Loon Commons Blog

Minnesota Faces the Climate Change Challenge

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  By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership 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… Read more »

Student Voices Column: Government and Industries Have Moral Responsibility to Update Regulations on Pollutants

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The above image is from Pine Bend Refinery in Rosemount, Minnesota Retrieved from: pinebendrefinery.com   The Minnesota Environmental Partnership is proud to feature the following post as part of a series of columns as part of a Student Voices Series issues. This is part of a continuing collaboration with Macalester College’s Geography Department and its students. Contribued… Read more »

Buffers Help Boost Minnesota Water Health

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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 to tackle the problem of agricultural runoff by implementing… Read more »

Student Voices Column: Stop the “Poison Our Waters Act” Before We Poison Ourselves

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The Minnesota Environmental Partnership is proud to feature the following post as part of a series of columns as part of a Student Voices Series issues. This is part of a continuing collaboration with Macalester College’s Geography Department and its students. Contributed by Julia Fritz-Endres, Macalester student: When was the last time you swam in a lake,… Read more »

Insect Decline Demands Action

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  By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership 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 biomass by roughly 75% over the last 27 years…. Read more »

Sulfate Standard Change Would Weaken Wild Rice Protection

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership 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 level of sulfate across… Read more »

EPA Repeals Clean Power Plan, but Minnesota Moves Forward

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   photo credit: MPCA By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership 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% cut in power plant… Read more »

Mining Waste and a Big Dam Problem

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  photo credit: NASA By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership 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 »

A Greening, Electric Economy

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A Greening, Electric Economy By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership 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… Read more »

Great Lakes Commission Visits Duluth, Talks Water and Infrastructure Solutions

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Tuesday and Thursday, September 19-20, the city of Duluth hosted the annual meeting of the Great Lakes Commission (GLC), an interstate compact dedicated to discussing and implementing good public policy for water, land, and economic prosperity in the Great Lakes region. Members from eight states as well as Ontario and Quebec… Read more »