Defending Clean Water

WaterLegacy advocates to protect the environment and the people who live, recreate, or own property in areas that would be harmed by proposed sulfide mining. WaterLegacy works to empower citizens through participation in government decisions. WaterLegacy also shares the results of its research on mining and water protection.

WaterLegacy Campaigns to Defend Clean Water

PolyMet NorthMet proposed Copper-Nickel Sulfide Mine

WaterLegacy is dedicated to ensuring that the PolyMet NorthMet sulfide mine, the first copper-nickel mine proposed in Minnesota, receives appropriate scrutiny from state and federal agencies to protect clean water, public lands, fish, natural stands of wild rice, public health, environmental justice and treaty rights.

READ about WaterLegacy’s campaign to protect Minnesota waters and communities from PolyMet sulfide mine pollution and destruction 

LEARN about PolyMet health effect risks and the advocacy by WaterLegacy, medical and health professionals to ensure that the PolyMet project does not adversely effect human health

Sulfate Pollution – Protecting Wild Rice

WaterLegacy is committed to ensuring that the wild rice sulfate standard is applied to protect wild rice, and prevent increased toxic mercury contamination of fish.

READ about WaterLegacy’s campaign to limit sulfate pollution and defend wild rice in the face of litigation, rulemaking and legislative efforts to weaken, repeal or invalidate the wild rice sulfate standard

READ the January 2018 Administrative Law Judge findings that Minnesota’s wild rice sulfate standard was needed to protect wild rice and comply with the Clean Water Act

READ about WaterLegacy’s defense of Minnesota’s wild rice sulfate standard in the face of a lawsuit by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the mining industry

Environmental Health and Justice

WaterLegacy is dedicated to protecting human health from industrial water pollution and to supporting and enhancing tribal capacity to protect water quality.

READ about WaterLegacy’s work to protect human health and tribal rights

Defending Clean Water in Minnesota
Minnesota DNR map of existing iron/taconite mining and proposed copper-nickel mine projects

WaterLegacy is committed to preserving and enforcing Minnesota rules protecting the State’s clean waters and the communities that rely on them from pollution. Some Minnesota’s rules must also be updated to become more protective consistent with modern scientific research, and waters that are already impaired due to pollution must be listed, analyzed and cleaned up.

Minnesota must pay particular attention to the pollution released from existing mining facilities and the threat of future pollution from proposed copper-nickel mining and additional prospecting across northeastern Minnesota from west of Duluth to the Canadian border.

READ about WaterLegacy’s Petition to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency due to Minnesota’s failure to control mining pollution under the Clean Water Act

READ about WaterLegacy’s efforts to control existing mining pollution by denying variances and requiring stronger permits of existing mining facilities

READ about WaterLegacy’s efforts to make sure that Minnesota lists, studies and cleans up “impaired waters”

READ about WaterLegacy’s efforts to require environmental review to protect water quality and private property from copper-nickel mine processing.