Loon Commons Blog

Minnesotans face challenge from aquatic invasives

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MEP organizer Stephan Witherspoon (second from left) with Minnesota DNR and Sea Grant employees at the AIS Blitz By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership At this time of year more than any other, Minnesotans’ connection with water is visible throughout our state. Many of the over 800,000 boats registered in our state will be taking… Read more »

Pressure leads to hearings on PolyMet permit

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership – @mattjdoll On Tuesday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals ordered a hearing in Ramsey County District Court to review evidence that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) pressured the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to keep the EPA’s concerns about PolyMet’s water pollution out of the public record. This order came… Read more »

MPCA and EPA kept Minnesotans in the dark on PolyMet concerns

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photo credit: NASA By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership – @mattjdoll As evidence continues to mount that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) agreed to keep scientific concerns about Polymet’s pollution hazards out of the public record, more Minnesota voices are demanding an investigation: what were the EPA’s concerns, how… Read more »

Long-awaited MDA rule opens door to protecting Minnesotans’ drinking water

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership – @mattjdoll After a multiyear process and input from Minnesotans from around the state, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture has approved and is beginning implementation of its new Groundwater Protection Rule, which aims to start tackling the insidious threat of nitrate pollution in our drinking water. This rule regulates nitrogen… Read more »

Tribal and environmental advocates win renewed environmental scrutiny for Line 3

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photo credit: NASA By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership – @mattjdoll On Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals laid a significant new obstacle in the path of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline project. The presiding judge stated that the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) did not adequately account for the risk of the pipeline spilling tar… Read more »

Promising legislative session ends with gridlock, a few bright spots

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership — @mattjdoll The 2019 Minnesota Legislative Session saw some of the most ambitious legislation in  years for Minnesota’s environment, but unfortunately, the Legislature did not live up to its responsibility to Minnesotans to pass progress into law. With the signature of the final budget and policy bills by Governor Walz… Read more »

Copper-nickel mines inch forward, but advocates defend MN’s waters

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership — @mattjdoll On Wednesday, the federal Bureau of Land Management announced its renewal of two mineral leases held by Twin Metals, the company seeking to construct a copper-nickel mine in the Superior National Forest near Ely. The leases were previously blocked by the Obama administration due to the tremendous environmental… Read more »

House and Senate offer divergent paths on environment this session

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership Minnesota’s 2019 Legislative Session is entering its final stages. With a May 20 deadline to pass its budget and policy bills through both houses for Governor Walz’s signature, the Legislature is poised to make deals and compromises that will shape Minnesota’s environment for years to come. The DFL-controlled House… Read more »

House passes 100% clean energy by 2050, showing Minnesotans’ efforts are bearing fruit

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership On Wednesday evening, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed an omnibus bill for energy and economic development that includes a major milestone for climate action in our state: a path toward 100% carbon-free electricity statewide by 2050. This bill would marshal Minnesota’s utilities, energy efficiency expertise, and ingenuity to… Read more »

Minnesota Senate threatens harmful cuts and rollbacks in environmental budget

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership – @mattjdoll Last week, the Minnesota Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance committee unveiled an omnibus budget bill that would dramatically cut general state support for our natural resources by 25%. These cuts, representing a funding decrease of $90 million from the last two year budget, would harm the… Read more »

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