MEP and members urge President Obama and Attorney General Lynch to reconsider permits for Dakota Access Pipeline

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Minnesota Environmental Partnership and our member groups delivered the following letter to President Obama and Attorney General Lynch, expressing their support and solidarity to the Sanding Rock Sioux Tribe and requesting that they reconsider permits for the Dakota Access Pipeline and de-escalate the violence at the protest site. Read the entire letter below:

 

December 2nd, 2016

Dear President Obama and Attorney General Lynch: 

We are writing to express our solidarity with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the water protectors at Oceti Sakowin Camp. Our support stems from both our solidarity with indigenous peoples over land and water rights, and also from the perspective that this pipeline is a danger to the water and climate systems that we depend on for our health, life and livelihoods. 

We support the continuation of the Oceti Sakowin peaceful encampment at the existing site. We urge you to direct the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to retract its threat to remove all persons who remain present on federal land on December 5, 2016.

We respectfully request you to uphold your obligation and duty to de-escalate North Dakota law enforcement’s violence, to call for an end to the militarization of its response to the water protectors, and to investigate and halt the civil and human rights abuses that have occurred and continue to take place. The violence on the ground is escalating, and we need your immediate and decisive action. 

On November 20, 2016, North Dakota law enforcement used rubber bullets, tear gas, and water cannons in below freezing weather conditions against water protectors who are gathered near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s reservation in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  We are extremely disturbed by evidence indicating the use of concussion grenades, sound cannons, flash bangs, and other military weapons. This level of violence against peaceful protestors is unacceptable and inconsistent with America’s values.  As representatives of the federal government, it is your duty—both pursuant to your trust obligations to Indian tribes and your obligation to uphold all American citizens’ constitutional rights—to take action to end this unlawful and excessive use of force by North Dakota law enforcement.

The Minnesota Environmental Partnership and the organizations signing this letter urge the Obama Administration and the Attorney General to reconsider the Clean Water Act and Rivers and Harbor Act permits for the pipeline. We are a powerful coalition of conservation and environmental partners focused on protecting our water, our climate, and investing in clean energy. We know that it is essential that the entire pipeline undergo a full environmental impact review, but beyond that, we respectfully urge you to halt construction all together.

The Dakota Access Pipeline will bring oil and gas produced through hydraulic fracturing to market. This particular type of extraction is water-intensive and endangers drinking water at the wells, within communities, and throughout the watershed. The Dakota Access Pipeline will then transport that oil through Native lands, beneath the Missouri River, endangering the drinking water of millions of citizens. The oil being shipped by the Dakota Access Pipeline poses a threat to drinking water at all stages of its operation, whether in the extractive, transportation, refining, or use phases. Furthermore, once the oil is refined and in use, it is a global threat because of the contributions of oil combustion to climate change. 

Continuing to invest in pipeline and oil infrastructure will only continue our dependence on this fuel source. We know that to maintain a livable climate, we need to transition our energy and transportation systems away from oil towards other fuels. Rather than additional investment in outdated and dangerous technologies, we need to be investing in the systems of the future. These include public transportation and electrification of personal vehicles, wind and solar power, as well as other innovative technologies. 

We know that the Obama administration and the Attorney General are watching the events unfold at Standing Rock, and we also know that you can take action to de-escalate the situation and allow the encampment to continue. We urge you to make the right decision, by protecting our water and climate. We urge you to end the human rights violations happening at Standing Rock, and to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline.  

 

Sincerely,
Steve Morse, Executive Director
Minnesota Environmental Partnership

 

Alliance for Sustainability

Center for Biological Diversity

Clean Water Action of Minnesota

CURE (Clean Up the River Environment)

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest

Land Stewardship Project

Lower Phalen Creek Project

Mankato Area Environmentalists

Izaak Walton League of America

Minnesota Food Association

MN350

MPIRG

Pesticide Action Network

Save Lake Superior Association

Save Our Sky Blue Waters

Sierra Club North Star Chapter

Transit for Livable Communities       

WaterLegacy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

News Watch: December 1

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Today’s Topics: Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, Frac Sand, Mining, Oil & Pipelines, Parks & Trails, Pollution, Transportation, Waste & Recycling, Water, Wildlife & Fish, Loon Commons

Climate Change 
MPR: Explorer Will Steger hits milestone in climate awareness effort featuring MEP member group Climate Generation
MPR: War on climate science: Trump may kill NASA climate research
NPR: Environmentalists gird for battle with a Trump administration

