Downstream from mines, MPCA enforces limit on sulfate
May 5, 2024:  It seems to be a new day at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, where regulators are now enforcing the state's water quality standards more stringently. The agency has denied US Steel's application for a more lenient site-specific standard for Hay Lake, sever...
TEDx audience learns how to solve the sulfate problem
April 17, 2024:  On the TEDxSilver Lake stage in Virginia, Minnesota in February, Jeff Hanson spoke to the event’s theme, Bridging the Divide.  "Sulfate is a big deal because it's become a divisive issue in Minnesota," said Hanson, an issue that appears to set environmental con...
A floating idea gains traction
March 1, 2024: How do Clearwater Biologic's sulfate-reducing bioreactors actually work? In the Mesabi Tribune, reporter Lee Bloomquist explains the process in simple terms (Feb. 28, 2024). His interview with Jeff Hanson and Bill Newman also shows the broader potential of the pr...

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.

This graph shows actual test results on water from the Saint James Mine Pit Lake. It covers October 2023 to March 2024. The influent Sulfate concentration is about 340 mg/L. The final Sulfate levels are consistently below 3 mg/L.






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