Industry and Rural Minnesotan Communities Allowed to Defend State Water Standards

A federal judge in Minnesota ruled that steel producers, an industry group, and coalitions of Minnesotan cities and municipalities can join an ongoing lawsuit over Minnesota’s water quality standards. The suit, brought by two Native American tribes, alleges that the revised standards will increase pollution in downstream waters around Plaintiffs’ Reservations “thereby adversely affecting wild rice and altering or eliminating fish, aquatic life, and wildlife relied on by [Plaintiffs] for ‘subsistence, economic, and spiritual purposes.’” The judge found that the steel industry would face “costly compliance costs and permit delays” if the revised standards were repealed, thus enabling the groups to intervene directly in the suit.