Conservation
MinnPost: Gatlinburg’s suffering illustrates a worsening, widening wildfire pattern
MPR: Cold water danger is real, DNR warns Minnesota boaters, hunters
MPR: Minnesota firefighter helps battle Tennessee wildfires
MPR: Recovery begins as rains help put out Tennessee wildfires
NPR: Amazon deforestation rate up 29 percent from last year, study finds

Energy
Brainerd Dispatch: Trump considering Democratic Senator Heitkamp of North Dakota for Cabinet

Frac Sand
WEAU: Winona County passes ban on frack sand mining featuring MEP member group Land Stewardship Project

Mining 
Duluth News Tribune: Poll finds Northeastern Minnesota support for copper mining featuring MEP member group Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
Inforum: Environmental group wants Twin Metals lawsuit dismissed featuring MEP member group Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
Star Tribune: Environmentalists want mining company’s lawsuit dismissed featuring MEP member group Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness

Oil & Pipelines 
Financial Post: Enbridge’s Line 3 faces resistance in U.S. as Ottawa set to rule on pipelinefeaturing MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Indian Country Today Media Network: Art Addressing ‘Historical Colonial Violence’: NoDAPL Dine’ Artist Remy
Indian Country Today Media Network: DAPL: Evacuation Orders and Snowflakes Fly as Injured Water Protectors Sue Morton County
Indian Country Today Media Network: DAPL: Outrage Over ‘Paramilitary’ Force Against Water Protectors
MinnPost: Cop violence rises at pipeline protest, and more escalation may lie ahead
MinnPost: Twin Cities Native American community mobilizes to help supply Standing Rock protesters
MPR: Facing blizzard conditions and orders to leave, pipeline protest camp goes on
MPR: ND gov: We won’t block supplies to protesters
MPR: Surviving the blowout and explosions on Deepwater Horizon
MPR: U.S. consumers should feel muted impact from rising oil price
NPR: OPEC agrees to first cut in oil production since 2008
Reuters Media: Veterans to form human shield at Dakota Access pipeline protest
Star Tribune: At Standing Rock in N.D., a camp of defiance and prayer
West Central Tribune: Western Minnesota citizens show support for Standing Rock featuring MEP member group CURE (Clean Up the River Environment)

Parks & Trails
Star Tribune: Park improvement postponement hits close to home for Miller

Pollution
International Falls Journal: Board awaits state OK on sewer project

Pollinators
Mother Jones: Canada Just Took a Big Step Toward Banning a Nasty Pesticide

Transportation
Austin Daily Herald: ‘We’re not there yet’; Austin earns honorable mention as a Bicycle Friendly Community featuring MEP member group Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
Brainerd Dispatch: Brainerd City Council to act on transportation plan Monday
Star Tribune: Former Minneapolis freeway ramp to reopen for cyclists and pedestrians
Star Tribune: Transit funding board meets to discuss disbanding

Waste & Recycling
MPR: Wheeled recycling carts roll into St. Paul alleys
Star Tribune: St. Paul rolls out new lidded recycling carts

Water
AP: Red River diversion foes ask federal judge to halt project
MPR: EPA’s late changes to fracking study downplayed risk of polluted drinking water

Wildlife & Fish
MPR: Minnesota Zoo’s oldest tiger dies at 16
Star Tribune: Minnesota Zoo’s senior tiger, Molniy, dies at 16 years old

News Watch: November 28th

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November 28, 2016

Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food, Climate Change, Conservation, Emissions, Energy, Frac Sand, Mining, Oil & Pipelines, Parks & Trails, Pollution, Transportation, Waste & Recycling, Water, Wildlife & Fish, Loon Commons

Agriculture & Food 
MPR: MPR documentary: ‘Blessings of the Fields’
NPR: Eat it, don’t leave it: How London became a leader in anti-food waste

Climate Change 
CBS: More Challenges Expected In Push For Climate Literacy featuring MEP member group Climate Generation
Duluth News Tribune: Trump seems ready to fight the world on climate change, and it could cost the US
Star Tribune: Meteorologist Paul Douglas hopes to bridge Christian climate change debate

Conservation
MinnPost: Marjorie McNeely Conservatory in St. Paul’s Como Park is one of few remaining Victorian ‘crystal palaces’
Star Tribune: Loved and loathed, longtime activist has drawn a line in BWCA featuring MEP member group Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness

Emissions
MPR: U study quantifies which crop emissions contribute most to climate change

Energy
Star Tribune: Carver County reverses position on solar energy project

Frac Sand
Star Tribune: Winona County passes frac sand ban, first in the state to take such a stand

Mining 
AP: Environmentalists want mining company’s lawsuit dismissed

Oil & Pipelines 
AP: North Dakota leaders urge Obama to push pipeline completion
AP: Oil pipeline: Trump’s stock in company raises concern
Democracy Now!: Father of Activist Injured at Standing Rock Calls on Obama to Stop Dakota Access Pipeline Drilling
Democracy Now!: Standing Rock Special: Dallas Goldtooth on Police Violence & Repression of Movement Against DAPL
Democracy Now!: Standing Rock Special: Historian Says Dakota Access Co. Attack Came on Anniv. of Whitestone Massacre
Indian Country Today Media Network: After A Month of Conflict, Mass Media Arrives in Force at Standing Rock
Indian Country Today Media Network: Army Corps Issues Eviction Notice to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe
Indian Country Today Media Network: This Weekend: Standing Rock Ceremonies & Monument Quilt for Survivors of Rape & Abuse
MPR: Dakota Access pipeline protesters arrested at ND mall
MPR: Photos: Winona’s Kitchen helps feed pipeline protesters at Standing Rock
MPR: With camp set to close, protesters resolve to fight Dakota Access Pipeline
NPR: Corps of Engineers tells pipeline protesters to leave camp by Dec. 5
NPR: Dakota Access pipeline protests continue on Thanksgiving
Star Tribune: Pipeline protester has surgery in Mpls. after arm ‘pretty much blown off’ by grenade, father says

Parks & Trails
Pioneer Press: DNR rejects plan to retain the only golf course in a Minnesota state park 
Star Tribune: Three Rivers District shifts plan to bring parks to the people

Pollution
The New Yorker: Pilgrim’s Progress: Inside the American Nuclear-Waste Crisis featuring MEP member group Institute for Energy and Environmental Research
West Central Tribune: Investors press meat producers to cut water pollution

Transportation
Duluth News Tribune: As longtime managers near retirement, DTA plans ahead for new era
Pioneer Press: Rush Line bus would go St. Paul to White Bear Lake in 37 minutes under plan
Star Tribune: Rush Line light-rail options shrink, clearing path for buses

Waste & Recycling
Pioneer Press: St. Paul recycling cart deliveries start this month
Star Tribune: Hennepin County to give cities incentive to start organics recycling

Water
Climate News Network: Bolivian water crisis as glaciers vanish
Star Tribune: Hennepin County expands new frost sensors in west metro suburbs

Wildlife & Fish
MinnPost: Letter from Wausau: Close encounter with intelligence of the avian kind
Owatonna People’s Press: McKinley 5th-graders raise trout in yearlong project featuring MEP member group Minnesota Trout Unlimited
Pioneer Press: Invasive snail blamed for bird kill on Mississippi River
Pioneer Press: MN DNR response to new chronic wasting disease cases: shoot more deer
Star Tribune: Fatal brain disease surfaces in whitetail deer near Lanesboro
Star Tribune: Meet Tim Turenne, Minnesota’s wildlife stamp king

News Watch: November 22

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food, Climate Change, Conservation, Emissions, Energy, Mining, Oil & Pipelines, Parks & Trails, Pollution, Transportation, Waste & Recycling, Water, Wildlife & Fish, Loon Commons

Agriculture & Food 
Brainerd Dispatch: CLC to host farm forum
West Central Tribune: MPCA seeks comments on proposed hog feedlot in Swift County

Climate Change 
AP: EPA chief: Progress under Obama won’t be undone by Trump
MPR: Climate Cast: Government faces lawsuit over effects of greenhouse gases
NPR: Hundreds of U.S. businesses urge Trump to uphold Paris climate deal

Conservation
Brainerd Dispatch: Crow Wing County Board: Headwaters board eyes property for conservation

Emissions
MPR: Outgoing EPA chief Gina McCarthy speaks on Obama Administration’s legacy

Energy
AP: St. Cloud City Council puts off solar garden after concerns
Brainerd Dispatch: Power outages widespread in central Minnesota
Duluth News Tribune: Duluth’s LED streetlight conversion rankles some residents
Duluth News Tribune: Many Northlanders still without power days after winter storm
Duluth News Tribune: Power restored to most in Northland as more snow is set to arrive
Duluth News Tribune: Superior Water, Light and Power meter project gets approval
Midwest Energy NewsConservative Minnesota counties stand to benefit from clean energy development
Midwest Energy NewsNew bioenergy approach could mean cleaner water, plus a big payday for farmers
Midwest Energy NewsReport: Michigan, Minnesota among clean energy ‘success stories’
MPR: Election puts change in the wind on Minn. energy policy featuring MEP member group Fresh Energy
NPR: What does a Trump presidency mean for climate-change education?

