News Watch: Feb. 8

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Energy; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Parks & Trails; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Water; Wildlife & Fish

Agriculture & Food
Pioneer Press: Urban farmers bolster Minneapolis-St. Paul local-food push
Pioneer Press: Minnesota can grow anything year-round – but here’s why we don’t

Climate Change
Echo Press: Climate change speaker draws big crowd in Alexandria
SC Times: Meeting set on Clean Power Plan

Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: Local View: Humans responsible for increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide

MN Daily: U professor digs into fossil fuel problems
NPR: Massive solar plant opens in Morocco (In MPR)
Star Tribune: One large solar project in Minnesota going ahead while another is delayed
West Central Tribune: Paynesville business boasts one of largest solar panel displays in the state

Commentary, Midwest Energy News: Commentary: What’s next for the future of utility regulation?
Editorial, SC Time: Cost to cut coal at Sherco looks good
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s view: Electric rate cuts won’t jump-start taconite plants
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s View: ‘Cheap’ coal doesn’t include its hidden costs

Duluth News Tribune: S&P downgrades PolyMet backer Glencore to near junk status
Duluth News Tribune: Range lawmakers want Twin Metals access approved
Pioneer Press: Weighing copper: Mark Dayton pressured on Iron Range mine

Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: Views from the mining industry
Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: National view: Slow permitting devastating US mining, manufacturing

Oil & Pipelines
MPR: Flint Hills to spend $750M to reduce emissions
Pioneer Press: Rosemount refinery slated for $750 million in upgrades
Star Tribune: South metro residents seek to reroute planned pipeline away from parkfeaturing MEP member group Clean Water Action
Star Tribune: Flint Hills Resources plans $750 million in capital investment at its Minnesota refinery

Parks & Trails
LTE, Brainerd Dispatch: Reader Opinion: Supporting wildlife refuges

Duluth News Tribune: Arrowhead Transit offers guaranteed bus to Duluth from North Shore
Politics in MN: Rapid bus lines as economic drivers
Star Tribune: On-street parking proposed along University Avenue in St. Paul
Star Tribune: Washington County busway gets OK with some dissent
Star Tribune: My Outdoor Life: Devoted to bikes and the women who ride them

Editorial, Duluth News Tribune: Our View: Duluth hub a model to emulate
Editorial, Pioneer Press: The outlook for roads, bridges, transit in Minnesota

Waste & Recycling
Brainerd Dispatch: GreenForest Recycling to move into former paper mill: Worldwide recycling firm moves into Brainerd Industrial Center to start processing operation
Reuters: Want to save some money? Stop wasting food (In Star Tribune)
Star Tribune: Eureka Recycling has challenges ahead featuring MEP member group Eureka Recycling

Editorial, Star Tribune: Cities should seek common good in garbage-collection debates

Duluth News Tribune: Lawmakers back Voyageurs sewer project
Echo Press: Dayton vows to stop state from being ‘another Flint’
MinnPost: Minnesota lawmakers hear a critique of Waukesha’s bid for Great Lakes water
New York Times: Cover Crops, a Farming Revolution With Deep Roots in the Past
West Central Tribune: Farmers take aim at buffer law: Legislators listening session held on eve of governor’s water summit

Commentary, Star Tribune: We want Minnesota to have clean water, if the other guy pays for it featuring MEP member group Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s view: Agribusiness needs to join effort to protect water by Peter Suechting of MEP member group Environment Minnesota

Wildlife & Fish
Star Tribune: Can our moose be saved?
Star Tribune: Proposed field station in Mille Lacs to focus on walleye management in lake

Minnesota’s Own Water Crisis

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Children Drinking Cr Katherine Johnson, Flickr

Credit: Katherine Johnson, Flickr Creative Commons

The water crisis in Flint, Michigan has many across the state worried that a similar situation could impact Minnesota. Like many states across the country, Minnesota has an aging water infrastructure system, one that Governor Dayton has targeted for repairs and upgrades as part of his 2016 Bonding Request. While high lead levels are unlikely to pop up in local drinking water, Minnesota has its own set of pollutants that pose serious threats to the health and well-being communities across the state.

Northern Minnesota suffers from high levels of mercury, where 1 in 10 babies are born with unhealthy amounts of the toxin in their bodies. Mercury affects neurological development in infants. One of the primary sources of mercury pollution in our lakes and rivers is coal fired power plants. Mercury becomes concentrated in the fatty-tissues of fish, with pollution levels so high that pregnant women are told to avoid eating fish from Minnesota lakes. Luckily, the transition away from coal fired power plants to more renewable energy throughout Minnesota should help decrease one source of mercury, but new sources, like the proposed PolyMet mine, could resulted in even higher levels in the future.

