Insider: March 16

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Environmental Insider is brought to you by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Getting to the Roots of Nitrate Pollution

Ag Dept, Legislature Consider Groundwater Solutions

Last Tuesday, Governor Mark Dayton laid out a framework for the Groundwater Protection Rule to limit the movement of nitrates into Minnesota’s waters as part of the Department of Agriculture’s proposed work to implement the Groundwater Protection Act. The proposal aims to limit the overuse of nitrogen fertilizer in targeted agricultural areas to stave off some of the worst nitrate contamination affecting Minnesota communities and drinking water.

Acting on this contamination soon is crucial as more than 50 community water systems serving more than 225,000 people around Minnesota are currently working with the state to reduce elevated nitrate levels in their water systems. For now, they rely primarily on upgrades to treatment technology in their systems, addressing the symptom of nitrate pollution, not the cause: the high levels of nitrogen runoff and filtration from our state’s agriculture systems that are tainting our waters.

The Problem

Upgrades to water treatment facilities and maintenance can run up enormous costs for communities, with some costs per household ranging in the thousands of dollars – a tall order for many small towns. And Minnesotans with private wells, of which ten percent of those tested already exceed health risk limits for nitrates, face enormous costs of their own.

Our communities don’t have time to delay drinking water solutions. If the nitrate contamination in our water supplies isn’t addressed, the health and cost consequences will add up. Exposure to high levels of nitrates causes “blue baby syndrome” – a condition that causes serious breathing and circulatory problems in infants. Exposure has also been linked to certain types of cancer in adults. And once nitrates enter a groundwater supply, they don’t break down unless treated. Their prevalence in our drinking water will continue to rise without strong action.

The Proposed Rule

The Department of Agriculture’s Groundwater Protection Rule takes steps in the right direction, and it represents an improvement over the initial draft rule the Department proposed last year. We are especially glad to see that the Department moves to use their authority to protect the groundwater recharge areas for community drinking water supply areas around the state.

The framework of the rule would restrict nitrogen fertilizer use in the fall and winter in certain vulnerable areas, and implement special protections for wellhead areas of communities that are already struggling with nitrate contamination. But it’s disappointing that this rule does not extend protections to those Minnesotans who may need it most — private well-owners. And the pace of change in the rule is slow. Minnesotans shouldn’t need to wait a decade or more for clean drinking water.

Still, the proposed rule is a good opportunity to start developing drinking water protections that work for communities, farmers, and well owners across the state. MEP and our partners stand ready to collaborate with the  Department of Agriculture on creating stronger drinking water protections for all of Minnesota’s communities and families.

Unfortunately, some members of the legislature are seeking to move in the opposite direction, pushing a bill that would prohibit the Department of Agriculture from regulating nitrogen fertilizer and protecting our water.

How You Can Help

It’s critical that we act now and act boldly to protect our drinking water, for the infants at risk of health problems and the communities and rural citizens struggling to pay the cost to treat their contaminated water. If you want to stand up for our drinking water, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Call your legislators to tell them you oppose any attempt to challenge the state’s authority to protect our health from groundwater pollution.
  2. In May, the Department of Agriculture will open a comment period on the nitrogen rule plan and hold hearings throughout the summer. Share your comments online or at a hearing, and help make sure the revised rule holds water and protects drinking water for all Minnesotans.
  3. Help educate the public and policymakers on programs that would help transition our agriculture to a more water-friendly system of agriculture by raising cover crops and perennials that restore soil and keep our water healthy. Check out the Forever Green Initiative and the Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program, which would help advance these healthy practices and increase their productivity and economic viability.

The strongest way to advocate for Minnesota’s health and natural resources is to share stories with lawmakers in person at meetings and hearings. If you live in a community that has struggled with contaminated water, let us know! We can help you get in touch with your legislators and be a strong advocate for Minnesota’s waters – contact us at info@mepartnership.org or call 651-290-0154.

MEP Press Release: Statement on Governor Dayton’s Proposed Groundwater Protection Rule


Bloody red shrimp a reminder that Great Lakes need stronger protections

(From Star Tribune, by Steve Morse and Molly Flanagan) — News broke last month that a solitary bloody red shrimp (hemimysis anomala), an aquatic invasive species not found before in Lake Superior, was discovered in the Twin Ports Harbor (“Worries of a new invasive species,” February 20). With ship ballast tanks being the top means of moving invasive species across the globe and around the Great Lakes, this news is disappointing but not a surprise.This finding is a stark reminder of the unknowns floating around in ship ballast tanks waiting to be emptied in ports around the region. >>Read More.

Safe drinking water must be a shared value in Minnesota

(From Star Tribune) — It’s hard to persuade residents of a state whose very name bespeaks an abundance of water to worry about water quality. Maybe that’s why three successive governors did little to implement a 1989 statute empowering state agencies to “promote best practices … to the extent practicable” to minimize groundwater pollution. Then again, Govs. Arne Carlson, Jesse Ventura and Tim Pawlenty were in office before Minnesotans knew the extent to which nitrate is contaminating groundwater, the drinking water source for 75 percent of Minnesotans. Nitrate causes a potentially fatal condition in infants and is a suspected source of other health disorders. >>Read More.

Registration is open for Water Action Day 2018!

Whether you joined us for our Water Action Day event last year or you’re a first timer, we hope to see you at the Capitol on May 2! This is your chance to show up and stand up to protect our waters!

This all-day event will include free breakfast and briefings in the morning, both on how to actively engage legislators and on the water issues that we face in Minnesota. Throughout the day, attendees will meet with legislators to ask them to protect our water, and the Clean Water Rally will be held in the Capitol Rotunda at 1:30 pm. Sign up today and find out how you can volunteer and support this important event!


