise – Please Veto

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May 21, 2018                                                                                               

Dear Governor Dayton:

We, the undersigned organizations and the citizens we represent, respectfully ask you to veto HF 3422 – the conference committee report on wild rice. The bill does not protect wild rice now or set-up a system that reasonably takes steps to protect wild rice in the future. In fact, enactment of this statute would take us backwards by explicitly allowing new polluters, including sulfide ore mine industries, to discharge sulfates without using technologies to mitigate them.

  • The bill prohibits protection of wild rice growing in most waters in Minnesota until they can be officially listed as a Wild Rice Water. Only 24 waters are currently named as Wild Rice Waters in rule, though the MPCA, tribes and DNR between them have identified at least 1300-1600 wild rice waters that need protection from sulfate pollution. Blocking the listing and protection of wild rice waters violates the Clean Water Act. 
  • The bill requires an exhaustive list of scientific information to be gathered and analyzed for each water body before it can be listed as a Wild Rice Water (and thus earn protection under the law.) But the bill provides $0 for this work, effectively blocking any progress in identifying and limiting sulfate pollution in additional wild rice waters.
  • The bill prohibits protection of our existing Wild Rice Waters until “cost-effective treatment technology is available.” But the bill only creates barriers to using existing and new technologies to make progress in cleaning up sulfate pollution in wild rice waters. The bill requires evaluation of new technologies for sulfate control, but provides no funding for NRRI research in promising new sulfate controls or to assist dischargers in funding treatment to reduce sulfate discharge. 
  • The bill explicitly allows new industries such as PolyMet, Twin Metals or other sulfide ore mines to add sulfate pollution to our waters without implementing any technologies that require investment to control sulfides. This is a big step backward and a violation of the Clean Water Act. Under current law, new dischargers upstream of wild rice waters would have to control their sulfates.

 For these reasons this bill is no compromise and should be opposed.

 

Please veto HF 3422. Thank you for your consideration.

 

Steve Morse                                                                           

Minnesota Environmental Partnership                                                                                               

 

Alliance for Sustainability     
Audubon Minnesota                                      
Clean Water Action – Minnesota                                          
CURE (Clean Up our River Environment)                                        
Environment Minnesota                                                         
Eureka Recycling       
Freshwater Society                                                                
Friends of Minnesota Scientific & Natural Areas                 
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness                         
Friends of the Mississippi River                                            
Honor the Earth                                 
Izaak Walton League – Minnesota Division
Land Stewardship Project
League of Women Voters Duluth
Lower Phalen Creek Project
MN Center for Environmental Advocacy
Minnesota Council of Parks and Trails
Minnesota Native Plant Society
Minnesota Ornithologists Union
Pollinator Friendly Alliance
Save Our Sky Blue Waters
Sierra Club – North Star Chapter      
St. Croix River Association
WaterLegacy
Wilderness in the City
Women’s Congress for Future Generations

18 Responses to “Letter to Governor Dayton: The Wild Rice Conference Committee Report is no Compromise – Please Veto”

  1. John Roberts

    Please protect are most vital resource for my Grandchildren

    Reply
  2. John Roberts

    Governor Dayton

    Please protect one of our most vital resources for future generations

    John Roberts

    Reply
  3. Elizabeth Dailey

    Thank you for your great work protecting our water.

    Reply
  4. Paul Perkal

    Minnesota already has enough pollution from 3M, and mining, and other sources. We don’t need new kinds of pollution in the future, especially when we all have such a great interest in cleaning things up.

    Reply
  5. Pat McNabb

    This is despicable. Native Americans must be able to grow and harvest wild rice as they wish. They were the first Americans. Governor, please veto this harmful bill immediately.

    Reply
  6. Don Rudrud

    Please veto #3422. The overwhelming number of concerned Minnesota voters who understand the way to conserve our natural water and water plants say Veto #3422. Our Native American residents of northern Minnesota want to ask you to veto #3422. It is the right thing to do.

    Reply
  7. Mary Knutson

    Thank you Governor Dayton for your willingness to step up and do the right thing. Please use your veto once again on this issue. Don’t let the mining companies ruin our beautiful nature which includes wild rice too.

    Reply
  8. catherine mueller

    Please veto! The waters of MN are in danger and once polluted, there is really no going back. This is so important, especially today when we are seeing all kinds of environmental “roll backs”.

    Reply
  9. Tom Brinkman

    The bill prohibits protection of wild rice growing in most waters in Minnesota until they can be officially listed as a Wild Rice Water. Only 24 waters are currently named as Wild Rice Waters in rule, though the MPCA, tribes and DNR between them have identified at least 1300-1600 wild rice waters that need protection from sulfate pollution. Blocking the listing and protection of wild rice waters violates the Clean Water Act.
    The bill requires an exhaustive list of scientific information to be gathered and analyzed for each water body before it can be listed as a Wild Rice Water (and thus earn protection under the law.) But the bill provides $0 for this work, effectively blocking any progress in identifying and limiting sulfate pollution in additional wild rice waters.

    Reply
  10. Mary Jo Straub

    Native American wild rice should absolutely receive as much protection as possible.
    Gov. Dayton do whatever you have to do to protect it from pollution.

    Reply
  11. Michael Kluznik

    Wild rice is an important part of Minnesota’s heritage. It is an excellent and healthy alternative to traditional white rice. I often purchase the “wood parched” wild rice that is available at the gift shop at the Minnesota History Center. Please protect this vital resource for future generations.

    Reply
  12. Michelle DUHANT

    Please veto.
    The future of the environment depends on this.
    It’s bad enough Twin Metals has all but the green light near Babbit and now this!!
    I see a slippery, muddy slope of no return if we start tweaking protections.

    Reply
  13. Joe

    Some compromise. Unacceptable. Use the power of the veto and We The People will use the power of the vote.

    Reply
  14. Ruth Katz

    Dear Governor Dayton-
    Please protect the water of Minnesota. It is a resource that we share with the rest of the country. Once it is polluted, it’s purity cannot be restored.

    Thank you for reading my comments.
    Ruth Katz

    Reply
  15. Chris Olson

    Dear Governor Dayton-
    Please protect the water of Minnesota. It is a resource that we share with the rest of the country. Once it is polluted, it’s purity cannot be restored. The future of the environment depends on this. It’s bad enough Twin Metals has all but the green light near Babbit and now this! I see a slippery, muddy slope of no return if we start tweaking protections.Thank you Governor Dayton for your willingness to step up and do the right thing. Please use your veto once again on this issue. Don’t let the mining companies ruin our beautiful nature which includes wild rice too.

    Sincerily

    Chris Olson

    Reply

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