Across southern Minnesota, high nitrate levels are cause for concern for many communities, where a 2015 Minnesota Department of Health report warned that nitrate contamination was a growing threat to public health.  High concentrations can cause blue baby syndrome, where nitrates interfere with oxygen in the blood, which can potentially be fatal. Fixing nitrate problems after the fact isn’t cheap either – cities who install nitrate removal systems can end up costing residents thousands of dollars. We need to stop nitrate pollution at the source, by limiting runoff into waterways and using year-round cover crops to stop off-season erosion.

These threats to our drinking water are already present, and we must take steps to reduce their impact through common sense solutions, like managing agricultural runoff and upgrading our water infrastructure. Protecting our drinking water isn’t just the right step for Minnesota, it’s a necessity.

News Watch: Feb. 4

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Energy; Frac Sand; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Parks & Trails; Pollution; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Water

Agricultre & Food
Star Tribune: Monsanto weed killer Roundup is huge seller

Climate Change
Spokesman Recorder: Activist say MN banks should divest from climate chaos featuring MEP member group MN350

LTE, Brainerd Dispatch: Reader Opinion: Driving climate change

Brainerd Dispatch: State accepting applications for solar incentive program
CERTS: Interview: Commissioner Rothman discusses clean energy tax credit extensions
Midwest Energy News: Amid pushback, Minnesota solar developers expand stray voltage testing
MPR: SW Minnesota solar farm plan feels opponents’ heat
Politics in MN: A change of leadership at energy center featuring MEP member group Center for Energy and Environment

LTE, Brainerd Dispatch: Reader Opinion: A clean future
LTE, Pioneer Press: The Costs of Pollution

Frac Sand
Rochester Post Bulletin: Report downplays frac sand link to health troubles

Duluth News Tribune: Kennecott adds more exploration near Tamarack

Editorial, Duluth News Tribune: Our view: We will survive this mining downturn, too
Editorial, Timberjay: Signs point to uncertain future for PolyMet’s plans

Oil & Pipelines
Bemidji Pioneer: Enbridge calls regulatory action on Sandpiper “unlawful and unreasonable”
Star Tribune: Enbridge says Minnesota regulators applied “unlawful” process to its Sandpiper pipeline review
WCCO: Enbridge: Supporters Accuse Regulators Of Delaying Pipeline Project

LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s view: Pipelines serve economy and protect environment

Parks & Trails
Duluth News Tribune: As National Park Service turns 100, popularity soars

Star Tribune: Mpls. moves forward with ‘Green Zone’ plan for polluted neighborhoods

Duluth News Tribune: Duluth Transportation Center revealed  
The Line: Winter Cycling Congress kicks local bike culture into high gear featuring MEP member group Bicycle Alliance of MN
MinnPost: Embracing LRT: How one Minneapolis neighborhood plans to have a major impact on the Blue Line extension
MinnPost: St. Paul looks to up its parkway game
Politics in MN: Agencies gear up for $50M transportation challenge
Star Tribune: What is winter biking in Minnesota?
Star Tribune: Can bicyclists provide better disaster relief?
Star Tribune: Olson Hwy. design for Bottineau light rail project irks Mpls. leaders
Star Tribune: Winter cycling enthusiasts from world gather in Minneapolis

LTE, SC Times: Using Northstar will help expand it

Waste & Recycling
Southwest Journal: Council committee gives nod to Eureka for recycling contract featuring MEP member group Eureka Recycling
Waste Drive: Eureka Recycling, Waste Management competition raising issues beyond financial benefits featuring MEP member group Eureka Recycling

LTE, SC Times: Recycling lacking for ag plastics

Duluth News Tribune: Lake Superior winter drop still less than usual
MN Daily: Researchers release new water conservation tool featuring MEP member group The Nature Conservancy 
MPR: State, cities try to apply a little science to their road-salt use
MPR: Unpaid water bills in Flint could hinder repairs
MinnPost: Flint crisis draws focus to lead levels, and adequacy of testing, across U.S.
Star Tribune: Met Council makes sure sewer project doesn’t sink East Bethel
Star Tribune: Private ditches seen as ‘small portion’ of farm drainage