               

Minnesota is in the midst of a massive and historic energy transformation

(From MinnPost) — Minnesota is on the front lines of a clean energy transformation that is reshaping the U.S. energy landscape. Increased use of clean energy sources and strong and consistent investments in energy efficiency are saving Minnesotans money and creating tens of thousands of jobs. The question? How do we build on this success? The Business Council for Sustainable Energy and Bloomberg New Energy Finance recently released its 2018 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. The data told a compelling story: Energy businesses are thriving and growing faster than many imagined possible. It also stated that energy efficiency, renewable energy, and natural gas are — together — dominating today’s energy economy. >>Read More.


                

Safety tops talk at bike summit

(From Rochester Post Bulletin, featuring MEP member Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota) — Ed Denbow said he sees both sides of the issue when it comes to creating new bike lanes. As a daily bicycle rider who logged more than 5,000 miles last year, he said safety is a priority.As a homeowner in the Country Club Manor neighborhood, he knows his neighbors are concerned about a proposed bike-lane project that could reduce on-street parking, which some worry would affect property values. “Being retired, you are always concerned about values going down.” he said. However, he said he expects changes could address unsafe biking conditions in the area, which includes Harriet Bishop Elementary School. >>Read More.

Northern Lights Express project cleared to seek funding

(From Duluth News Tribune) — Having cleared a pair of environmental hurdles recently, the proposed half-billion-dollar passenger train between the Twin Ports and Twin Cities is proceeding to its next phase — namely seeking funding for final design and construction, said a Minnesota Department of Transportation news release on Wednesday. The Northern Lights Express Higher Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Project was found to have no significant environmental barriers and will not require an Environmental Impact Statement, MnDOT said. Processes and public comment periods by both the Federal Railroad Administration and MnDOT came to similar conclusions in recent months. The Federal Railroad Administration’s “Finding of No Significant Impact on the Tier 2 Project Level Environmental Assessment” was the most recent conclusion on the 152-mile project corridor. That finding in late February clears the way for the project to move forward, MnDOT said. >>Read More.


A family goes to war with the dozen factory farms that surround them

(From City Pages) — Eighty-eight-year-old Lowell Trom was born on his family’s farm about an hour southeast of the Twin Cities. This is land his parents purchased back in 1925, land he’s worked for the last 75 years, harvesting corn and soybeans with his two sons. When you’ve been living and working on the same farm for three-quarters of a century, you get to see agriculture evolve first-hand. Over the years Dodge County, where the Troms live, has welcomed a thicket of factory farms where thousands of pigs, pumped full of antibiotics, huddle in windowless buildings. >>Read More.

Your yard is a powerful force against climate change

(From MPR News) — City yards are more than just idle patches of grass. They’re also powerful traps of carbon — a primary cause of the warming climate, put into the atmosphere as a gas by human activity. A new study from University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers Carly Ziter and Monica Turner finds that spaces like backyards or public parks can store more carbon than urban grasslands or forests. That means even the smallest urban green spaces are a major factor in how the natural world is holding down rising temperatures. For the study, Ziter took soil samples from a variety of locations in Madison and measured how different features on the urban landscape store carbon, affect water quality and mitigate floods. >>Read More.


Apply now to be a Minnesota GreenCorps Host Site!

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is now accepting applications from organizations interested in serving as host sites for the 2018 – 2019 Minnesota GreenCorps program year. Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program coordinated by the MPCA. The program places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to spend a year of service addressing critical environmental issues. Eligible organizations include public entities, school districts, not for profit institutions of higher education, and 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations.. Applications are due by 5:00 pm CDT on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Host site application materials, including a detailed guidance document and the application are available on the Minnesota GreenCorps website.


Regulators OK environmental review for disputed northern Minnesota oil pipeline

(From Pioneer Press) —  Minnesota regulators approved the final environmental review Thursday for Enbridge Energy’s proposal to replace its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline in northern Minnesota, setting the stage for a final decision on the disputed project in June. The Public Utilities Commission voted unanimously to declare the review “adequate,” meaning it met the legal requirements, after ordering rewrites in December in four narrow areas dealing mostly with proposed route alternatives. “You’re going to make a really important decision here in a couple months,” Brent Murcia of Youth Climate Intervenors, which opposes the project, told the commission. >>Read More.

 


Weekly Environmental Trivia – Answers Below Job Postings!  

1. What state park, known for its namesake lake, is the oldest and second-largest in Minnesota?

2. Minnesota rivers flow into the Great Lakes, the Gulf of Mexico, and what other body of water?

3. What Minnesota city and county are named after the Ojibwe word for wild rice?

Upcoming Environmental Events

Brewing a Better Climate, March 16
Surly Brewing Company, Minneapolis
Hosted by Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Farmers Take the Stage, March 16
Amazing Grace Bakery, Duluth
Hosted by Sustainable Farming Association

Unveiling the World’s First Beer with Solar Honey, March 22
56 Brewing, Minneapolis
Hosted by Fresh Energy

Code Blue for for Patient Earth: Responding to the urgent threat of climate change to One Health, April 20
Science Museum of Minnesota, St. Paul
Hosted by Fresh Energy

Water Action Day 2018, May 2
Christ Lutheran Church and State Capitol
Hosted by MN’s clean water community

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

Event and Engagement Coordinator | Fresh Energy
Ecological Restoration Technician – Full Time | Natural Shore Technologies
Seasonal Outreach Assistant | Friends of the Mississippi River
Interim Executive Director | Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
Development and Membership Director | Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Executive Director | Cannon River Watershed Partnership
See all job postings

Trivia Answers: 1) Itasca State Park. 2) Hudson Bay. 3) Mahnomen


Did you receive the Environmental Insider from a friend? Subscribe here!

Follow Us:

   

Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Copyright © 2017
546 Rice Street, Suite 100, Saint Paul, MN 55103
www.mepartnership.org
 

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.

