Insider: February 10, 2017

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Photo Credit: Tundra Ice, Flickr CC

Governor Dayton Sets Goal to Cut Water Pollution by 25 percent by 2025

At the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board’s annual conference in St. Paul, Governor Dayton announced his goal for Minnesota to cut down on water pollution by 25 percent by 2025. The goal covers all pollutants, with a particular focus on nitrogen, phosphorus, chloride from road salt, E. coli bacteria and sediment. While environmentalists are very supportive of this goal, many are wondering how exactly the state will achieve such a deep reduction in pollution. With two years left in office, Governor Dayton has made clean water one of his priorities. >>Read More


Go to Izzy’s Ice Cream on Monday February 13th and a portion of the proceeds will go to MEP

Minnesota Environmental Partnership has been selected by Izzy’s Ice Cream to be part of their 13 Days of Giving. Stop by Izzy’s on Monday February 13th and a portion of the proceeds will go to MEP. 


Register for the 2017 Minnesota Water Action Day

Join us on Wednesday, April 19th for the 2017 Minnesota Water Action Day! This is a day of public action and advocacy to let lawmakers know we care about our water. This all-day event will include a rally, issue trainings and meetings with your legislators. Come for all or part of the day. There will be trainings in the morning, both on how to actively engage legislators and on the water issues that we face in Minnesota. Throughout the day there will be events and other ways to keep people engaged, and the rally will be held in the Capitol Rotunda at 1pm. Register today.

Photo Credit:
Dark Sevier,
Flickr CC

A Violation of Tribal & Human Rights: Standing Rock Chair Slams Approval of Dakota Access Pipeline

(From Democracy Now!) —  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Tuesday it will greenlight the final phase of construction for the Dakota Access pipeline, prompting indigenous-led water protectors to call for a “last stand” against the $3.8 billion project. In a letter to Congress, acting Army Secretary Robert Speer said the Army Corps will cancel an environmental impact study of the Dakota Access pipeline and will grant an easement today allowing Energy Transfer Partners to drill under Lake Oahe on the Missouri River. The Army Corps also said it would suspend a customary 14-day waiting period following its order, meaning the company could immediately begin boring a tunnel for the final one-and-a-half miles of pipe. We speak to Standing Rock Sioux Tribal Council Chair Dave Archambault II. >>Read More


Photo Credit:
alfre32, Flickr CC

St. Paul Public Housing first agency of its kind in U.S. to be 100% solar powered

(From Clean Energy Resource Teams) — A year-long project to connect ten public housing high-rises in Saint Paul to a community solar garden is nearly complete. When complete, the St. Paul Public Housing Agency will become the first public housing organization in the U.S. to completely offset electrical consumption with solar energy, according to St. Paul housing officials. “We blazed the trail,” said Louise Seeba, general counsel for the organization. Subscribing to the solar energy garden will save the PHA $130,000 per year, and $3 million over the length of a 25-year contract with Edina-based Geronimo Energy. >>Read More

Photo Credit:
eribel Tourisme,
Flickr CC

Electric vehicle charging network expanding along Interstate 94

(From Clean Energy Resource Teams) — Imagine zipping down the road in your new electric car but with one nagging question: Is there a charging station nearby? Soon you won’t have to worry as much. The Interstate 94 corridor from Detroit, Mich., to the Minnesota/North Dakota state line is one of 55 routes the Federal Highway Administration has designated nationally to promote alternative fuels and help drivers find vehicle charging stations nationwide. Spanning 35 states and covering 85,000 miles, the new network was created under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The alternative fuel corridors designation will be used to promote electric, hydrogen, propane and natural gas vehicles by encouraging development of fueling and charging stations along these routes. >>Read More


Photo Credit:
Laurel F,
Flickr CC

Minnesota legislature takes up bill to create “pollinator account”

(From Pesticide Action Network) — Legislative language to create an account for the protection of Minnesota’s pollinators was proposed in the omnibus agriculture finance bill, (HF 895/SF 780) introduced today to Minnesota House and Senate committees. Establishing the “pollinator account” is the first of two legislative actions proposed by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, based on the findings of its two-year registration review of neonicotinoid pesticides. “By supporting this pollinator account, our legislators have the opportunity to protect pollinators vital to our state’s agricultural economy,” explained Lex Horan, Organizer at Pesticide Action Network. >>Read More


Photo Credit:
evin Saff,
Flickr CC

Lawsuit against PolyMet land exchange raises potent issue of taxpayers’ rights

(From MinnPost) — Perhaps you saw the cursory coverage last week of WaterLegacy’s challenge to the PolyMet land exchange, prerequisite for its NorthMet copper/nickel mine near Babbitt. Ho-hum, right? Another incremental step in PolyMet Mining Corp.’s forward march brings another environmentalist effort to roll boulders into its path. Not the first challenge to the land exchange since the U.S. Forest Service gave it final approval on Jan. 9. Not even a challenge on the overall merits of the exchange — just some procedural points. Wrong. WaterLegacy’s claim strikes me for multiple reasons as highly problematic for PolyMet and also for the Forest Service, which has less at stake in the outcome but bears more responsibility for the current situation. >>Read More


Photo Credit:
Kevin Gill,
Flickr CC

Trump Voters & Global Warming

(From Yale Program on Climate Change Communication) — President Trump has questioned the reality of global warming and has cast doubt on America’s continued participation in global efforts to address the problem. We used data from our most recent Climate Change in the American Mind survey to assess Trump voters’ views about global warming and clean energy. Overall, we find that about half to a majority of Trump voters think global warming is happening and support a variety of climate and clean energy policies. >>Read More

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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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