Loon Commons Blog

Minnesota Senate stonewalling may leave Environmental Trust Fund money on the table

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Tuesday, we received troubling news about Minnesota’s work to restore and protect our natural spaces. State Representative Rick Hansen, chair of the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division, posted a letter from his Senate counterpart, Bill Ingebrigtsen, in which Senator Ingebrigtsen said that the Senate does not… Read more »

Upgrading Minnesota water systems: Vital to our health, a boost to our economy

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership The Minnesota Legislature has been working aggressively over the past few weeks to respond to the COVID-19 crisis and its harsh impacts on our state’s communities. Throughout the rest of the spring (or summer, if a special session is called), they will have to contend with tough questions about… Read more »

MEP, allies call on Walz to pause major permitting, protect environmental safeguards

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Thursday, April 2, the Minnesota Environmental Partnership and more than two dozen allied organizations sent a letter to the Walz Administration and Attorney General Keith Ellison, asking that they continue to protect Minnesotans’ environmental health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis. Our request was twofold: that the Walz… Read more »

PolyMet appeal headed to Supreme Court, company on the defensive on permits

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Two major developments on PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel sulfide mine in northern Minnesota were announced this week. On Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals overturned the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s (MPCA) air permits for the PolyMet mine. The Court found that in its permit, the MPCA hadn’t adequately considered the… Read more »

Line 3 comment period extended, moved to conference calls

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

Online comments open through April 10 By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Earlier this week, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) announced that in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, it would extend the online comment period on its permits for the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline by one week and shift from holding in-person… Read more »

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

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

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

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

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?

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

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

Posted by & filed under Loon Commons blog.

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 »