WaterLegacy is hiring ...

APPLY NOW. As Outreach Coordinator, you or someone you know could work with WaterLegacy's award-winning team to prevent sulfide mining pollution. Protect clean water in Lake Superior, the Boundary Waters widerness, and thousands of lakes and streams of northern Minnesota and beyond. Join WaterLegacy's team!

This immediate opening is a unique opportunity to serve at the cutting edge of environmental education and decision-making that will impact the region for genarations to come. Apply now!

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WaterLegacy, Native Tribes and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Criticize Failure of State Agencies to Set Limits for Minntac Tailings Pollution

After nearly three decades of pollution in violation of Minnesota water quality standards, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency finally suggested that they would prepare a pollution control permit. The pre-publication draft of the permit, released to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) staff, tribal staff and a few stakeholders, failed to require Minntac to comply with water quality standards by any specific date and failed to require seepage from the huge, 13-square-mile tailings impoundment to comply with the Clean Water Act when this pollution affects wetlands, streams and wild rice beds.

  • Read in the Star Tribune about the failure to regulate pollution at the Minntac tailings basin, the destruction of wild rice and mercury pollution in fish in the Star Tribune. "Minntac is a poster child for failure to regulate pollution," said Paula Maccabee, attorney for WaterLegacy.
  • View coverage on Northland News Center television, where WaterLegacy's Paula Maccabee explains that copper-nickel mining should not be approved when the State is still ineffective in controlling taconite mine pollution, "What are we doing thinking of allowing copper–nickel mining, which is a new, and a different, and a more toxic kind of mining? Let's first get our house in order."



WaterLegacy Supports More Effective Control of Mercury and Sulfate Pollution from Duluth Wastewater Plant

Citizens in Duluth and Cloquet are concerned that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is not requiring sufficiently rigorous control of mercury pollution from the Western Lake Superior Sanitary District wastewater plant and has taken no action to limit its sulfate discharge, which can increase methylmercury concentration in fish as well as harming wild rice. WaterLegacy filed comments with the MPCA requesting stronger regulation as the wastewater plant's pollution discharge permit comes up for renewal.

  • Read a summary of the issues from MinnPost quoting Cloquet biology teacher Len Anderson, concerned about the risks if Minnesota regulators don't control sulfate and toxic mercury discharge from the plant, "The water looks good, it produces an abundance of wildlife, but just don’t eat those fish — and we know for a fact that people do."
  • Read WaterLegacy's Comments on the proposed WLSSD pollution discharge permit.




LEADING MINNESOTA MEDICAL, HEALTH AND FOOD SAFETY GROUPS CALL FOR

POLYMET SULFIDE MINE HEALTH EFFECTS ANALYSIS

DULUTH, MN: October 20, 2014 – The Minnesota Public Health Association, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Citizens Federation Northeast, Healthy Food Action and Food and Water Watch Midwest Region have joined a groundswell of citizens and professionals asking Governor Mark Dayton and state agencies to require a health risk assessment of the threats to infants, children and adults posed by Minnesota’s controversial PolyMet sulfide mine project.

Read the news release.

Read the Health Professionals' letter.

Read a Commentary by Duluth Doctors.


WATERLEGACY REQUESTS STUDY BEFORE TACONITE MINING IN HIGH –SULFUR ROCK IMPACTS BOUNDARY WATERS WATERSHED

WaterLegacy and more than 600 citizens have asked the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to require an Environmental Impact Statement before Northshore Mining begins a new expansion into high-sulfur Type II Virginia Formation rock.

WaterLegacy also asked federal agencies to deny permits for the Northshore Mining expansion into high-sulfur rock until alternatives that contain and treat pollution are considered to protect drinking water and the Boundary Water and Lake Superior watersheds. Read more here.


Stay Informed – Wild Rice Standard Research Finds Existing Limits on Sulfate are Needed to Protect Wild Rice

The independent research performed under the supervision of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the Wild Rice Advisory Committee supports keeping the existing 10 milligrams per liter limit on sulfate in wild rice waters, if not making the standard more stringent. Studies lend no support for an MPCA interpretation that the standard should only apply “seasonally,” allowing sulfate dumping during the fall, winter and spring. Relationships between iron, sulfide formation and the phosphorus cycle that causes eutrophication and algae blooms need further study. Read more here...


ACT NOW: Join the Minnesota Nurses' Association in Asking Governor Mark Dayton to Require A Full Analysis of the Health Risks of PolyMet's Open Pit Copper-Sulfide Mine Plan

PolyMet’s mine plan has the potential to damage the developing brains of fetuses, infants and children as a result of exposure to drinking water polluted with lead and manganese and increased mercury contamination of fish. Other human health risks of the PolyMet sulfide mine include asbestos-like fibers and nickel dust causing cancer and lung disease in mine workers, and arsenic in Hoyt Lakes area drinking water increasing cancer risks.

More than 45 individual doctors and nurses, the Minnesota Nurses Association - the state's largest nurses' union - and Dr. Edward Ehlinger, Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Health, have raised concerns about the health impacts of the PolyMet project and have asked for an assessment of health impacts posed by the PolyMet project. Read more ...


Over 50,000 Comments on PolyMet Mine Plan (SDEIS) & EPA Comments Confirm Tribal and Environmental Concerns

THANK YOU!

Thanks to your hard work, conservation and environmental groups across Minnesota exceeded our goal of 50,000 comments on Polymet's Mine Plan (SDEIS). WaterLegacy supporters alone submitted more than 5,000 comments.

 Read WaterLegacy's official comments on the plan here. 

In 2010, the US Environmental Agency (EPA) gave PolyMet's previous attempt (DEIS) a failing grade. Four years later on 3/13/14, the EPA rating for the SDEIS showed many areas where the analysis was still incomplete. These include failure to model elemental mercury or characterize risks from methylmercury, failure to support the claim that 90% of all seepage will be captured, failure to quantitatively assess indirect impacts on wetlands, failure to show the least environmentally damaging practical alternative, and failure to provide information on the length of treatment or financial assurance. Read EPA's letter here.


WaterLegacy, Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Bands,
Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Succeed in Overturning Mesabi Nugget Variance

SAINT PAUL, MN, March 10, 2014 – WaterLegacy, along with the Fond du Lac and Grand Portage Bands of Lake Superior Chippewa and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, have succeeded in resolving their landmark Clean Water Act lawsuit against the EPA in federal court, WaterLegacy et al. v. United States Environmental Protection Agency, et al.

Read more ...

Read the EPA Motion to Remand ...


Cumulative Effects Assessment Needed to Protect Lake Superior Basin

With the onslaught of sulfide mining proposals in the Lake Superior Basin, 59 conservation, business, faith-based and tribal groups in Minnesota, Wisconsin & Michigan have asked the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to prepare a cumulative effects assessment of negative impacts of mining on clean air, fresh water, mercury contamination and public health across the Lake Superior Basin. Read more ...


Join Our Award Winning Work



WaterLegacy Protecting Clean Water w/Paula Maccabee
seal In May 2013, WaterLegacy was honored as an Ally for Justice by the Headwaters Foundation for Justice. We've also won awards from Philanthropedia (2011), and the Lake Superior Binational Forum (2012). Read more... seal

 

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