News Archives

Geologist's View: DNR Should Seek Truth Through Evidentiary Hearings

October 2016

Septermber 2016

JD Lehr, geologist and North Shore resident, explained the need for evidence-based hearings as PolyMet seeks permits for it's proposed sulfide mine in Minnesota.  

"Claims made in PolyMet's EIS sometimes directly contradict the known science.... There are many technical issues raised by scientists who reviewed the EIS that are not properly resolved."


Read more: Duluth News Tribune



The Circle Talks With WaterLegacy About EPA Investigation

August 2016

Read The Circle’s recent article on the EPA’s ongoing investigation into Minnesota’s failure to prevent mining pollution, quoting Paula Maccabee, WaterLegacy Advocacy Director, who filed a petition with the EPA to challenge Minnesota’s regulatory authority. ‘“The last thing we should do in Minnesota is experiment with sulfide mining,” she concluded, in view of state regulators’ failure to control “the much less toxic pollution from taconite mining.”’

Ignoring Evidence, MPCA Moves Forward on Altering Wild Rice Sulfate Rules

July 2016

"We already know that the existing sulfate limit is effective and reasonable. But PCA, ignoring evidence that the equation they are developing is flawed, continues down this path and away from protecting wild rice. They are developing this very complex and flawed process based on pressure from the mining industry and Iron Range lawmakers when their primary concern should be protecting wild rice." - Paula Maccabee, WaterLegacy Advocacy Director and Counsel

You can read the full story about the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's plan in the Duluth News Tribune

#KeepItInTheGround: Video From Extreme Extraction Event Now Online

July 2016

Minnesota risking toxic pollution to the Boundary Waters, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River by a form of mining with a 100% failure rate in water-rich environments - "That's just plain nuts!"

Video from the June 2016 community discussion at Little Earth, Cafe Con Alondra: Pipelines, Sulfide Mining and the Era of Extreme Extraction, is now available to watch online. 

More video, including WaterLegacy Advocacy Director and Counsel Paula Maccabee's full comments from this Extreme Extraction event can be found on WaterLegacy's Video Page

EPA Concerned over Minnesota's Lack of Pollution Oversight

July 2016

"In two recent letters, top officials at the EPA’s regional office in Chicago appear to concur with the allegations raised one year ago in a petition by the group WaterLegacy, that Minnesota lawmakers are restricting the ability of MPCA officials to do their jobs when it comes to regulating the state’s mining industry.

The EPA is in the midst of an investigation into allegations by WaterLegacy attorney Paula Maccabee, charging that the MPCA has, for years, failed to enforce water pollution standards on the state’s taconite mining industry. Among the allegations raised by Maccabee is that the state Legislature has, in some cases, stripped the MPCA of its authority to regulate certain discharges from taconite plants."

Read the full article from the Timberjay giving an update on the EPA's investigation into Minnesota's failure to control mining pollution. 

Join us for Cafe con Alondro: Pipelines, Mining and the Era of Extreme Extraction on June 29th

June 2016

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

May 2016

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.

Read more of WaterLegacy Advocacy Director, Paula Maccabee's, response in the Timberjay. 


Nurse's View: PolyMet Sulfide Mine Threatens Downstream Health

May 2016

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'

May 2016

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?

WaterLegacy Receives 2016 Freshwater Hero Award

April 2016
On April 17, 2016,  WaterLegacy received the 2016 Freshwater Hero Award from Freshwater Future. The award was given in acknowledgement of "outstanding contributions and exceptional efforts to ensure the healthy future of our waters in the Great Lakes region".
Since 1996, Freshwater Future has helped people throughout our region protect the Great Lakes. We thank them for their invaluable support and gratefully accept this Freshwater Hero honor!