Commentary, MinnPost: It’s time to take a huge step forward on water quality in Minnesota(Also in Brainerd Dispatch ) cowritten by Paul Austin of MEP member group Conservation Minnesota
Commentary, Star Tribune: From buffer strips to federal bills, farmers need a stronger voice
Editorial, Echo Press: GUEST EDITORIAL: Clean water is worth the price
LTE, Mankato Free Press: Buffers won’t be effective for water quality
LTE, Star Tribune: Readers Write (Feb. 2): Buffer strips

Wildlife & Fish
Northfield News: Northfield residents ponder becoming the next ‘Bird City’ featuring MEP member group Audobon Minnesota

Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: Wisconsinites’ view from D.C.: Wolf policy should recognize people

News Watch: Feb. 1

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Biofuels; Climate Change; Energy; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Parks & Trails; Pollinators; Pollution; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Water

Agricutlure & Food
AP: Upper Midwest farmers transitioning to organic can get aid (In Politics in MN)
MPR: Chobani must stop pesticide ads about Yoplait, judge rules
MPR: U study: Farming may have aided Minnesota bird flu outbreak
Star Tribune: Judge bars Chobani ads critical of ingredients in Yoplait, Dannon yogurts
Star Tribune: University of Minnesota study says farmers may have aided bird flu’s spread

AP: Proposed ethanol plant gets $4.2 million state tax break (In Politics in MN)

Climate Change
Bemidji Pioneer: Clean power plan meeting set
MPR: Minnesota companies moving forward on climate change

LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s View: Poor need help with climate change

Brainard Dispatch: Minnesota Power receives green light for Camp Ripley 10 megawatt solar array
Duluth News Tribune: Camp Ripley solar array gets PUC approval
SC Times: Xcel: Plan to replace Sherco units won’t cost much more
Star Tribune: Xcel Energy says it’s ‘nearly certain’ it can comply with federal Clean Power Plan in Minnesota
Star Tribune: Regulators approve Minnesota Power solar project at Camp Ripley

Blog, Bluestem Prairie: ND state/lignite industry partnership continues funding for Coalition for Secure Energy Future

Duluth News Tribune: Coalition concerned about copper mining waits for next move

Oil & Pipelines
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s View: Oil shipped by rail drops with pipelines

Parks & Trails
Duluth News Tribune: Access to Apostle Islands ice caves isn’t looking promising this winter
Star Tribune: Mayor Hodges vetoes Park Board referendum seeking park dollars

Mankato Free Press: Bees at risk: Protecting native pollinators is priority

Star Tribune: State to clean up Burnsville landfill that had been headed for Superfund program

MN Daily: State invests $32M in highway projects
MPR: Winter bicycling conference happening in Twin Cities featuring MEP member group Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
Star Tribune: Cities need to plan more for autonomous vehicles
Star Tribune: All winter cycling roads lead to Twin Cities — for now

Editorial, International Falls Journal: OUR VIEW: Spend surplus on transportation

Waste & Recycling
MPR: Best Buy tacks $25 charge onto TV, computer monitor recycling
Star Tribune: Free recycling of your old TVs and monitors is on the decline
Star Tribune: Residents, cities scrap over who picks up garbage
Star Tribune: Competition for Twin Cities’ recycling contracts sparks discussion of workers’ rights, environmental goals featuring MEP member group Eureka Recycling
Star Tribune: Four things to know before you get your new Minneapolis organics bin

AP: After GOP objections, Dayton pares down buffer law (In Politics in MN)
AP: Railroad: 850 gallons of soybean oil leaked in derailment (In Winona Daily News)  
Austin Daily Herald: Farm Bureau hosting buffer strip education session
Bring Me the News: Dayton backs off buffers for private ditches after meeting GOP leadersfeaturing MEP member group Friends of the Mississippi River
Duluth News Tribune: EPA to help Duluth tackle alkaline concerns at western Duluth site
Pioneer Press: Mark Dayton backs off buffer strips for private ditches featuring MEP member group Friends of The Mississippi River
Pioneer Press: What you need to know about St. Paul’s water system
Public News Service: MN Water Pollution to Top Soil Health Talks featuring MEP member groupLand Stewardship Project
Star Tribune: Minnesota DNR tags cost of refilling White Bear Lake at $100 million plus
Star Tribune: Dayton retreats from element of water buffer law, rebukes House GOP featuringMEP
West Central Tribune: Dayton vows to continue fight for clean water

Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: Local View: Systemic approach is needed to avoid poisoning our water
Commentary, SC Times: State needs to walk its clean water talk co-written by Paul Austin of MEP member group Conservation Minnesota
Commentary, Star Tribune: Flint water crisis reminds us not to take water quality for granted
Commentary, Star Tribune: For Gov. Dayton, water quality agenda runs deep
LTE, Brainerd Dispatch: Reader Opinion: What kind of legacy?
LTE, MinnPost: To solve Minnesota’s water quality problems, agribusiness’ power must be confronted by Peter Suechting of MEP member group Environment Minnesota
LTE, MN Daily: Follow Flint to our local waterways

News Watch: Jan. 28

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Energy; Mining; Oil & Pipelines; Parks & Trails; Pollinators; Transportation; Water; Wildlife & Fish

Agriculture & Food
MPR: As crop prices fall, MN farmers may roll more land into conservation
MPR: MN tree researchers, foodies give American chestnut a second chance
Redwood Falls Gazette: Redwood area farmer participates in sustainable ag two-year study featuring MEP member group Sustainable Farming Association

Climate Change
LTE, Brainerd Dispatch: Reader Opinion: Stand up for climate action

Bloomberg: America’s Using the Least Coal Ever to Keep the Lights On
Brainerd Dispatch: Here comes the sun: Solar power shines in snowy tour
Duluth News Tribune: Opposition grows to Minnesota Power electric rate shift
Forbes: U.S. Wind Industry Posts Huge Gains For Q4 2015: More To Come
MinnPost: An interstate for renewable energy could hold costs level, study finds
MinnPost: Investment streams to clean energy, despite plummeting fossil-fuel prices
MN Daily: U professor nurtures neighborhood solar garden
MN Daily: Rays of light to power transit
NY Times: Senate Begins Debate on Comprehensive Bipartisan Energy Bill
Pioneer Press: After ordinance, Cottage Grove barraged with solar gardens
Post Bulletin: Milestone reached as CapX 2020 segment is energized
Star Tribune: Wind power industry surges, and expects steady growth
West Central Tribune: Economics make renewable energy good for business and the environment

LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s view: Coal-fired power is cheap, reliable

AP: Tests indicate Iron Range bedrock could contain gold (In Post Bulletin)
Duluth News Tribune: PolyMet gets new loan from Glencore
Star Tribune: Gold on the Iron Range? Results of soil tests are raising hopes featuring MEP member group Save Our Sky Blue Waters

Oil & Pipelines
Duluth News Tribune: Anti-pipeline protest held in Superior featuring MEP member groupsMN350 and MPIRG

Parks & Trails
AP: General Mills Foundation donates $3M for Minneapolis parks (In MPR)
Duluth News Tribune: Hartley Park lawsuit dismissed
MPR: Warm winter may sink Apostle Islands ice cave treks
Star Tribune: General Mills Foundation announces $3 million river parks gift
Star Tribune: Lake Superior ice cave visits in doubt this year

Pioneer Press: Hey bees and butterflies: St. Paul wants you

MinnPost: Twin Cities to host first-in-U.S. Winter Cycling Congress featuring MEP member group Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
MN Daily: City speeds could lower to benefit bikers featuring MEP member group Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
MPR: Work halted on Minneapolis-Rochester rail line
Pioneer Press: Plan for Twin Cities-Rochester passenger rail line stalls out
Pioneer Press: More Metro Transit rides in 2015, but bus trips down
Pioneer Press: 6 or 12 St. Paul-to-Hastings rapid bus stops? Decision Thursday
Politics in MN: MnDOT puts proposed Zip Rail on hold
Post Bulletin: Private company gets permits to study high-speed rail route
Republican Eagle: MnDOT suspends Zip Rail study
Republican Eagle: Outlook grim for public Zip Rail project
Star Tribune: MnDOT suspends work on Zip Rail to Rochester project
Star Tribune: New head of transportation advocacy group says people need options for travel featuring MEP member group Transit for Livable Communities

Editorial, Duluth News Tribune: Our View: Transportation remains a priority for St. Paul

Daily Globe: Ackermanns receive national award for nutrient management
Star Tribune: Flint water crisis reveals vulnerability of all old water pipes
Star Tribune: See how Minnesota’s tap water is kept safe

Commentary, Austin Daily Herald: SWCD, CRWD working to improve natural resources
Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: State view: Investment is needed in state’s water infrastructure
Commentary, Mankato Free Press: Minnesota can learn from Michigan failure

