Protect Minnesota’s life-giving waters

Protecting Minnesota’s waters and communities that rely on them, particularly from the proposed PolyMet/Glencore sulfide mine and attempted water quality standard rollbacks.

What’s at Stake?

Recent News & Actions

NEWS: Environmental Organizations Catalog Walz Administration’s Repeated Failures to Stop Polluters

An informal group of environmental organizations has cataloged a pattern of unwillingness by the Walz Administration to enforce environmental laws. The People Not Polluters website includes twelve examples of agency failures from all around the state including state responses to nitrate pollution from agriculture in southern Minnesota, destruction caused by the Line 3 pipeline in northern Minnesota and air pollution from Smith Foundry in Minneapolis.

Join the call to ask State Legislators to hold oversight hearings and protect people, not polluters.

Protect Minnesota! Require a Tamarack Region Study before any Talon Metals/ Rio Tinto Sulfide Ore Mining

LEARN WHY SCIENTISTS who worked on the 1970s Copper-Nickel Study are now calling for a NEW Tamarack Region Sulfide Ore Study. A Regional Study, rather than just site-specific environmental review is needed to protect the Tamarack area, the downstream St. Croix and Mississippi River watersheds, and the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities Area from pollution and environmental effects resulting from Talon Metals/Rio Tinto “district-scale” sulfide ore mining.

The ”present deposit” proposed by Talon for environmental review is only one-tenth of 1% of the total mining area.

SIGN TODAY: Petition for Full Disclosure in Talon Metals Environmental Review

Ask Governor Tim Walz and DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen to require that the Environmental Impact Statement evaluate the full and cumulative impacts of mining the entire “district scale” Tamarack Mineral Intrusion.


Minnesota Lawyer Honors WaterLegacy Counsel Paula Maccabee Among 2023 Attorneys of the Year

Minnesota Lawyer has selected WaterLegacy Counsel Paula Maccabee and others on the team of lawyers who reversed the water pollution permit issued for the PolyMet copper-nickel mine among its 2023 “Attorneys of the Year” in the category of pro bono legal services. The award recognizes Maccabee’s work on behalf of environmental non-profit WaterLegacy and the work of lawyers for other environmental groups who collaborated to secure this precedent-setting victory at the Minnesota Supreme Court to protect clean water and regulatory accountability.

Recent News: Administrative Judge recommends denial of PolyMet Permit to Mine

Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) James LaFave recommended that the PolyMet copper-nickel sulfide ore permit to mine application to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) should be denied. The ALJ found that the bentonite amendment PolyMet proposed to control reactive tailings waste from the mine is not a “practicable and workable” reclamation technique that would satisfy Minnesota’s Reactive Mine Waste Rule.

Recent News: The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled today that the MPCA PolyMet water pollution permit decision was “arbitrary and capricious” due to irregular procedures.

This is a huge victory for clean water and regulatory accountability.

For almost five years, WaterLegacy has fought for reversal of the PolyMet water pollution permit due to the MPCA’s irregular procedures that hid the U.S. EPA’s comments that the draft PolyMet permit would violate the Clean Water Act. Today, the Minnesota Supreme Court agreed and set a rigorous standard to protect “agency oversight, public accountability, and public access.”

“I was 95% sure PolyMet would happen. Well, you and your partners have forced a recalculation of those odds. Of course, the battle is not over, but the recent legal victories are huge, and I couldn’t imagine them a decade ago. I’m delighted and heartened that our donations are so effectively deployed. Thank you!” – Peter Leschak

“WaterLegacy has been in this fight right from the beginning. It’s been strong, smart and has solidified the resistance to copper mining. That’s why I make a monthly contribution.” – Barton Sutter
“Volunteering with WaterLegacy has been a great opportunity to learn about the threat posed by sulfide mining, as well as better development alternatives for our water-rich state. And talking to the public about these issues feels a lot better than sitting at home wringing my hands!” – Hannah Baxter

Sign up to stay connected with WaterLegacy!

Sign up to stay informed of news, events, and ways to make your voice heard.

Join our Award Winning Work!