Who should set water pollution standards in Minnesota?

“Minnesota Pollution Control Agency officials warned Tuesday that a bipartisan push at the Capitol to ease state water pollution standards could lead the federal government to assert control of water rules,” writes MPR News political reporter Tom Scheck.

In a bid to help U.S. Steel’s MinnTac plant in Mountain Iron, some lawmakers say they believe Minnesota’s sulfate standard designed to protect wild rice is too strict. They say mining companies, power companies and wastewater treatment plans would be forced to pay hundreds of millions of dollars to meet the standards.

State Rep. Carly Melin, DFL-Hibbing, wants the MPCA to delay enforcing the standard until a scientific review is complete and the state identifies which lakes and streams grow wild rice.

“The industry and municipalities need predictability,” Melin said at a meeting of the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee. “And unfortunately when they don’t even know what’s a wild rice water, it’s really hard for them to plan their treatment facilities.”

Today’s Question: Who should set water pollution standards in Minnesota?