Getting to the Roots of Nitrate Pollution

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Ag Dept, Legislature Consider Groundwater Solutions

By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Last Tuesday, Governor Mark Dayton laid out a framework for the Groundwater Protection Rule to limit the movement of nitrates into Minnesota’s waters as part of the Department of Agriculture’s proposed work to implement the Groundwater Protection Act. The proposal aims to limit the overuse of nitrogen fertilizer in targeted agricultural areas to stave off some of the worst nitrate contamination affecting Minnesota communities and drinking water.

Acting on this contamination soon is crucial as more than 50 community water systems serving more than 225,000 people around Minnesota are currently working with the state to reduce elevated nitrate levels in their water systems. For now, they rely primarily on upgrades to treatment technology in their systems, addressing the symptom of nitrate pollution, not the cause: the high levels of nitrogen runoff and filtration from our state’s agriculture systems that are tainting our waters.

The Problem

Upgrades to water treatment facilities and maintenance can run up enormous costs for communities, with some costs per household ranging in the thousands of dollars – a tall order for many small towns. And Minnesotans with private wells, of which ten percent of those tested already exceed health risk limits for nitrates, face enormous costs of their own.

Our communities don’t have time to delay drinking water solutions. If the nitrate contamination in our water supplies isn’t addressed, the health and cost consequences will add up. Exposure to high levels of nitrates causes “blue baby syndrome” – a condition that causes serious breathing and circulatory problems in infants. Exposure has also been linked to certain types of cancer in adults. And once nitrates enter a groundwater supply, they don’t break down unless treated. Their prevalence in our drinking water will continue to rise without strong action.

The Proposed Rule

The Department of Agriculture’s Groundwater Protection Rule takes steps in the right direction, and it represents an improvement over the initial draft rule the Department proposed last year. We are especially glad to see that the Department moves to use their authority to protect the groundwater recharge areas for community drinking water supply areas around the state.

The framework of the rule would restrict nitrogen fertilizer use in the fall and winter in certain vulnerable areas, and implement special protections for wellhead areas of communities that are already struggling with nitrate contamination. But it’s disappointing that this rule does not extend protections to those Minnesotans who may need it most — private well-owners. And the pace of change in the rule is slow. Minnesotans shouldn’t need to wait a decade or more for clean drinking water.

Still, the proposed rule is a good opportunity to start developing drinking water protections that work for communities, farmers, and well owners across the state. MEP and our partners stand ready to collaborate with the  Department of Agriculture on creating stronger drinking water protections for all of Minnesota’s communities and families.

Unfortunately, some members of the legislature are seeking to move in the opposite direction, pushing a bill that would prohibit the Department of Agriculture from regulating nitrogen fertilizer and protecting our water.

How You Can Help

It’s critical that we act now and act boldly to protect our drinking water, for the infants at risk of health problems and the communities and rural citizens struggling to pay the cost to treat their contaminated water. If you want to stand up for our drinking water, there are several steps you can take:

  1. Call your legislators to tell them you oppose any attempt to challenge the state’s authority to protect our health from groundwater pollution.
  2. In May, the Department of Agriculture will open a comment period on the nitrogen rule plan and hold hearings throughout the summer. Share your comments online or at a hearing, and help make sure the revised rule holds water and protects drinking water for all Minnesotans.
  3. Help educate the public and policymakers on programs that would help transition our agriculture to a more water-friendly system of agriculture by raising cover crops and perennials that restore soil and keep our water healthy. Check out the Forever Green Initiative and the Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program, which would help advance these healthy practices and increase their productivity and economic viability.

The strongest way to advocate for Minnesota’s health and natural resources is to share stories with lawmakers in person at meetings and hearings. If you live in a community that has struggled with contaminated water, let us know! We can help you get in touch with your legislators and be a strong advocate for Minnesota’s waters – contact us at info@mepartnership.org or call 651-290-0154.

MEP Press Release: Statement on Governor Dayton’s Proposed Groundwater Protection Rule

Press Statement on Governor Dayton’s Proposed Groundwater Protection Rule

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PRESS STATEMENT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2018

MEDIA CONTACT:
Steve Morse, Executive Director
Minnesota Environmental Partnership
stevemorse@mepartnership.org, 651-789-0653

 

Statement on Governor Dayton’s Proposed Groundwater Protection Rule

Last week, Governor Dayton and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released a revised proposed draft groundwater protection rule to protect drinking and groundwater from nitrate contamination.

Nitrogen fertilizer applied to corn crops can readily leach into water. Because of this and other practices, communities across the state are facing high nitrate levels in their groundwater: 537 public drinking water systems across the state have elevated nitrate levels and roughly 10% of private wells in vulnerable areas already exceed state and federal health-risk limits for nitrate.

State authority to protect ground and drinking water was established in 1989. After decades of delay, the state is proposing to use this authority to protect our groundwater and drinking water. The MDA’s efforts are a commendable step toward protecting drinking water for many thousands of residents; however, the proposed draft rule also leaves many vulnerable Minnesotans unprotected.

We applaud the MDA for recognizing the need for change, and we are grateful for their willingness to listen to farmers, experts, citizens, and communities across the state as they work on significantly rewriting the flawed original draft rule. The MDA held 17 public meetings engaging over 1,500 individuals and reviewed over 820 public written comments.

This proposed multi-part rule limits the application of some cropland fertilizers in the fall or on frozen soils in the riskiest areas. It also establishes a framework and takes modest steps to encourage, and then require, farm operators to modify practices to reduce pollution to public drinking water supplies where nitrate concentrations are increasing or remain high. Protection of these public drinking water supplies is a fundamental responsibility of our state, and this proposed rule is an initial step in protecting the quality of the water sources for Minnesotans in these communities.

