Posts Categorized: Environmental Insider

Insider: December 8, 2017

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Minnesota Winters Aren’t What They Used to Be Minnesotans love to talk about weather. In recent years, winter brings a flurry of conversations about the shortage of frigid days and good old-fashioned snowstorms. While this week fulfilled some fundamentals of a Minnesota winter with plunging temperatures, wind-driven snow, and treacherous driving conditions, we started the week with… Read more »

Insider: December 1, 2017

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Two Bad Mining Bills Pass in House, but Fight Isn’t Over This week, the U.S. House of Representatives voted in favor of two hazardous bills – H.R. 3115 and H.R. 3905 – that would provide major boosts to copper sulfide mining proposals in Minnesota. These bills support the PolyMet mine near Hoyt Lakes and the Twin… Read more »

Insider: November 17, 2017

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Reality Check on Proposed Line 3 Next Wednesday, November 22 will mark the conclusion of the Public Utilities  Commission’s  public comment period on the proposed Enbridge Line 3 pipeline. Since late September, the PUC has been collecting testimony from intervenors and members of the public on this proposal, specifically on the issue of the certificate of need… Read more »

Insider: November 10, 2017

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Minnesota Faces the Climate Change Challenge This week, delegates from 195 countries are meeting for the COP23 conference in Bonn, Germany to work on solutions to climate change and further advance the Paris Climate Accord. The meeting coincides with the announcement that war-torn Syria has begun its accession to the agreement, leaving the United States as the only… Read more »

Insider: November 3, 2017

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photo credit: USDA Buffers Help Boost Minnesota Water Health Wednesday, November 1 marked the deadline for Minnesota farmers to comply with the buffer law, which mandates that farms keep a 50-foot strip of perennial vegetation between their cropland and the streams and ditches that feed into Minnesota’s lakes and rivers. The law, passed in 2015, seeks… Read more »

Insider: October 27, 2017

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    Insect Decline Demands Action Last week, a multinational team of European scientists released the disturbing results of a study of insect populations tested throughout Germany. Their data confirmed a major environmental concern, showing that flying insects – including flies, bees, and butterflies – had decreased in population by roughly 75% over the last 27 years. Though… Read more »

Insider: October 20, 2017

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    Sulfate Standard Change Would Weaken Wild Rice Protection This month, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is holding hearings on its proposed  changes to the state’s Wild Rice Sulfate Standard, which regulates the level of sulfate pollution allowed to be discharged into wild rice waters. If enacted, the amendments would shift the regulation from enforcing a uniform… Read more »

Insider: October 13, 2017

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    photo credit: MPCA EPA Repeals Clean Power Plan, but Minnesota Moves Forward This week, the Trump Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency announced the beginning of the repeal process for the Clean Power Plan, a major Obama Administration policy that aimed to cut carbon emissions from the U.S. power grid. The plan aimed for a 32%… Read more »

Insider: October 6, 2017

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  photo credit: NASA Mining Waste and a Big Dam Problem Last month, the Department of Natural Resources released draft dam permitting for PolyMet’s proposed sulfide mine in Northern Minnesota, and opened up a comment period on the permit that ends on October 16. The permit would allow PolyMet to use a 40-year-old dam, previously used to store… Read more »

Insider: September 29, 2017

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  A Greening, Electric Economy In many discussions over the future of energy in Minnesota and around the United States, the debate is often framed as a basic argument between protecting the environment and keeping jobs. Proponents of coal, oil, or gas contend that shifting too quickly away from carbon-heavy fossil fuels will mean sacrificing potential job growth in sectors like… Read more »