The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will host three open-house meetings on proposed changes in how the state protects wild rice from sulfate pollution.

The meetings next month are aimed at providing people with more information on how the PCA is changing the state sulfate standard for wild rice. A final state regulation, called a rule, is set to be released in late 2017 along with a comprehensive list of wild rice lakes and rivers.

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The meetings include:

Jan 17: Dakota Lodge, West St. Paul, 6 to 8 p.m.

Jan 25: Kirby Student Center, University of Minnesota Duluth, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m

Jan. 31: Northeast Service Cooperative Office, 5525 Emerald Dr., Mountain Iron, 6 to 8 p.m.

Scientists say high levels of sulfate in water damages wild rice by increasing sulfides and restricting plant growth. PCA officials - under pressure from mining companies, state lawmakers and environmental and tribal groups - are working to find out what levels of sulfate can be allowed and still protect wild rice beds.