As we await the details, we note two significant shortcomings in the MDA’s draft rule:

We are disappointed that this rule does not extend all its protections to those Minnesotans who may need it most — private well-owners. Elevated nitrate levels are occurring in private wells across the state. Many thousands of Minnesota families, especially in rural areas, rely on these private wells for their drinking water. Yet these families are going to remain at the mercy of more voluntary actions to protect their water — actions that have failed over the last generation. They will not receive even the modest drinking water protections that their neighbors in town will receive under this rule.

Secondly, the pace of change built into the rule’s framework for well protection is far too slow. A farm operating on a public water supply wellhead area can go many years before being required to adopt the practices needed to effectively protect the community’s drinking water. Communities shouldn’t have to wait a decade or more for safe drinking water.

This rule represents a start and an opportunity to show that we can act to protect our drinking water supplies, so that everyone benefits — farm operators, local economies, and communities who drink the water. But we can’t protect just some residents; we look forward to working with MDA to strengthen the proposed rule to leave no residents behind. All Minnesotans deserve access to clean, safe and affordable drinking water.

We stand ready to work with Governor Dayton and his agency to stop any attempts to rollback their authority to act to protect our public health and water quality.     

 

Clean Up the River Environment (CURE)

Clean Water Action of Minnesota

Environment Minnesota

Freshwater Society

Friends of the Mississippi River

League of Women Voters – Upper Mississippi River Region

Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Minnesota Trout Unlimited

 


About Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Minnesota Environmental Partnership is a coalition of 70 environmental, conservation, and civic organizations working together for clean water, clean energy, and protection of our Great Outdoors. We engage state leaders, unites environmental efforts, and helps citizens take action to protect and restore Minnesota’s natural resources.

www.mepartnership.org
www.facebook.com/MinnesotaEnvironmentalPartnership
www.twitter.com/MEPartnership

Insider: March 2, 2018

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Environmental Insider is brought to you by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Water Infrastructure Targeted in Bonding Proposals

Why MN should turn on the tap for clean water funding

In late January, Governor Mark Dayton unveiled a $1.5 billion bonding proposal for public works projects throughout Minnesota, which includes a proposal for $167 million in critically needed funding for clean water projects throughout the state. This week, two Republican legislators, Senator Gary Dahms and Representative Dean Urdahl, introduced a bipartisan bill to allocate that funding – which would financially support communities in need of assistance in tackling their water infrastructure challenges. Though this issue tends to have a low profile, it’s absolutely critical to the health and well-being of Minnesotans statewide.

When we turn on a faucet or use a drain, we tend not to consider where our water comes from – or where it’s going. Only when the water turns off or darkens with pollution, or when our regular bills spike in cost, do many of us think about how our most precious natural resource is made safe and usable. Both drinking water and wastewater treatment are vital to our health and well-being, as well as the natural ecosystems around us. Diseases like cholera that once ravaged entire cities are now virtually unheard of in the United States thanks to long-term investments in our pipes and treatment systems.

Sadly, many of our communities are struggling with aging, obsolete infrastructure that is deteriorating and can’t meet standards for health or pollution protection. Rural towns and tribal communities are in especially dire need of upgrades and maintenance in the short and long term, and in many cases, the cost of this work is unaffordable without state or federal aid. It’s estimated that over the next 20 years, our state will need to $11 billion in funds for water infrastructure improvements. Those bills can’t simply be passed along to our rural communities.

That’s why we’re glad to see a bipartisan push for state funding that will, along with federal investments, greatly reduce the burden on our cities and counties to bring safe water treatment for every Minnesotan. This effort can help heal the more than 4,600 lakes in our state with impaired water, boosting our economy and our ecosystems. We should hold our water infrastructure to high standards – and make sure that our communities have all the resources they need to protect our water.



 

Help change the game for Minnesota’s waters!

Under Governor Dayton’s direction, the State of Minnesota Department of Agriculture has been working on developing a Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule to help prevent the rising nitrate levels that are making too much groundwater unsafe to drink. Such a rule could change the game for Minnesota’s waters!

The Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule is still in the drafting stages and details are being worked out. But some legislators want to stop it by taking away the Governor’s authority to protect groundwater.

If you care about this issue, you can help by calling your legislators. Let them know you value protecting our groundwater! To learn more or to send an email to your lawmakers directly, click here.
 

Registration is open for Water Action Day 2018!

Whether you joined us for our Water Action Day event last year or you’re a first timer, we hope to see you at the Capitol on May 2! This is your chance to show up and stand up to protect our waters!

This all-day event will include free breakfast and briefings in the morning, both on how to actively engage legislators and on the water issues that we face in Minnesota. Throughout the day, attendees will meet with legislators to ask them to protect our water, and the Clean Water Rally will be held in the Capitol Rotunda at 1:30 pm. Sign up today and find out how you can volunteer and support this important event!


               

Study: Renewable energy now Minnesota’s 2nd-largest electricity source

(From MPR News) — Renewable energy is overtaking nuclear as Minnesota’s second-largest source of electricity generation, while coal remains the largest source, according to a report released Thursday by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. Coal made up 39 percent of the energy Minnesota generated inside its borders in 2017. That percentage is expected to go down dramatically in the next decade after Xcel Energy retires a large portion of its Sherco coal plant in Becker. When hydroelectric was added to wind and solar generation in 2017, it surpassed what Xcel’s two nuclear plants produced. And while nuclear capacity is static, Minnesota has been adding new wind and solar capacity every year. >>Read More.


                

Poll suggests growing opposition to mine near Boundary Waters

(From Duluth News Tribune) — A new statewide opinion poll appears to show growing opposition to copper mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. In the poll, paid for by opponents to copper mining, 70 percent of 800 Minnesota voters said they opposed allowing a copper mine near the BWCAW. That’s up from 59 percent opposition in a similar poll in 2017. Statewide, 22 percent of those polled said they supported “sulfide ore copper mining in the areas near the Boundary Waters Wilderness.” The number of people who had no opinion dropped from 13 percent last year to 7 percent this year. >>Read More.