Mining 
Duluth News Tribune: PCA issues draft Minntac water permit featuring MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
MPR: Regulators release draft environmental permit for Iron Range mine featuring MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy 
Star Tribune: Minnesota pollution regulators propose for first time deadlines for Minntac tailings basin to meet goals featuring MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Timberjay: Sluggish market could slow PolyMet project featuring MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy 

Oil & Pipelines 
AP: Drill, baby, drill? Election reignites offshore-oil debate
Indian Country Today Media Network: Amnesty International USA Derides ND for Subfreezing Water Onslaught
Indian Country Today Media Network: Mainstream Media MIA as DAPL Action Is Met With Water Cannons and Mace
Indian Country Today Media Network: StandingRockSyllabus: Learn From It, Teach With It
MPR: As winter settles in, so do Dakota Access pipeline protesters
MPR: Next 5 years: No new federal oil, gas leases in Arctic Ocean
Native News Online: One Water Protector’s First-hand Account of Sunday’s Attack by Law Enforcement
Native News Online: This is America: Standing Rock Confrontation North Dakota Style Against American Indians and Allies
Native News Online: Water Protector Arm May Need Amputation after Police Brutality at Standing Rock
NPR: The Standing Rock resistance is unprecedented (it’s also centuries old)
NPR: USGS announces its largest oil and gas discovery ever in the states
Public News Service: Pipeline Protesters Watching, Waiting

Parks & Trails
Brainerd Dispatch: Brainerd Parks and Recreation meeting planned
Star Tribune: Field of grassroots candidates growing for 2017 Park Board elections
Star Tribune: Park superintendent due a modest raise but nobody in payroll noticed

Pollution
KEYC: A Step Toward Producing Cleaner Air featuring MEP member group Environmental Initiative

Transportation
Duluth News Tribune: Duluth City Council expected to approve bridge, boulevard projects
Star Tribune: City rolls back some aspects of Irving Avenue greenway in north Minneapolis
Star Tribune: The Drive: MnDOT tries lighter tone with safety messages

Waste & Recycling
Park Bugle: Recycling carts are coming to St. Paul homes featuring MEP member group Eureka Recycling 

Water
Des Moines Register: Report: Iowa, states failing to cut nutrient pollution without EPA pushfeaturing MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Public News Service: Flint Water Crisis Offers Lesson to Other Communities
Star Tribune: Scathing review blasts states, EPA for failing to protect Mississippi Riverfeaturing MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Wildlife & Fish
AP: Chronic wasting disease found in 2 deer in SE Minnesota
Bluff Country Reader: Stream habitat program includes new fishing pier at Mill Creek Parkfeaturing MEP member group Minnesota Trout Unlimited
Star Tribune: Woodpecker hides food in all sorts of places featuring MEP member group St. Paul Audubon Society 

PolyMet Updates and Where We Go From Here

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On November 3, 2016 PolyMet filed its Permit to Mine with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. This year has seen a flurry of permit applications by PolyMet, all leading up to this big application. Here at the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, our coalition has been fighting the PolyMet mine for years now, and this permit application is one of the biggest steps in the permitting process for the mine. 

But first, let’s review. Why is PolyMet such a big deal? 

  • PolyMet’s Northmet Mine is a Copper-Nickel Sulfide Mine, and this type of mining has never been done safely. 
  • The PolyMet Mine is proposed for an area of the iron range that directly feeds Lake Superior and a spill could potentially move north to contaminate Boundary Waters Canoe Area watersheds.
  • Water from the proposed mine site would need to be treated for at least 300 years after the mine has closed, and the plant site would need to be treated continually for 500 years after closure. 
  • PolyMet is an environmental justice issue, posing significant threats of mercury contamination to water and human health. The mine site is located on Treaty lands, where the Lake Superior Chippewa retain rights to hunt and fish on the land, and the mine itself will have downstream impacts on Seded Territory and downstream tribal resources. Rights to hunt and fish are essential to preserve cultural identity for Minnesota tribes. (Read WaterLegacy’s Environmental Justice Factsheet here.)

