The name comes from a Dakota Indian word meaning “sky-tinted water.” Water is part of our state’s very identity.
Lake Superior holds 10 percent of the world's unfrozen fresh surface water. And the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, along with the Superior National Forest, contains 20 percent of all the fresh water in the entire U.S. National Forest System.
But these resources are threatened.
You can act now to protect the Lake Superior watershed and the Boundary Waters from toxic mining pollution.
Join us to protect Minnesota’s clean water as a legacy for your family and for generations to come.
Tell the Forest Service: Deny Lease Renewals for Sulfide Mining near BWCA
Hold Minnesota Accountable - Break the Logjam over Expired Mining Pollution Permits
Join us for Cafe con Alondro: Pipelines, Mining and the Era of Extreme Extraction on June 29th
Join us on June 29th at Little Earth in Minneapolis (Cedar Park Field, 2500 Cedar Ave) for light refreshments and an intimate conversation about how to connect and strengthen ongoing struggles to protect the Great Lakes from oil pipelines and sulfide mines. We'll hear from 3 visionary women leaders: Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth, WaterLegacy's own Paula Maccabee, and Alondra Cano of the Minneapolis City Council. Extreme extraction requires extreme organizing!
Refreshments will be served from 5:00pm - 5:30pm and the program will begin shortly after. For more details and to RSVP, check out the event's Facebook page.
Mining Pollution Loophole Bill Approved
“This whole situation is an invitation that anytime an industry doesn’t like a rule, they shouldn’t comply and ask the Legislature to study a change and drag the process out for years. That’s very contrary to the law.” - Paula Maccabee, WaterLegacy
In the midst of a federal investigation of Minnesota for failing to regulate mining pollution, the state Legislature has approved a bill that would prohibit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency from enforcing sulfate standards included in a mining permit issued to US Steel in 2011.
Nurse's View: PolyMet Sulfide Mine Threatens Downstream Health
Aggie Cook, Volunteer President of the Minnesota Public Health Association, stressed the need for a health impacts assessment of the proposed PolyMet sulfide mine project in the Duluth News Tribune.
"The Minnesota Public Health Association and other leading medical and health organizations in Minnesota — including the Minnesota Nurses’ Association, the Minnesota Medical Association and the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians — have called for a detailed assessment of the dangers posed by the PolyMet project to human health before the state issues permits for the project. This assessment has not yet been done."
MPCA Puts Permitting Process for Taconite Mines 'On Pause'
In a move that WaterLegacy Advocacy Director and Counsel, Paula Maccabee, called "both outrageous and a clear violation of the Clean Water Act", the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has stopped doing ANY work to update long-expired mining permits that don’t require mines to comply with Minnesota water quality standards.
Minnesota’s failure to control mining water pollution is why WaterLegacy filed a petition under the Clean Water Act to remove the MPCA’s authority and why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched an investigation of Minnesota’s failure to control water pollution. Is MPCA kicking a hornet’s nest?
EPA Responds to WaterLegacy Petition, Investigating Minnesota's Failure to Control Mining Pollution
"This is the first time ever for this kind of an investigation in Minnesota,” - Paula Maccabee, WaterLegacy
Responding to a Summer 2015 petition from WaterLegacy, The federal Environmental Protection Agency has agreed to investigate the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's failure to enforce the Clean Water Act and control mining pollution. The EPA has authority under federal regulations to remove a state’s authority to regulate water pollution if state actions fail to comply with and enforce the law.
Read more: WaterLegacy Research and Advocacy
Real Analysis of PolyMet Sulfide Mine Project Starts March 4, 2016
Just as predicted, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources found its own PolyMet final EIS “adequate.”
In a press conference after the announcement, Governor Mark Dayton explained that detailed scrutiny of PolyMet’s environmental impacts and the question of whether Minnesotans can be protected from financial risks of pollution liability would begin NOW as part of the state’s permitting decisions. The Governor underscored that his commissioners report to him and that he did not intend to evade responsibility for decisions on the PolyMet project.