Croplands can suck lots of CO2 from air if treated with crushed rock

(From MinnPost) — Most home gardeners know at a least a bit about soil amendments — how you can make plants grow better by working in compost to fertilize and loosen the loam, maybe some crushed limestone to lower acidity. What if the same principle could be applied, at a massive scale, to take globe-warming carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere? What if it could work relatively quickly, compared to other carbon-removal methods, and perhaps even cheaply? While simultaneously improving plant health and crop yields for a world with ever more hunger in its future? And reducing the need for fertilizers and pesticides? This is the bold, if still somewhat blurry, vision outlined in a fascinating paper published last week in the respected journal Nature Plants. >>Read More.


Apply now to be a Minnesota GreenCorps Host Site!

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is now accepting applications from organizations interested in serving as host sites for the 2018 – 2019 Minnesota GreenCorps program year. Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program coordinated by the MPCA. The program places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to spend a year of service addressing critical environmental issues. Eligible organizations include public entities, school districts, not for profit institutions of higher education, and 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations.. Applications are due by 5:00 pm CDT on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Host site application materials, including a detailed guidance document and the application are available on the Minnesota GreenCorps website.

 


Weekly Environmental Trivia – Answers Below Job Postings!  

1. Construction on Minnesota’s state capitol was finished in which year: 1885, 1895, or 1905?

2. What national park is within the state of Michigan but lies closer geographically to Minnesota?

3. At 1,310 sq. miles, what tribal reservation is Minnesota’s largest in combined land and water area?

Upcoming Environmental Events

2018 Transportation Day at the Capitol, March 7
Best Western Plus Capitol Ridge, St. Paul
Hosted by MN Transportation Alliance

Think nationally, plan locally: How to get involved with Mississippi River planning, March 8
Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, Minneapolis
Hosted by Friends of the Mississippi River

HeArt Market LSP Fundraiser, March 10
Casket Arts Building, Minneapolis
Hosted by Land Stewardship Project

Talk Climate Institute, March 12-13
Wilder Center, St. Paul
Hosted by Climate Generation: A Will Steger Legacy

Minnesota Bike Summit on Capitol Hill, March 15
Christ Lutheran Church and State Capitol, St. Paul
Hosted by Bicycle Alliance of Minnesota

Water Action Day 2018, May 2
Christ Lutheran Church and State Capitol, St. Paul
Hosted by MN’s clean water community

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

Seasonal Outreach Assistant | Friends of the Mississippi River
Interim Executive Director | Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
Development and Membership Director | Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Loyal Donor Officer | The Nature Conservancy
Administrative Assistant | Friends of the Mississippi River
Executive Director | Cannon River Watershed Partnership
See all job postings

Trivia Answers: 1) 1905. 2) Isle Royale National Park. 3) Leech Lake – though White Earth has greater land area


Did you receive the Environmental Insider from a friend? Subscribe here!

Follow Us:

   

Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Copyright © 2017
546 Rice Street, Suite 100, Saint Paul, MN 55103
www.mepartnership.org
 

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.

Water Infrastructure Targeted in Bonding Proposals

Posted by

Why MN should turn on the tap for clean water funding

In late January, Governor Mark Dayton unveiled a $1.5 billion bonding proposal for public works projects throughout Minnesota, which includes a proposal for $167 million in critically needed funding for clean water projects throughout the state. This week, two Republican legislators, Senator Gary Dahms and Representative Dean Urdahl, introduced a bipartisan bill to allocate that funding – which would financially support communities in need of assistance in tackling their water infrastructure challenges. Though this issue tends to have a low profile, it’s absolutely critical to the health and well-being of Minnesotans statewide.

When we turn on a faucet or use a drain, we tend not to consider where our water comes from – or where it’s going. Only when the water turns off or darkens with pollution, or when our regular bills spike in cost, do many of us think about how our most precious natural resource is made safe and usable. Both drinking water and wastewater treatment are vital to our health and well-being, as well as the natural ecosystems around us. Diseases like cholera that once ravaged entire cities are now virtually unheard of in the United States thanks to long-term investments in our pipes and treatment systems.

Sadly, many of our communities are struggling with aging, obsolete infrastructure that is deteriorating and can’t meet standards for health or pollution protection. Rural towns and tribal communities are in especially dire need of upgrades and maintenance in the short and long term, and in many cases, the cost of this work is unaffordable without state or federal aid. It’s estimated that over the next 20 years, our state will need to $11 billion in funds for water infrastructure improvements. Those bills can’t simply be passed along to our rural communities.

That’s why we’re glad to see a bipartisan push for state funding that will, along with federal investments, greatly reduce the burden on our cities and counties to bring safe water treatment for every Minnesotan. This effort can help heal the more than 4,600 lakes in our state with impaired water, boosting our economy and our ecosystems. We should hold our water infrastructure to high standards – and make sure that our communities have all the resources they need to protect our water.

Clean Water Council Funding Letter

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March 1, 2018

Clean Water Council Budget and Outcomes Committee

Dear Members,

We are very pleased to see that as a result of the most recent state budget forecast, the $22 million in Clean Water Funds that were inappropriately directed to local government programs last year have been restored to the Clean Water Fund. This presents an excellent opportunity for some strategic investments of these funds into some program areas that will provide long term, durable solutions to our water quality challenges in the state. We ask the Clean Water Council to recommend the following strategic investments.

We urge the Council to increase the funding recommendation for the Forever Green Initiative at the University of Minnesota by $4.25 million for FY 2019. We appreciate the Clean Water Council’s past support for this important work and this will effectively build on that past commitment.