Now that we’re all on the same page, let’s dig in to what the Permit to Mine means. 

The Permit to Mine is the most significant permit PolyMet has to have approved before it can open the mine. This Permit includes over 15,000 pages. So far, the company has applied for 20 separate permits. 

The Permit to Mine process is in place to “control the possible adverse environmental effects of mining by ensuring orderly construction and development of a mine, sound operational practices, and progressive reclamation of mined areas” (see DNR website). The Permit to Mine is the last permitting step before PolyMet can begin construction, but the process of review of the Permit to Mine is a lengthy one. Now that the application has been submitted, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will determine if enough information has been provided to review the application. Next, it will move through an application review period. Once the application has been reviewed and deemed complete, effected tribes will be notified during the Tribal Pre-Notice Period. 

After these stages have been completed, the DNR will have a period of Public Notice and Objections. At this point, the agency will host public meetings and hearings to hear from the people of Minnesota about this dangerous project. The comment period will be 52 days long, likely to occur this upcoming summer 2017. Following the public comment period, the DNR will review the comments and ultimately announce their decision.

So what’s next?

There is significant public concern over this mine, as evidenced by the thousands of public comments responding to the Environmental Impact Statement for the project. There are still unresolved disputes over the factual information presented in the Environmental Impact Statement. In particular, the studies presented by PolyMet, co-lead agencies, and cooperating agencies. There is an entire chapter in the Environmental Impact Statement dedicated to outlining the major differences of opinion and findings. 

These concerns are still valid and must be voiced once again during the Permit to Mine public comment period.

The Mining Cluster is getting ready for the upcoming legislative session, and the upcoming public comment period. We will continue to keep you updated on ways to engage as a citizen concerned about the disastrous impacts of the PolyMet Northmet Mine, including public comment periods and other ways you can voice your concern.

News Watch: November 15

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food, Climate Change, Emissions, Energy, Mining, Oil & Pipelines, Parks & Trails, Pollution, Transportation, Water, Wildlife & Fish, Loon Commons

Agriculture & Food 
MPR: The bad news of a bountiful harvest
MPR: With harvest’s end, buffer law work begins
Post-Bulletin: Selling the farm not as easy as it sounds

Climate Change 
Democracy Now!: As U.S. Elects Global Warming Denier, Thousands March in Marrakech Calling for Climate Justice
Democracy Now!: Nnimmo Bassey on the Catch-22 at COP 22: Rich Nations Continue to Pollute as Temps Keep Rising
Democracy Now!: What Action Can Obama Take Before a Climate Denier Replaces Him in the Oval Office?
MinnPost: Will genetic engineering be necessary to save humanity from climate change?
MPR: Severe earthquake triggers tsunami off New Zealand’s coast

Emissions
AP: 2016 set to break heat record despite slowdown in emissions

Energy
Star Tribune: St. Olaf moves to 100 percent wind power

Mining 
Business North: MPCA faces lawsuit over Minntac permit featuring MEP member groups Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Save Lake Superior Association, and Save Our Sky Blue Waters

Oil & Pipelines 
Indian Country Today Media Network: DAPL Water Protectors at Risk for PTSD
Indian Country Today Media Network: Breaking: DAPL Construction on Hold Pending Further Review and Tribal Consultation
MPR: Dozens of pipeline protesters arrested in latest skirmish
MPR: Pipeline company seeks court permission to proceed with plan
MPR: Protesters rally against Dakota Access Pipeline in Duluth, St. Paul
MPR: Students walk out of class to protest Trump, Dakota Access oil pipeline
Native News Online: Native Women Lead Prayer, Banner Drop in Union Station: Call on Obama to End Dakota Access Pipeline
Yes! Magazine: I Couldn’t Go to Standing Rock, So I Closed My Bank Accounts Instead

Parks & Trails
International Falls Journal: VNP seeks comment on hybrid cattail plan
Star Tribune: Equity debate draws candidates for Minneapolis Park Board election
Star Tribune: Minneapolis park superintendent’s rent hasn’t changed in years

Pollution
MPR: Crews set massive overnight fire to burn off hazmat near Ellendale