Wildlife & Fish
Duluth News Tribune: Parasites, health problems killing Minnesota moose
Pioneer Press: New DNR data gives hints on what’s killing Minnesota’s moose

News Watch: Jan 25

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Energy; Mining; Parks & Trails; Pollinators; Pollution; Transportation; Water; Wildlife & Fish

Agriculture & Food
MPR: Chaga boom: Health, cash drive northern Minnesota fungus hunt
Public News Service: MN Farmers Markets Help SNAP Dollars Go Further
Star Tribune: Food industry mounts last-ditch effort to block state GMO labeling laws

Climate Change
Midwest Energy News: Minnesota mayor aims for net zero by 2031
Midwest Energy News: A net-zero strategy for major Minnesota medical center featuring MEP membergroup Center for Energy and Environment
MN Daily: U offers climate change courses
West Central Tribune: Front-row seat in Paris helps U of M professor see potential of western Minn. in slowing climate change

LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s View: We aren’t caring for the Earth that God gave us

Star Tribune: Amid concerns about a scam, solar energy firm told to stop door-to-door sales in Rosemount

LTE, Bemidji Pioneer: LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Now is the time to invest in solar energy by Megan Spear of MEP member group Environment Minnesota
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s View: Non-coal sources cheaper at generating electricity
LTE, Star Tribune: Readers Write (Jan. 25): Nuclear power, Arctic oil

Editorial, Mesabi Daily News: Federal EPA, Water Legacy partner

Parks & Trails
Pioneer Press: Bike loop around St. Paul, 125 years in making, could become reality
Star Tribune: Renovation work to begin on historic St. Croix Boom Site
Star Tribune: St. Croix Riverway superintendent on loan to Pullman National Monument in Chicago
Star Tribune: Ridership on Metro Transit increased slightly in 2015
Star Tribune: Superior Hiking Trail campsites are becoming endangered

MinnPost: Threats and opportunities on a key monarch anniversary cowritten by Rob Davis of MEP member group Fresh Energy

Duluth News Tribune: Appeals Court backs EPA haze rule

MinnPost: Lawmakers consider putting transportation funding question before Minnesota voters
MPR: Dayton declares gas tax not so dead
Politics in MN: Harrison neighborhood speaks up on LRT
Star Tribune: The Drive: Where am I, Metro Transit? Really?
Star Tribune: Some metro cities prefer a lower speed limit featuring MEP member group MN Bicycle Alliance

Commentary, SC Times: Technology maximizes mass transit
Commentary, SC Times: City must plan for self-driving cars
Editorial, Post Bulletin: Our View: Slowing city street traffic is worth legislative discussion

MPR: Could the Flint water crisis happen here?

Commentary, SC Times: State’s economy needs Clean Water Rule
Commentary, Star Tribune: Water, water everywhere in Minnesota — but it needs helpcowritten by Paul Austin of MEP member group Conservation Minnesota
Commentary, Star Tribune: Flint is Exhibit A for environmental regulations
Editorial, Mankato Free Press: Dayton’s bonding bill good for the region

Wildlife & Fish
AP: Tribe hopes to bring elk back to northeastern Minnesota (In MPR)
Duluth News Tribune: Dam debate on the Knife River

Commentary, Star Tribune: Counterpoint: There’s something fishy about DNR’s muskie plan
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Reader’s View: Wolves are predators and don’t need protection

News Watch: Jan. 21

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Conservation; Energy; Mining; Parks & Trails; Pollution; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Water; Wildlife & Fish

Agriculture & Food
AP: Target stores switching to cage-free eggs by 2025 (In MPR)

Climate Change
Duluth News Tribune: NOAA, NASA make it official: 2015 was warmest ever
Spokesman Recorder: What do green groups think about the outcome of the recent Paris climate talks?