As you are all aware the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency report “Nitrogen in Minnesota Surface Waters” found that the development of more cover crops and perennial crops are critical to cleaning up our water. As we have seen in subsequent research, it is only by incorporating more perennial and cover crops into our current crop rotations that we will be able to reach our water quality goals in much of our state.

The Forever Green Initiative was established to address just this issue. Its focus is on research and outreach to develop and improve cover crops and perennial crops that are profitable for farmers to grow and necessary to improve water quality. These crops also help build healthy soil and provide improved wildlife habitat. The Forever Green Initiative has a competitive, peer review process for allocating resources that is open to all research and outreach faculty.

The University of Minnesota has the staff with the skills and interest in this work and is uniquely positioned to advance it. The Forever Green Initiative provides a mechanism to direct this talent. What has been missing is a commitment of ongoing funding to direct work that needs to take place over several growing seasons. For the Clean Water Council to include this funding in their recommendations would be an important step in achieving this. We feel that this funding is critical as Forever Green is a necessary key to unlock the dramatic potential for positive change in water quality this effort will yield over the long term.

We urge the Council to recommend $250,000 in FY 2019 for The Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program (WLWRP) which facilitates the creation of incentives,
products, and markets that will make it advantageous for landowners to plant perennial and cover crops to improve water quality and provide other ecological benefits. The initial 2016 program funded an active two-year Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) effort to research and develop the program. A project report was submitted to the legislature on February 1, 2018. This funding will continue this work for one year and position the project to be ready for implementation in advance of the 2019 session.

Lastly, we are excited about these requests because they are proposals where environmental organizations and farm organizations find common ground on nonregulatory, market based approaches to address some of our most difficult challenges. Farm organizations and conservation and environmental groups have joined forces to advocate for these programs at the legislature.

Sincerely,
Steve Morse
Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Environment Minnesota

Friends of the Mississippi River

Land Stewardship Project

Minnesota Trout Unlimited

Insider: February 23, 2018

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Environmental Insider is brought to you by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership

photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Invasive Shrimp Appears in Lake Superior

Bill In Congress Would Worsen Problem

This week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that a single specimen of the bloody red shrimp species had been discovered in water samples collected from the Duluth-Superior harbor area in the summer of 2017. This tiny freshwater shrimp, native to areas near Russia and Ukraine, has begun to infest the Great Lakes, carried to North America in the ballast water of ships. Previously, it had only been found in watersheds as far west as Lake Michigan – the dead specimen in the Twin Ports is the first in Lake Superior, and it’s not yet clear whether this lone shrimp represents an infestation.

It’s also unclear what effect the current population of bloody red shrimp is having on the Great Lakes since its discovery here in 2006, but the impact of other invasive species on the native ecosystems has often been strikingly negative. Species like the quagga mussel and blood-sucking lampreys have greatly harmed existing species of fish and invertebrates, creating real problems for the Great Lakes economy and ecology.

Fortunately, U.S. and Canadian regulators have worked to slow the spread of these invasive species by requiring ships to change their ballast water before entering the Great Lakes waterway, thus flushing out invasive stowaway species from foreign waters. Current federal rules also mandate that by 2021, any oceangoing ships entering U.S. ports must have ballast water treatment systems.

Unfortunately, a bill in the U.S. Senate would roll back these critical protections. The Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (also known as VIDA or CVIDA) would transfer regulatory authority for ballast water to the Coast Guard, watering down its enforcement in the process. It would also delay improvements to the current ballast discharge standard and introduce exceptions that would create openings for invasive species to infest previously safe watersheds. 

For instance, this legislation would roll back protections aimed at keeping invasives that have already become established in other Great Lakes, such as Lack Michigan, from being transferred to our clearer Lake Superior. Such as in the case with the bloody red shrimp. And it would remove state authority to act to protect Lake Superior and eliminate the rules on water treatment technology, increasing the chances of invasive species slipping through the cracks in the future.

The VIDA legislation would undo significant progress in protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species. As tiny as the bloody red shrimp is, it’s representative of a much greater danger to our lakes and the millions of people who make their livelihoods around them. If you’re concerned about invasive species threatening our shores, call your federal lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives, and tell them to reject VIDA and keep our Great Lakes healthy!


Thanks to 3M settlement, water in east metro to get an $850 million boost

(From Star Tribune) — The east metro communities that sit above 100 square miles of contaminated groundwater are about to get $850 million from the state’s settlement with the 3M Co. that they can devote to clean water — an amount that’s eight times what Minnesota’s Legacy Amendment provides annually for water projects across the entire state. “It will bring real and fairly quick relief to the people,” Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson said at a news conference Wednesday to explain how the settlement will work and how the money can be spent. She was flanked by commissioners from the Pollution Control Agency and the Department of Natural Resources, which were parties to the suit. >>Read More.

Mankato area projects in Dayton’s water bonding plan

(From Mankato Free Press) — As part of his $1.5 billion bonding proposal to this year’s Legislature, Gov. Mark Dayton includes $167 million to fund additional water infrastructure projects — mostly renovations or new construction of sewer and drinking water systems. Among the proposed projects are some in Blue Earth, Brown and Le Sueur counties. Projects in the governor’s newest bonding proposal include extending Mankato city sewer lines to the South View Heights II subdivision at a cost of $1.4 million.  >>Read More.


               

Mount Polley and PolyMet: What happened in Canada must not happen here

(From MinnPost) — Final permit decisions on PolyMet’s proposed NorthMet Mining Project are approaching, and for all the celebration of the process by politicians and company promoters here in Minnesota, we have grave concerns. We bring this message from Duluth, where we live downstream of the proposed PolyMet mine. Last week we welcomed a delegation from Amnesty International to discuss their experience with a British Columbia copper sulfide mine upstream of their own communities. This is a group that has heard it all before: promises of safety from mining companies, claims of new technology that isn’t, guarantees of zero discharge, and assurances from government officials that it will all be fine. >>Read More.


