Loon Commons Blog

Twin Cities lower residential speed limits, improving community safety

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog, Transit and Transportation.

By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Last week, the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul announced a major policy change to increase safety for pedestrians, drivers, and cyclists in both cities: the vast majority of road miles within the two cities will have speed limits decreased from 30 mph to 20 mph, while arterial street speeds will be pegged… Read more »

Climate Action Caucus unveils exciting project proposals

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Monday, the Minnesota House Climate Action Caucus unveiled “Minnesota Can-Do Climate Actions,” a package of bills to invest $191.5 million from the projected state budget surplus in one-time spending into Minnesota communities for clean energy, clean transportation, and conservation efforts. Last week, we wrote about how Minnesota can… Read more »

How the Legislature can bond for climate this session

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Last week, we offered a brief preview of the Legislature’s work in the 2020 session, which began on Tuesday. One of the crucial aspects of this session is its traditional status as a bonding year. Bonding allows the state to borrow money to finance capital projects – mostly including new infrastructure… Read more »

Can we protect nature by giving it legal rights?

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Photos © iStockphoto.com/BrianLasenby By Emily Levang, Environmental Writer. Originally posted at Ensia. Around the world, communities are using “Rights of Nature” laws to defend waterways, species and more from human threats February 4, 2020 — A great blue heron walks slowly on long legs. A loud splash just might signal the presence of an endangered… Read more »

2020 Legislative Session begins Tuesday

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Tuesday, February 11, the Minnesota Legislature will begin its 2020 regular session, which is scheduled to run no later than May 18. The shorter, even-year session is traditionally a bonding year, in which the Legislature will consider funding capital investment projects across the state. With the need for… Read more »

Minnesotans tell PUC: Line 3 would be a disaster

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photo credit: Andy Pearson, MN350 By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Yesterday, dozens of Minnesotans gathered at the Minnesota Senate Building for a rare event – the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) directly took public comments on the Line 3 oil pipeline proposal. As we wrote last week, the PUC is considering whether to reissue the Line… Read more »

PUC has second chance to make the right call on Line 3

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership This Friday, January 31, the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) will hold a public comment hearing on the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline replacement. This hearing will inform the PUC’s decision on whether to grant the oil pipeline a Certificate of Need and a Route Permit, both of which are required before the project… Read more »

Is momentum turning against sulfide mining in Minnesota?

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Decision on PolyMet, bill to protect BWCAW are encouraging signs By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals dealt a breakthrough victory to tribal and environmental advocates, reversing Department of Natural Resources (DNR) permits for the PolyMet mine. The Court determined that questions about PolyMet’s safety, finances, and ownership merited… Read more »

Walz Administration releases major clean water bonding proposal

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Friday, Governor Tim Walz announced a proposal to leverage $300 million in state bonding dollars to upgrade and replace water infrastructure across Minnesota. This program, which would require passage by the Legislature in the coming session, would focus on helping Minnesota communities deal with the mounting costs of… Read more »

Court orders computer search for MPCA information on PolyMet

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership  – (@mattjdoll) On Tuesday, Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann ordered that a forensic search be conducted on the computers of former top Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) officials responsible for overseeing the PolyMet mine permit process. The search will involve the physical collection and investigation of those computers to find… Read more »