Administrative law judge rules in opposition with MPCA's propose - KBJR 6 Your Weather Authority: News, Weather & Sports

Administrative law judge rules against MPCA's proposed sulfate standard

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An administrative law judge has ruled she disapproves of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's proposal to change the sulfate standard for wild rice waters. 

The judge says her decision is based on the agency's "failure to establish the reasonableness of the repeal, and because the repeal conflicts with the requirements."

In Thursday's ruling, the judge also disapproved of the state's proposed equation-based sulfate standard, along with the list of 1,300 wild rice waters.

The decision comes on the heels of a comment period and several public hearings on the controversial topic.

Last fall, the group "Jobs for Minnesotans" and Iron Range leaders called the proposal "ineffective and a potential death blow" to their economy. 

With Thursday's ruling Chair of Jobs for Minnesotans, Nancy Norr says they are very happy about the decision 

"We are very happy that the formula based rulemaking was rejected," said Norr.

She also says it's a clear indication that science won. 

"The science didn't support it. And the science really needs to be revisited to get this right," said Norr.

Meanwhile, The Iron Mining Association of Minnesota.. is also applauding today's decision.
A statement released Thursday it said in part:

"The IMA and our supporters are pleased that the Administrative Law Judge heard our message and understood that the MPCA's proposed rule is flawed and would result in dire consequences for the iron mining industry, and Minnesota communities."

When contacted Thursday afternoon, MPCA spokespeople said they had just received the report and would need time to evaluate the ruling before offering any public comment.

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