                

photo credit: National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Electric cars have arrived in Duluth

(From Duluth News Tribune) — If Northlanders really wanted to be like Norwegians we’d stow the cross-country skis and stoic love of cold and buy a Tesla. Norway reached a milestone in December when electric vehicles accounted for 52 percent of all new vehicles sold in the country. All-electric Tesla models were the first and second most popular cars sold in Norway. It was the first time more than half of all new vehicles sold in Norway (or any other country) were electric, and that number is expected to only increase in years to come. Lightbulb moment here, Northland: The Norwegian climate is much like ours. Electric cars work in the cold. >>Read More.

 


A potential for protest: Sheriff’s office taking steps in case DAPL-type pipeline protest come to area

(From Bemidji Pioneer) — The potential for pipeline protests here in Bemidji similar to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota has led the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office and other agencies to prepare in advance. On Tuesday, Sheriff Phil Hodapp asked the Beltrami County Board of Commissioners to approve a mutual aid agreement with various northern Minnesota agencies. This new agreement differs from state statute, which requires an emergency before a government unit can request aid from another. >>Read More.


Apply now to be a Minnesota GreenCorps Host Site!

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is now accepting applications from organizations interested in serving as host sites for the 2018 – 2019 Minnesota GreenCorps program year. Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program coordinated by the MPCA. The program places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to spend a year of service addressing critical environmental issues. Eligible organizations include public entities, school districts, not for profit institutions of higher education, and 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations.. Applications are due by 5:00 pm CDT on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Host site application materials, including a detailed guidance document and the application are available on the Minnesota GreenCorps website.

 


Weekly Environmental Trivia – Answers Below Job Postings!  

1. What toxin, a byproduct of power generation, mining, and industry, is especially prevalent in the St. Louis river?

2. What MN lake features two islands that form the smallest National Wildlife Refuge in the U.S.?

3. What state park, known for its namesake lake, is Minnesota’s oldest and second-largest?

Upcoming Environmental Events

2018 Watershed Summit, February 24
Normandale Community College, Bloomington
Hosted by Izaak Walton League – Minnesota Division

Electric Vehicles: The Future Is Now, February 27
University Square, University of Minnesota-Rochester
Hosted by Fresh Energy

Rain Garden Pop-up, February 27
Lift Bridge Brewhouse, Stillwater
Hosted by St. Croix River Association

LSP State Policy Organizing Meeting in South Central MN, March 1
St. Mary’s Catholic Church, St. Peter
Hosted by Land Stewardship Project

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

Seasonal Outreach Assistant | Friends of the Mississippi River
Interim Executive Director | Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
Development and Membership Director | Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Loyal Donor Officer | The Nature Conservancy
Administrative Coordinator | Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters
Administrative Assistant | Friends of the Mississippi River
Executive Director | Cannon River Watershed Partnership
Communications Director | Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
See all job postings

Trivia Answers: 1) Mercury. 2) Lake Mille Lacs. 3) Itasca


Did you receive the Environmental Insider from a friend? Subscribe here!

Follow Us:

   

Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Copyright © 2017
546 Rice Street, Suite 100, Saint Paul, MN 55103
www.mepartnership.org
 

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.

 

Invasive Shrimp Appears in Lake Superior – Bill In Congress Would Worsen Problem

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photo credit: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

 

By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership

This week, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced that a single specimen of the bloody red shrimp species had been discovered in water samples collected from the Duluth-Superior harbor area in the summer of 2017. This tiny freshwater shrimp, native to areas near Russia and Ukraine, has begun to infest the Great Lakes, carried to North America in the ballast water of ships. Previously, it had only been found in watersheds as far west as Lake Michigan – the dead specimen in the Twin Ports is the first in Lake Superior, and it’s not yet clear whether this lone shrimp represents an infestation.

It’s also unclear what effect the current population of bloody red shrimp is having on the Great Lakes since its discovery here in 2006, but the impact of other invasive species on the native ecosystems has often been strikingly negative. Species like the quagga mussel and blood-sucking lampreys have greatly harmed existing species of fish and invertebrates, creating real problems for the Great Lakes economy and ecology.

Fortunately, U.S. and Canadian regulators have worked to slow the spread of these invasive species by requiring ships to change their ballast water before entering the Great Lakes waterway, thus flushing out invasive stowaway species from foreign waters. Current federal rules also mandate that by 2021, any oceangoing ships entering U.S. ports must have ballast water treatment systems.

Unfortunately, a bill in the U.S. Senate would roll back these critical protections. The Commercial Vessel Incidental Discharge Act (also known as VIDA or CVIDA) would transfer regulatory authority for ballast water to the Coast Guard, watering down its enforcement in the process. It would also delay improvements to the current ballast discharge standard and introduce exceptions that would create openings for invasive species to infest previously safe watersheds. 

For instance, this legislation would roll back protections aimed at keeping invasives that have already become established in other Great Lakes, such as Lack Michigan, from being transferred to our clearer Lake Superior. Such as in the case with the bloody red shrimp. And it would remove state authority to act to protect Lake Superior and eliminate the rules on water treatment technology, increasing the chances of invasive species slipping through the cracks in the future.

The VIDA legislation would undo significant progress in protecting the Great Lakes from invasive species. As tiny as the bloody red shrimp is, it’s representative of a much greater danger to our lakes and the millions of people who make their livelihoods around them. If you’re concerned about invasive species threatening our shores, call your federal lawmakers in the Senate and House of Representatives, and tell them to reject VIDA and keep our Great Lakes healthy!

