Insider: April 14, 2017

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Environmental Insider is brought to you by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Join Us On April 19th!

Water Action Day is only a few days away, and it’s not too late to get involved! This is an opportunity to not only to make your voice heard on clean water issues, but to join with a coalition Minnesotans united by a common cause. More than six hundred people have registered to attend, and we hope to see many more at the Capitol!

If you want to learn more about water policy and how you as a citizen can use lobbying to make a difference, we’ll have trainings and workshops available all day. If you’re eager to talk to your legislators, you may have the chance to speak with them at their office during the morning – ask at the Wisdom Table in Christ Lutheran Church. And if you’re interested in hearing some terrific calls to action from clean water leaders, come to our rally in the Capitol Rotunda at 1:30 to hear speeches from Mark Dayton, Winona LaDuke, Walter Mondale, and more! All are welcome! Register here, and join us on April 19th! 

Water Action Day Schedule

8:00 AM – Home Base Opens (Christ Lutheran Church – 105 University Ave W, St Paul, MN 55103)  

8:00 – 10:30 – Coffee and Treats

8:00 – 4:00 – Legislator Visits (all day – check your  visit schedule)
                  • The Wisdom Table – find info at this table in Home Base (basement)
 Letters to the Editor & Social Media Table at Home Base (basement)
                  Capitol Tours Hourly on the hour Capitol Building (Room 126)

Water Action Day Training & Legislative Issue Workshops (Home Base, upstairs):

                 8:30 – 8:55 – Citizen Lobbying & Water Policy 101
• 9:00 – 9:20 Workshop A: Forever Green Initiative
 9:25 – 9:50 – Citizen Lobbying & Water Policy 101
 9:55 – 10:15 – Workshop B: 2017 “Big Bad Bills”
 10:20 – 10:45 – Citizen Lobbying & Water Policy 101
 10:50 – 11:10 – Workshop C: MN Pollinator Issues
 11:15 – 11:35 – Workshop D: MN Pipeline Issues
• 11:40 – 12:00 Workshop E: MN Mining Issues

11:00 – 1:00 – LUNCH at Home Base (Basement)

12:45 – 1:15 – Clean Water Ceremony at Leif Erickson Park (in front of State Office Building)

1:30 – Clean Water Rally in the Capitol Rotunda

2:30 – Environmental Quality Board Meeting – Capitol Building (ask organizers for room number)

4:00 – Home Base Closes 

Water Action Day Rally
featured speakers:

Activist Winona LaDuke
 Vice President Walter Mondale  
 Governor Mark Dayton
 Explorer Ann Bancroft
 Farmers Audrey Arner
  and Julie Arnold



Possible Topics to Discuss with your Legislators:


MEP Hosts Coalition Press Conference On Environmental Rollbacks

On Thursday, April 13, citizens from across Minnesota held a press conference at the Capitol, calling on the Minnesota Legislature to protect our water and end attempts to unravel the fabric of Minnesota’s environmental protections. Featured speakers included farmer and Land Stewardship Project President Kathy DeBuhr, Eureka Recycling co-President Lynn Hoffman, Anglers for Habitat President Lance Ness, and tribal attorney Tara Houska of Honor the Earth. To watch a video of the full conference, click here. Read the press release here.

Fix the raid of constitutionally dedicated environmental trust funds!

In 2008, Minnesota’s voters passed the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution to protect and restore our water, land, parks and trails, and cultural heritage. Right now legislators are moving forward with measures to raid the Legacy Amendment’s Clean Water Fund. They also want to bypass recommendations that have been made by the Clean Water Council – a council that was set up to guide the use of the Legacy funds. Please ask your State Senator to fix this unfair misuse of clean water Legacy funds!

Refilling White Bear Lake by pumping could cost $48 mil. But would it turn the water green?

(From Pioneer Press) — Refilling once-depleted White Bear Lake by pumping water from nearby Vadnais Lake could cost up to $48 million. And maybe turn the water green — unless you spent a lot more. That’s the upshot of a new state-mandated analysis of the notion to offset the White Bear’s notoriously fluctuating water levels by pumping water from elsewhere. It’s not clear that’s needed. >>Read more.


action alert
April 4 is Transportation Forward Day at the State Capitol

Rally for Transit on April 18!

Transportation Forward and MEP member group Transit for Livable Communities will be holding a Rally for Transit at the Capitol/Rice Street Green Line station on Thursday, April 18. The rally will take place from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM. 

The Minnesota Legislature has proposed deep cuts to Metro Transit funding. That will lead to fare increases and a 40% cut in bus and light rail service. Cuts and fare increases will make it harder for people who use transit to get to work and school. Riders in our community will pay more for less frequent service, shorter hours, and fewer routes. RSVP here or call Andrea at 651-789-1406 to sign up to take a stand against these dangerous transit cuts!


Met Council to hold public meetings on possible fare hike

(From Star Tribune) — The public will soon get the chance to comment on a proposed fare hike for Metro Transit buses, light rail, Northstar commuter rail and Metro Mobility service. After months of deliberation, the Metropolitan Council took the first tangible step to raising fares by voting Wednesday to hold a series of public meetings. This doesn’t mean a fare hike will happen, however. Faced with a $74 million deficit, proposed cuts in state funding and a decline in tax receipts, the regional planning body is looking to generate more revenue — though a fare hike alone won’t solve the cash crunch. >>Read More.


Duluth curbs coal consumption at steam plant

(From Duluth News Tribune) — Duluth’s steam plant is expected to burn 20,638 fewer tons of coal this year, thanks to the installation of new controls that will allow two of its four boilers to run on natural gas.Duluth Mayor Emily Larson hailed the development during a press conference at the steam plant Wednesday and announced: “Today is the first day in which we are going coal-free in a pilot program here down at Duluth Steam.” Plans call for the plant to run exclusively on natural gas from April to October. But it will revert to coal during the winter months, as that fuel remains a more economical option during periods of peak demand. >>Read More.

photo credit: Midwest Energy News
Massive solar array will generate benefit for National Guard, civilians

(From MPR News) — It seemed like a good omen when the sun managed to make a late appearance on Thursday as elected officials, business and military leaders gathered at Camp Ripley to celebrate the completion of a massive new 10-megawatt solar array, a joint project between the Minnesota National Guard and Duluth-based Minnesota Power. “This is one of the first fields that are built on state land, and it has set the precedent for the amount of size, amount of opportunity that there is for developing clean energy resources,” said Staff Sgt. Anthony Housey, from Camp Ripley’s public affairs office. Housey said the project would help the camp move toward its goal of energy independence. >>Read More.


Upcoming Environmental Events

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

Regional Campaign and Sporting Organizer | Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness

Phone Fundraiser and Membership Builder | Land Stewardship Project

Advancement Officer | Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Development and Communications Associate | Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Big River Farms Food Hub Intern | Minnesota Food Association/Big River Farms

Wilderness Curriculum Internship | Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

Membership Internship | Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

Manager of Development & Member Engagement | Transit for Livable Communities / St. Paul Smart Trips Senior

See all job postings

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Minnesota Environmental Partnership
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546 Rice Street, Suite 100, Saint Paul, MN 55103

The Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) is a coalition of more than 70 environmental and conservation organizations working together for clean water, clean energy, and protection of our Great Outdoors.


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