Native Nations take EPA to court over new and complicated water quality standards

The Grand Portage and Fond du Lac bands of Lake Superior Chippewa are suing the U.S. Environmental Agency (EPA) in the Minnesota Court of Appeals, trying to overturn EPA’s approval of Minnesota’s new water quality standards.

The Bands say the new system “is likely to result in increased pollution in downstream waters that flow around and through the Bands’ reservations, and waters that are important to the Bands’ treaty-reserved rights to hunt, fish, and gather throughout their ceded territories,” the complaint said.

The Bands are particularly concerned about water pollution from mining.

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Bill Gutting Wild Rice Water Quality Standards on Dayton’s Desk: Veto Needed

Quoting from the Organic Consumers Federation email I just received:

Wild rice is just about as Minnesotan as hotdish. The state grain is also a critical food resource for Native American tribes and an important indicator of water quality.

Now, this important Minnesota food resource is under attack at the state capitol.

Gov. Dayton has just three days to stop a dangerous bill that would eliminate the existing sulfate standard that protects wild rice waters.

URGENT! Call (651-201-3400 ) and email Gov. Dayton today! Tell him to veto HF 3280 and protect Minnesota’s clean water and wild rice!

Quoting from the Grand Forks Herald March 22 article: Leech Lake band objects to sulfate standard elimination. The article quotes the Leech Lake Band’s Executive Director Robert Budreau Jr.:

To repeal legislation that ensures and maintains a level of sulfate entering our waters is illegal as well as negligent,” Budreau wrote. “Before the State considers throwing out water quality regulations in order to satisfy industry or commerce, we urge the State to honor the human rights of the Ojibwe Nations and people and treat us with respect.” …

“To repeal legislation that ensures and maintains a level of sulfate entering our waters is illegal as well as negligent,” Budreau wrote. “Before the State considers throwing out water quality regulations in order to satisfy industry or commerce, we urge the State to honor the human rights of the Ojibwe Nations and people and treat us with respect.”