Facing up to the wild rice sulfate problem
December 31, 2021: For a problem to be solved, it must first be named. Given that fact, 2021 marked progress for Minnesota's wild rice waters, many of which are tainted by sulfates. After a nudge from the federal EPA last March, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency started in...
Setback for possible copper-nickel mining on the Iron Range
October 21, 2021:  In addition to iron and taconite, Northern Minnesota has deposits of copper, nickel, and other minerals in high demand. One such deposit is in the watershed bordering on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. At t...
U.S. Steel’s legal losses may prompt a sulfate cleanup
June 30, 2021:  U.S. Steel is running out of legal options to avoid regulation of the sulfate pollution discharged at its Minntac facility in Mountain Iron, Minnesota.  U.S. Steel's latest legal loss may mark the end of its attempt to block the state's Pollution Control Agency...

For decades, rising sulfate levels in the nation’s waters have been a problem without an affordable solution. Due largely to industrial outputs and atmospheric trends, sulfate pollution has drawn increasing concern from environmental regulators and often stymied industrial cleanup efforts.

But a solution is now at hand: Clearwater BioLogic has developed an efficient, cost-effective sulfate remediation system that offers the first true alternative to reverse osmosis systems. For industries such as mining that have found RO too expensive, Clearwater BioLogic offers a breakthrough tool that reduces sulfate to targeted levels, complying with water quality regulations and bringing win-win solutions to multiple stakeholders. This three-step process can achieve any such target—even if the goal is zero– by reducing the sulfate biologically, converting it to sulfur, and removing it.

The process has been developed and tested in a demanding setting: northern Minnesota, where taconite mines have contributed to high sulfate levels, and where nearby native wild rice beds are highly sulfate-sensitive. With these challenges on both sides of the equation, the sulfate solution developed here is one that can be applied confidently in any setting.

This brief video frames the issue in northern Minnesota.

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Can science settle the dispute over wild rice? Babbitt native says yes, by imitating nature

MPR NEWS - by Elizabeth Dunbar - St. Paul - May 15, 2018

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