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Published December 17, 2012, 03:48 PM

Dismissal affirmed of challenge to wild rice rule

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's dismissal of a Chamber of Commerce lawsuit that challenged the state's water quality standards for protecting wild rice stands.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court's dismissal of a Chamber of Commerce lawsuit that challenged the state's water quality standards for protecting wild rice stands.

A three-judge panel ruled Monday that the Chamber's lawsuit was premature because the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has not taken any steps to enforce the wild rice standard against the iron mining companies the business group represents.

The 1973 standard — based on research conducted in the 1940s — limits discharges of sulfates into wild rice waters to 10 milligrams per liter.

The Court of Appeals also says the lawsuit is moot because the Legislature last year commissioned a major study to determine whether the standard needs to be updated. The MPCA expects to complete the study late next year.

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