LTE, Duluth News Tribune: In response: Climate Lobby fee can help the poor while encouraging more clean energy

Star Tribune: Anderson: Conservation leader paints bleak picture of future

Brainerd Dispatch: Camp Ripley: Geothermal project brings Minnesota National Guard closer to ‘net zero’
City Pages: Wizards of Waverly place big bet on solar power
The Guardian: A striking resemblance between testimony for Peabody Coal and for Ted Cruz
MinnPost: Energy consultant Matthew Schuerger named to Public Utilities Commission
Star Tribune: Largest Minnesota solar array wins approval from utility regulators

LTE, MinnPost: Clean energy has made great strides — and Minnesota must keep pressing forward by Megan Spear of MEP member group Environment Minnesota

AP: EPA agrees to investigate how MPCA regulates iron mining (In MPR) featuring MEP member group WaterLegacy
Duluth News Tribune: Feds will examine state pollution permits for mines featuring MEP member group WaterLegacy
Timberjay: EPA to look at enforcement allegations featuring MEP member group WaterLegacy

Parks & Trails
AP: Challenge to BWCA, Voyageurs National Park haze plan rejected (In Pioneer Press)
AP: Minneapolis parks to seek $300 million from taxpayers

Blog, National Geographic: A Year in the Wilderness: Feeling Winter’s First Arctic Blast

MPR: Air pollution alert issued for central, southern Minn.

KSTP: Bike Lobby Seeks Lower City Speed Limit in Minnesota featuring MEP member groupBicycle Alliance of MN
MinnPost: The psychology of light rail safety
Politics in MN: Chairs revved up to pass transportation bill
Politics in MN: Keeping track of major transit projects
Star Tribune: Hearing draws support, concern about $1.5 billion Bottineau light-rail project
Star Tribune: House DFL offers funding plan for greater Minn. housing, transportation
WCCO: Bike Lobby Seeks 25 MPH Speed Limit For MN City Streets featuring MEP member group Bicycle Alliance of MN

LTE, Star Tribune: Readers Write (Jan. 20): Bicycles vs. cars

Waste & Recycling
MN Daily: For city, not all waste is trash

Duluth News Tribune: Poll shows opposition to proposed Bayfield County hog operation
Duluth News Tribune: Six of 54 North Shore, Duluth harbor beaches “impaired”
In Forum: ‘Waters of the US’ rule veto does not end opposition
MPR: Documentary about Flint water crisis: ‘Not Safe to Drink’
NPR: Michigan governor on water crisis: ‘We will fix this’ (In MPR)
Star Tribune: Obama vetoes resolution blocking new clean water rule; override unlikely

Editorial, Post Bulletin: Need for water quality effort remains clear

Wildlife & Fish
Duluth News Tribune: Senate bill includes wolf delisting
Northland’s News Center: Researchers race to save Minnesota’s dwindling moose populationfeaturing MEP member group The Nature Conservancy

News Watch: Jan. 19

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Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food; Climate Change; Energy; Parks & Trails; Pollution; Transportation; Waste & Recycling; Water; Wildlife & Fish

Agriculture & Food
Commentary, Star Tribune: Beet sugar is safe, but GM pandering is not

Climate Change
MPR: Study: Lake Superior is one of the fastest-warming lakes in the world

Commentary, MinnPost: Climate change and Minnesota agribusiness: a reason for hope
Commentary, MN Daily: Paris climate talks won’t fix everything
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: We don’t have centuries to deal with climate change
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Clean Power Plan will spur job growth
LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Clean Power Plan benefits Minnesota

MinnPost: Obama deserves partial credit, at best, for coal industry’s ongoing contraction
MPR: MSP airport art urges viewers to consider energy use
NPR: U.S. announces moratorium on new coal leases on federal lands (In MPR)
Star Tribune: Center for Energy and Environment hires new president to succeed founder

AP: DNR commissioner expects February decision on PolyMet mine (In Pioneer Press)

Parks & Trails
Mankato Free Press: Not just garbage landfills anymore, quarries becoming parks, villages, retail spots
MinnPost: Banned from public accommodations across the Iron Range in the ’20s, Finns opened their own 160-acre park
Star Tribune: Planning for St. Paul’s Grand Rounds pushing forward

MinnPost: Reminders on MLK Day that pollution is often an affront to civil rights, too

MPR: Do you support a speed limit of 25 miles per hour on city streets?
NPR: In battle between Uber and Lyft, focus is on drivers (In MPR)
Politics in MN: Dayton’s $1.4B bonding package sidelines transportation
Politics in MN: Lake Elmo’s exit from BRT means extra expense
Star Tribune: Bicycle lobby to seek lower speed limit for cities in Minnesota featuring MEP member group Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
Star Tribune: Three Rivers Park District uses bike fleet to teach bike safety featuring MEP member group Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota
Star Tribune: North Mankato among cities looking at streets through a different lens

Waste & Recycling
AP: Stillwater firm makes compostable dinnerware from plant-based material (In MPR)