Transportation
Star Tribune: Fifth trip now available for Twin Cities-Rochester bus commuters
Star Tribune: Minneapolis leads bike-friendly cities in cutting bike crash, injury rates

Water
Brainerd Dispatch: Funding supports Pine River dam improvements, work study position
Hastings Star Gazette: ‘State of the River’ report comes to Schaar’s Bluff Nov. 15 featuring MEP member group Friends of the Mississippi River
Star Tribune: White Bear Lake area bracing for lake-sparing impacts

Wildlife & Fish
Duluth News Tribune: DNR announces plans to close French River Hatchery near Duluth
MPR: Can’t hurry love: Rare snail finds romance after global search

News Watch: November 10

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food, Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, Mining, Oil & Pipelines, Pollution, Transportation, Water, Loon Commons

Agriculture & Food 
MPR: Record growing season of mixed value to growers

Climate Change 
The Atlantic: What President Trump Will Mean for Earth’s Climate
Democracy Now!: Bill McKibben: Trump’s Presidency Comes When the Warming World Can Least Afford It
MinnPost: Scientists express concerns about how Trump will affect science policies and research
Missoulian: Clean Power Plan likely dead under Trump, but Colstrip still in trouble
Mother Jones: The World Reacts to America’s Climate Denier-in-Chief
NPR: Donald Trump’s plans for his first 100 days
NPR: Trump has a chance to pull U.S. out of climate accord
Vox: There’s no way around it: Donald Trump looks like a disaster for the planet

Conservation 
Brainerd Dispatch: Camp Ripley: Preserving the integrity of the mission, environment and community
MinnPost: Nature lovers may risk loving nature to death
Pioneer Press: Mark Dayton: ‘We are a closely divided electorate’

Energy
Midwest Energy News: Minneapolis attorney’s tax plan could clear the way for more solar
MinnPost: Twice as efficient? St. Paul and Minneapolis energy nonprofits to merge
Star Tribune: Minneapolis, St. Paul energy conservation nonprofits merge

Mining 
Star Tribune: Gravel mine developer appeals Scott County permit denial
Star Tribune: Lawsuit alleges lax regulation of major Minnesota taconite mine featuring MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Timberjay: PolyMet submits permit to mine application featuring MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Oil & Pipelines 
Brainerd Dispatch: CLC welcomes activist for presentation
Native News Online: Water Protector Charged With Attempted Murder
Native News Online: What the Trump Presidency Will Look Like: Keystone XL Pipeline to Become a Reality

Pollution
Mankato Free Press: Pollution Problem: Fall rains dumped silt in rivers

Transportation
Star Tribune: Knight Foundation gives $640,000 to St. Paul projects featuring MEP member group Transit for Livable Communities

Water 
Brainerd Dispatch: Zebra mussels found in Otter Tail County lake
Duluth News Tribune: Lawsuit wants Minntac discharge regulated featuring MEP member groups Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Save Lake Superior Association, and Save Our Sky Blue Waters
MPR: Environmentalists sue state over Minntac water permit featuring MEP member groups Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Save Lake Superior Association, and Save Our Sky Blue Waters
Pioneer Press: Obama approves disaster aid after southern Minnesota storms
Post-Bulletin: Greenspace: Hear how we’ll protect the Zumbro watershed’s ‘lobes’
 

News Watch: November 7

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Today’s Topics: Climate Change, Conservation, Energy, Mining, Oil & Pipelines, Parks & Trails, Pollution, Sustainable Development, Transportation, Water, Wildlife & Fish, Loon Commons

Climate Change 
Mother Jones: The Paris Climate Agreement Takes Effect Today

Conservation
Hastings Star Gazette: Art heroes to be honored at gala featuring MEP member group Hastings Environmental Protectors 
Lake County News Chronicle: Virgin forest with trees up to 200 years old purchased from Will Steger featuring MEP member group The Nature Conservancy
Star Tribune: Wakan Tipi 250 years after European contact: To commemorate or not? featuring MEP member group Lower Phalen Creek Project 

Energy
Midwest Energy News: Consultant says Lake Erie offshore wind farm poses low risk for wildlife

