Protecting Minnesota Water Quality
WaterLegacy has focused for over a decade on protecting clean water by supporting Tribal authority under the Clean Water Act, working to hold regulators accountable, and advocating to preserve and strengthen specific water quality standards to protect wild rice, aquatic life, and human health, and to restore waters impaired by pollution.
St. Louis River, Jay Cooke State Park. Photo by Bryan Hansel, www.bryanhansel.com
Tribal Clean Water Act Authority
Since 1987, federally recognized Tribes have had the right to apply for and obtain Treatment as a State authority under the Clean Water Act. WaterLegacy’s Advocacy Director and Counsel, in consultation with tribal staff, published a path-breaking article on tribal authority to veto or condition federal permits that affect water quality. WaterLegacy has supported tribal work to strengthen protection of Reservation waters.
Controlling Toxic Pollutants
WaterLegacy has worked to preserve and strengthen water quality standards that protect aquatic life and human health. WaterLegacy prevented the weakening of Minnesota standards for manganese, a pollutant in drinking water that causes harm to the brain, particularly in infants, children, and the elderly. We’ve worked to require mercury limits in permitting to protect human health. WaterLegacy has also worked with Minnesota and national scientists to develop and share research that supports the need to protect aquatic life from specific conductance pollution, a combination of salts and ions released in the mining process.