AP: Obama signs emergency order over Flint water (In MPR)
Bemidji Pioneer: Dayton aims money at small, rural communities with water woes
Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota governor aims state money at water woes
Ely Echo: Dayton water plan would send $2 million to Ely
MinnPost: Dayton’s bonding priorities: clean water, higher ed and public safety
MPR: Dayton’s proposed water funding could help cities like Tracy
MPR: Red River Basin Commission to focus on water quality
MPR: Dayton presses water, rail, public safety upgrades in projects plan

Cartoon, Star Tribune: Minnesota water quality
LTE, Brainerd Dispatch: Water, the political poster child

Wildlife & Fish
AP: Dayton renews calls for tougher penalties for worst poachers (In MPR)
AP: Wisconsin bill would relax fish farm regulations (In Star Tribune)
Duluth News Tribune: Judge sides with DNR in dispute with Iron Range wildlife rehabilitator
MPR: Weather melts business hopes for Mille Lacs winter walleye season
MPR: Mille Lacs walleye woes dominate DNR forum
NPR: Hunting snakes in the Everglades to protect native species (In MPR)
Pioneer Press: Mark Dayton wants poaching crackdown (again)
Star Tribune: Gov. Dayton proposes poachers be charged with felonies

LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Killing wolves won’t bring security to the forest

News Watch: Jan. 14

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Today’s Topics: Climate Change; Energy; Oil & Pipelines; Parks & Trails; Pollinators; Waste & Recycling; Water; Wildlife & Fish

Agriculture & Food
Bemidji Pioneer: Environmental groups, Minnesota DNR and R.D. Offutt to seek agreement on pines-to-potatoes study featuring MEP member groups Pesticide Action Network and The Land Stewardship Project
Brainerd Dispatch: Toxic Taters grants extension to RDO on petition featuring MEP member groups Pesticide Action Network and The Land Stewardship Project

Climate Change
MinnPost: From climate change to ‘technofossils,’ we’re revising Earth’s geologic history
MPR: A month after Paris, Minn. ready to take ‘bold action’ on climate change

Duluth News Tribune: Judge recommends approval of proposed Minnesota Power line 
Midwest Energy News: Minnesota utility seeks to shift costs from industry to homeownersfeaturing MEP member groups Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Sierra Club
Pioneer Press: Scandia officials embrace solar garden project
Red Wing Republican Eagle: Energy project approved for $2 million grant
Star Tribune: Arch Coal, key supplier to Minnesota utilities, files bankruptcy
Star Tribune: Largest coal supplier to Minnesota electric utilities files for bankruptcy protection
Star Tribune: Connexus Energy sells out its first, and Minnesota’s largest, community solar garden
Star Tribune: TenKsolar raises $25 million from new investors including Goldman Sachs

Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: Clean Power Plan will hurt the poor
Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: Fracking isn’t worth the risk
Commentary, Star Tribune: Counterpoint: Uncompetitive energy won’t pay off
Editorial, Mankato Free Press: ENERGY USE: Americans have learned conservation works
LTE, Austin Daily Herald: Good step towards clean energy by Megan Spear of MEP member group Environment Minnesota

Duluth News Tribune: More gold ‘grains’ found near Soudan
MPR: Photos: Coping with winter in the Boundary Waters

LTE, West Central Tribune: Letter: PolyMet mine would be tragic mistake

Oil & Pipelines
Duluth News Tribune: Regulators attempt to streamline Sandpiper proceedings
Star Tribune: N.D. oil trains shift route back to northeast Minneapolis tracks, BNSF reports
Winona Daily News: House speaker wants outside audit on pipeline project emails

Commentary, Star Tribune: Tevlin: E-mail by MPCA staffer over proposed pipeline project creates political stir

Parks & Trails
AP: Minnesota State Parks and Trails kicks off 125th anniversary (In MPR)
Bemidji Pioneer: Minnesota state parks mark 125 years
Star Tribune: Advisory panel rejects wider two-way bike paths at Harriet-Calhoun
Star Tribune: Business donations help new downtown park get halfway to $22M goal
Star Tribune: Minnesota park system bucks the trend, still growing in 125th year

MinnPost: State awards $6.2 million for pollution cleanup at 14 redevelopment sites
Politics in MN: DEED doles out $6.2M in cleanup grants
Star Tribune: Minneapolis projects nab $1.8 million for environmental cleanup