Mining
Star Tribune: PolyMet launches next critical phase of controversial mine plan for NE Minnesota featuring MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Oil & Pipelines
Democracy Now!: The Indigo Girls Launch #NoDAPL Boycott of Pipeline Owner’s Major Folk Music Festival
Indian Country Today Media Network: Obama, Extortion and the DAPL: Joye Braun Explains Why “There Are No Acceptable Rerouting Options”
Indian Country Today Media Network: The Ripple Effect: How Standing Rock Violence Inspired Demonstrations Around the World
Indian Country Today Media Network: Thousands of Jingle Dress Dancers Appear At Standing Rock
The Concordian: MPIRG and SEA organize against Dakota Access
Mother Jones: Activists Say Dakota Access Pipeline Could Be Put on Hold for 30 Days
Unicorn Riot: DAPL Construction Nears US Army Corps Land While Still Lacking Permits
Unicorn Riot: Water Protectors Attempt to Reclaim Sacred Burial Site, Demonstrate in Cemetery

Parks & Trails
International Falls Journal: Cruiser Lake Trail system renovation completed featuring MEP member group Voyageurs National Park Association 
Star Tribune: Excelsior looks to add docks, move forward with plans to revitalize Lake Minnetonka park
Star Tribune: Parks getting pushback on dropping bikes from Lake Street underpass

Pollution
MPR: Heavy rains left southern MN rivers polluted. How can we fix that?

Sustainable Development
Post-Bulletin: City plans to invest in more trees featuring MEP member group The Nature Conservancy

Transportation
Star Tribune: Woodbury, Oakdale warming to new Gold Line route

Water
St. Cloud Times: Mississippi health improving, but new threats emerge featuring MEP member group Friends of the Mississippi River
WJON: State of the Mississippi River Report Shows Positive Trend in River Health featuring MEP member group Friends of the Mississippi River

Wildlife & Fish
Duluth News Tribune: DNR announces winter walleye regulations on Mille Lacs Lake
Duluth News Tribune: DNR: Fish Lake walleyes in better shape than biologists thought
Star Tribune: State declares portion of Richfield under quarantine to slow spread of gypsy moth

4 Reasons to Schedule your Give to the Max Day gift

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Schedule Your Gift for Give to the Max DayEach November, Minnesota celebrates giving back to our community on Give to the Max Day! This year, this annual day of giving is on Thursday, November 17. But you don’t have to wait until then to make your gift. You can schedule your gift now through November 16, and your gift will count toward our Give to the Max Day goals!

Like many people, you may be supporting several nonprofits on Give to the Max Day. We can’t thank you enough for your generosity. That support is vitally important. Today, I want to give you 4 reasons to include the Minnesota Environmental Partnership in your Give to the Max Day giving, and schedule your gift today!

Reason #1: We won’t send you any emails on Give to the Max Day if you schedule your gift by November 16!

Repeat: We won’t send you ANY emails on Give to the Max Day! That’s right! We know that your email inbox is often flooded with messages on Give to the Max Day. We appreciate your early contribution and we want acknowledge it with a special thanks by staying out of your inbox. If you schedule your contribution ahead of November 17, we won’t send you any email on that day (except a THANK YOU!).

Reason #2: We’re Better Together!

You may have seen our message our campaign launch last month: Better Together. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership was founded by advocates who knew that we can do more together than we can alone. We are Better Together. I know you understand what’s at stake. Threats like sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior, corporate farm pollution, declining pollinator populations, and more, threaten our natural landscapes and the Minnesota we want to pass down to our children and their children. But we can protect our best natural assets, if we work together.

Reason #3: The biggest challenges we face are in changing statewide policy

We need your help to keep up the pressure on critical issues for Minnesota’s Great Outdoors. Things like key bonding investments that would clean up some of our most polluted areas, and a transportation package that would include long-term investments in low and zero-emission options like transit and safe biking and walking.

Reason #4: We’re building game-changing solutions

From climate change and agricultural pollution, to threatened air quality and pollinator declines, these issues affect every person in Minnesota. The complex nature of the environmental problems we face today require innovative, collaborative solutions. At the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, our core strength is in bringing thousands of Minnesotans, like you, together with our diverse coalition of advocacy nonprofits to focus on the most pressing environmental concerns. With you by our side, we’re aligning existing, emerging, and new efforts to respond to complex challenges ahead.

With your support, we can bring together the energies and passions of the broad environmental and conservation sector into a single POWERFUL voice on all of these issues. We need your support now to take on the complex challenges we face today.

Schedule your Give to the Max Day gift to the Minnesota Environmental Partnership now!