Sulfate pollution: Focus shifts from the future to the present
For the past decade in Minnesota, media coverage and public debate on sulfate has often focused on the future, warning of potential sulfate pollution from copper-nickel mining, which might or might not get a green light on the Iron Range. But sulfate pollution is already a pro...
Sulfate pollution poised to affect Minnesota’s Boundary Waters
Nov. 15, 2023:  It’s a grim landmark for a watershed. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has released its 2023 draft list of impaired waters in the state, and for the first time it includes Birch Lake, the 20-mile-long reservoir on the Iron Range. Birch Lake is part of the...
Sulfate cleanup plays key role in green steel transition, says climate group
In northern Minnesota, the Northland chapter of Citizens' Climate Lobby is focusing on green iron and steel production as a regional response to a changing industry and a changing climate. The Iron Range has adapted to economic shifts in the past, and now the rapidly decarboniz...

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.


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