News Archives

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

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.