News Archives

New Study: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness An Economic Boost

February 2017

February 2017

"A first of its kind economic study has concluded that overnight visitors to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness spent approximately $57 million in communities around the edge of the 1.1 million-acre wilderness in 2015. 

Those expenditures were directly responsible for generating 635 full-time equivalent jobs in the affected communities, including Ely, Grand Marais, and Tofte. The study found that a total of 817 jobs were created by the wilderness, when indirect and induced effects are included in the calculation."

READ the full article in The Timberjay

Join WaterLegacy at "The Ethics of Mining: Addressing Twin Metals & PolyMet"

February 2017

February 2017

Join WaterLegacy at "The Ethics of Mining: Addressing Twin Metals and PolyMet” Monday, February 27. Listen to some presentations on the threats posed by the PolyMet and Twin Metals mining projects, then stop by our table to take action to preserve the wild rice sulfate standard and request a health impact assessment for sulfide mining. 

The event starts at 6:00pm in the University of Minnesota Duluth Griggs Center (KSC 201).

WaterLegacy Files Suit in Federal Court to Block PolyMet Land Exchange

January 2017

January 2017

On Monday, January 30, WaterLegacy filed a crucial lawsuit in federal district court to block the PolyMet land exchange, which would provide PolyMet with 6,650 acres of Minnesota’s Superior National Forest for its proposed open-pit copper nickel mine. Our evidence shows that the Forest Service undervalued the federal lands and that the proposed exchange would provide a windfall to the PolyMet Mining Company and its foreign investors at the expense of our public lands and the citizens of Minnesota.

READ a summary of WaterLegacy’s claims in our press release.

State Consultants: More Data Needed On PolyMet Financial Risk

January 2017

January 2017

It’s your money. The Timberjay explains why "The state of Minnesota should require PolyMet Mining to provide an updated financial feasibility study and cash flow analysis prior to approval of the financial assurance provisions for the company’s proposed copper-nickel mine.” 

A quick summary: Experts hired by the State at taxpayers’ expense have requested up-to-date information on PolyMet’s financial feasibility based on current metals prices to make sure PolyMet can cover mitigation, pollution treatment and reclamation costs. PolyMet says no information will be provided until a draft permit is issued (i.e. too late) and agency officials are non-committal. The DNR official quoted in the article is Barb Naramore (barb.naramore@state.mn.us). 

Read more in The Timberjay

WaterLegacy Criticizes Land Exchange Decision

January 2017

January 2017

WaterLegacy Advocacy Director, Paula Maccabee criticized the land exchange in The Timberjay as both environmentally harmful and a windfall to PolyMet at the expense of the public .

“The Forest Service has basically knuckled under to PolyMet’s threat of litigation, allowing them to proceed with a project that is not the biologically preferred alternative,"...Maccabee also took issue with the average value of the federal land in question, which the Forest Service appraised based on its value as timber land, or about $550 an acre. She said the undervaluing of federal lands slated for development is a national scandal, one that has drawn criticism from the General Accounting Office. 

New Forest Service Decision Approving the PolyMet Land Exchange Already Under Legal Challenge.

January 2017

January 2017

The Center for Biological Diversity and Earthworks have given notice that they are filing a lawsuit to protect endangered wolves and lynx and to stop the PolyMet - U.S. Forest Service Land Exchange.

“A century of iron ore mining has already fragmented habitat for wolves and lynx in this region, so these imperiled species can’t tolerate a new wave of open-pit copper mining. The Forest Service is trying to wash its hands of this terrible project through a land exchange with PolyMet, but the impacts on wolves and lynx are just too severe to allow this to proceed.” - Marc Fink, Center for Biological Diversity Attorney

Read More: The Center for Biological Diversity's Press Release and coverage in the Duluth News Tribune.  

 

PolyMet Project Health Effects Haven't Been Adequately Addressed, Says Minnesota Physicians

December 2016
December 2016
 
"We do not believe that the PolyMet project FEIS adequately addressed the health impacts of the project,” Northeastern Minnesota family doctor Kris Wegerson said in her testimony to the Environmental Quality Board in favor of requiring health impact assessments for sulfide mine projects in Minnesota.
 
View a clip of Dr. Wegerson’s testimony supporting the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians’ petition for health assessment of sulfide mining.
 
 

MInnesota Doctors Detail Risks Associated with Sulfide Mining

November 2016

November 2017

Leading Duluth doctors who petitioned for Minnesota rules requiring health impact assessment of sulfide mining published an article in this month’s journal of the Minnesota Medical Association. It reads,

"Sulfide mining has significant potential for the release of toxic chemicals into the environment. These include a number of chemicals identified by the World Health Organization as being of major public health concern: arsenic, asbestos, cadmium, lead and mercury.

Give to the Max Day Coming Thursday, November 17th

November 2016
Give to the Max Day is coming up soon on November 17th! We need your support now more than ever before -- PolyMet has already applied for major state and federal permits, and is in the final stages of negotiating a land exchange for a Minnesota sulfide mine that would have disastrous environmental and health consequences.
 
You can help us protect Minnesota waters, human health, and environmental justice today by supporting WaterLegacy’s effective advocacy and outreach work. Between now and Give to the Max Day, your donation will be matched dollar for dollar by our generous donors.
 
 
 

Minnesota Doctors Request to Add Human Health to Environmental Reviews

October 2016

October 2016

"It's truly unprecedented for so many medical professionals to take a position like this. ... We are jointly expressing our deep concern for the health of our community," Allert told the EQB Wednesday. "What will be the impacts of sulfide mines if they work perfectly and if they don't work perfectly?" 
 
Dr. Allert is one of many Northern Minnesota doctors who testified at the recent Environmental Quality Board hearing to determine rule-making regarding health impact assessments for sulfide mining projects.

 

Read more: Duluth News Tribune