MinnPost: Why the 2016 legislative session will be critical for Southwest LRT
MinnPost: Midway soccer stadium site could provide plenty of transit options — and plenty of headaches
MinnPost: Funding committed for environmental assessment of second daily train to Chicago
MPR: Twin Cities-Chicago high-speed rail plans get a funding boost
MPR: Lake Elmo takes a stand for the past
Politics in MN: Cedar Transitway improvements prioritized
Politics in MN: Twin Cities-Chicago high-speed rail gets funding boost
Politics in MN: Lake Elmo votes down Gold Line BRT
Star Tribune: Opponents of Southwest route win in quest for Met Council documents
Star Tribune: Lake Elmo, anti-sprawl suburb, opts out of east metro transit plan
Star Tribune: New leader on board at Transit for Livable Communities
Star Tribune: New St. Croix River bridge now won’t open until late in 2017
Star Tribune: MVTA: Another ridership record in 2015, and looking for more growth

Editorial, Pioneer Press: East metro: A bump in the busway
Editorial, Star Tribune: Allow ride-sharing services to operate at MSP

AP: Gov. Mark Dayton to convene water summit Feb. 27 in St. Paul (In Politics in MN)
AP: Dayton releases $220M wish list for water quality upgrades (In MPR)
Duluth News Tribune: Study: Most mercury in Lake Superior comes from atmosphere
Duluth News Tribune: Dayton to make water systems a spending priority
Duluth News Tribune: Duluth Council lays out legislative wish list featuring MEP
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Great Lakes organization starts review of Wisconsin city’s request for water from Lake Michigan (In Duluth News Tribune)
Pioneer Press: Water contaminants in Lake Elmo, Oakdale, Cottage Grove water dropping
Politics in MN: Dayton proposes $220M for water infrastructure
Star Tribune: Chemicals continue to decline in east-metro drinking water

Wildlife & Fish
AP: 5-year plan for Leech Lake shows healthy walleye population (In MPR)
AP: Barber considers modernizing ‘bragging board’ for fish, game (In MPR)
Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota wildlife center feuds with DNR after eviction notice
Star Tribune: Minnesota DNR plans to evict wildlife operation from Carlos Avery

LTE, Duluth News Tribune: Minnesota’s wolf population needs control

News Watch: Jan. 7

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Today’s Topics: Climate Change; Energy; Oil & Pipelines; Parks & Trails; Pollinators; Waste & Recycling; Water; Wildlife & Fish

Climate Change
AP: California governor declares LA gas leak a state of emergency (In MPR)
MinnPost: Heard about the huge methane leak outside Los Angeles? I didn’t think so
MPR: Winter’s slow start has climate scientists guessing
NPR: Using technology to keep carbon emissions in check (In MPR)

Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: Local view: Evidence from the past predicts rise in sea level

AP: Clean Energy Resource Teams awards grants to 39 projects (In Winona Daily News)
Austin Daily Herald: Nature Center chooses contractor for solar power
Green Tech Media: Report: Benefits From State Renewable Portfolio Standards Far Outweigh Costs
Mankato Free Press: Singing the praise of renewables
MPR: Duluth, Fargo vie to be nation’s most conservative city (on energy)

Oil & Pipelines
AP: Report: Regulator’s emails disparaged Sandpiper project (In MPR)
Pioneer Press: State staffer’s emails on pipeline spark investigation
Pioneer Press: Mark Dayton: Concerned staffer may have ‘crossed line’ on pipeline
Star Tribune: Pollution-control employee investigated over seemingly biased e-mails on Sandpiper pipeline

Commentary, Duluth News Tribune: Local view: Oil trains, pipelines offer false choice

Parks & Trails
Star Tribune: Minneapolis park superintendent seeks $300 million via November referendum

MPR: EPA says pesticide harms bees in some cases (In MPR)
MPR: MN beekeeper: Feds must tighten rules on insecticide-coated seeds featuring MEP member group Pesticide Action Network
Star Tribune: Bees win a round with EPA finding featuring MEP member group Pesticide Action Network

Waste & Recycling
Star Tribune: Minneapolis prepares to expand organics recycling

Duluth News Tribune: Lamprey pheromone approved by EPA
NPR: As technology marches on, reservoir caretakers stay at their posts (In MPR)

Wildlife & Fish
AP: Minnesota DNR names new point person for big game management (In MPR)
Duluth News Tribune: One rare ivory gull found dead, second one spotted alive in Duluth