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Articles written by Stephanie Hemphill

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  • EPA enters water quality standards discussion

    Stephanie Hemphill|Apr 16, 2021

    The Biden administration’s Environmental Protection Agency is emerging as a powerful ally in the years-long fight to get Minnesota to protect wild rice beds from sulfate pollution. Tribal and environmental groups have repeatedly pushed the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to address the issue. Now, the EPA has informed the state agency that it is partially disapproving Minnesota’s most recent Clean Water Act Impaired Waters List because the list doesn’t include rivers or lakes loaded with sulfate, which kills off wild rice beds over time....

  • MPCA has puzzling plan to change water rules

    Stephanie Hemphill|Mar 5, 2021

    The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency wants to change the rules on water quality. The agency has been working on these rules for a few years and hopes to put them into effect this summer. The plan looks like a sort of Rubik’s cube, eliminating subcategories, moving limits from one category to another, and doing away with many numeric pollution limits in favor of a narrative description requiring a “translator.” Structured like a flowchart, the translator asks a series of questions designed to determine whether a particular effluent is likel...