St. Paul, Minn. – Governor Mark Dayton today vetoed a plan approved by the Minnesota Senate and House of Representatives to eliminate a law requiring a statewide 10 parts-per-million limit for sulfate pollution in wild rice waters. The law, based on data collected in the 1940s, has not been enforced by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) since the 1970s. The MPCA itself recently withdrew its proposed wild rice regulation from the rule-making process and turned to the Legislature for guidance on how to move forward. In response to the governor’s veto, Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) issued the following statement.
“I respect Governor Dayton’s authority to veto legislation – that’s why this week on the Senate floor I urged my colleagues to pause and negotiate with Governor Dayton so we can get a bill signed into law this year. Doing nothing is not an acceptable outcome of this years-long process. Thankfully, there is still time before our May 21 deadline to find common ground and pass a law that respects concerns expressed by a variety of stakeholders, including local governments, Native American tribes, industry, and Minnesota ratepayers.”
Sen. Simonson added that he remains fully committed to working with all stakeholders to establish a science-based enforceable standard in Minnesota.