Minnesota Legislative Session Begins on Tuesday

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By Matt Doll, Minnesota Environmental Partnership

February 20 will mark the beginning of the Minnesota Legislature’s 2018 Session, which will run until late May, offering opportunities and risks for Minnesota’s natural resources. Each session carries with it unique challenges, but the MEP coalition also has a chance to change the conversation on our state’s land, air, and water – and support programs that help keep Minnesota clean. Fortunately, with the help of partners and concerned citizens, several strong programs to protect our land and water were funded, and proposals that would have taken our policies backwards were blocked during the last session. This year, we’ll be back at the Capitol, working proactively to advance positive proposals that would benefit all Minnesotans:

  • Clean water investments for rural communities – Bonding funds for wastewater treatment and water infrastructure, which can be an enormous expense for rural communities, would help bring clean water to every Minnesotan. And bonding for the Conservation Reserve Easement Program (CREP) would further help by reducing runoff pollution in Minnesota’s water supply.
  • Increasing perennials and cover crops in agriculture – Recent research has made it clear that perennial and cover crops are critical to boost farming productivity and preserve land and water resources. MEP supports the Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program, which aims to create advantages for landowners to plant these healthy crops, and a boosted state investment in the University of Minnesota’s Forever Green Initiative, which aims to make these crop practices economically viable.
  • Increasing the Renewable Energy Standard to 50% by 2030 – The current Renewable Energy Standard set in 2007 set a goal of 25% renewable energy statewide by 2025. Minnesota is well on track to meet that goal, and now is the time to update and double down on this standard. This will provide enormous benefits for job growth, energy cost savings, and positive impacts on our air and climate. Minnesota has been a strong leader on clean energy, and now is not the time to slow down.

​MEP will continue to push hard for these positive programs, and other sound protections for our natural resources, at the Capitol this session. And we fully anticipate that problematic bills that aim to strip environmental protections and funding will require our best defensive efforts. We’ll continue to make a difference, but our coalition can’t do it without Minnesotans beside us!

In a political environment that threatens many long-standing environmental policies and norms, it’s critical that citizens from all communities stand up for the bedrock protections for our health and livelihoods – and this session is the ideal time to get active! By contacting or visiting your legislators, participating in action events, and testifying in hearings, you can help defend our natural resources and make positive change for Minnesota’s future. We hope to see you at the Capitol!

Find and contact your local Senators and Representatives

Watch the committee schedules for the House and Senate for opportunities to testify on critical legislation

Insider: February 16, 2018

Posted by

Environmental Insider is brought to you by the Minnesota Environmental Partnership

Minnesota Legislative Session Begins on Tuesday

February 20 will mark the beginning of the Minnesota Legislature’s 2018 Session, which will run until late May, offering opportunities and risks for Minnesota’s natural resources. Each session carries with it unique challenges, but the MEP coalition also has a chance to change the conversation on our state’s land, air, and water – and support programs that help keep Minnesota clean. Fortunately, with the help of partners and concerned citizens, several strong programs to protect our land and water were funded, and proposals that would have taken our policies backwards were blocked during the last session. This year, we’ll be back at the Capitol, working proactively to advance positive proposals that would benefit all Minnesotans:

  • Clean water investments for rural communities – Bonding funds for wastewater treatment and water infrastructure, which can be an enormous expense for rural communities, would help bring clean water to every Minnesotan. And bonding for the Conservation Reserve Easement Program (CREP) would further help by reducing runoff pollution in Minnesota’s water supply.
  • Increasing perennials and cover crops in agriculture – Recent research has made it clear that perennial and cover crops are critical to boost farming productivity and preserve land and water resources. MEP supports the Working Lands Watershed Restoration Program, which aims to create advantages for landowners to plant these healthy crops, and a boosted state investment in the University of Minnesota’s Forever Green Initiative, which aims to make these crop practices economically viable.
  • Increasing the Renewable Energy Standard to 50% by 2030 – The current Renewable Energy Standard set in 2007 set a goal of 25% renewable energy statewide by 2025. Minnesota is well on track to meet that goal, and now is the time to update and double down on this standard. This will provide enormous benefits for job growth, energy cost savings, and positive impacts on our air and climate. Minnesota has been a strong leader on clean energy, and now is not the time to slow down.

​MEP will continue to push hard for these positive programs, and other sound protections for our natural resources, at the Capitol this session. And we fully anticipate that problematic bills that aim to strip environmental protections and funding will require our best defensive efforts. We’ll continue to make a difference, but our coalition can’t do it without Minnesotans beside us!

In a political environment that threatens many long-standing environmental policies and norms, it’s critical that citizens from all communities stand up for the bedrock protections for our health and livelihoods – and this session is the ideal time to get active! By contacting or visiting your legislators, participating in action events, and testifying in hearings, you can help defend our natural resources and make positive change for Minnesota’s future. We hope to see you at the Capitol!

Find and contact your local Senators and Representatives

Watch the committee schedules for the House and Senate for opportunities to testify on critical legislation



photo credit: NASA

Trump budget would slash Great Lakes restoration funding

(From Duluth News Tribune) — The federal budget proposal released by the Trump administration this week would slash funding for Great Lakes restoration by 90 percent, from $300 million this year to just $30 million next year, and would cut other programs aimed at keeping lakes and drinking water clean. President Donald Trump’s budget includes no money for so-called Clean Water Act Section 319 programs, which help communities reduce polluted runoff. That’s down from $167 million last year. >>Read More.


               

To help bees, UMN study will analyze habitats

(From Minnesota Daily) —  A new University of Minnesota study will aim to understand what habitats are best for bees by leasing and planting land plots this summer. Researchers are now reviewing landowner applications as part of the five-year study, which received a $1 million grant from the United States Department of Agriculture and $1 million from the Minnesota Legislature. The study will span six to 10 counties in southwest Minnesota, said researcher Christina Herron-Sweet. The team is sorting through about 150 applications from landowners who want to participate to decide where they will plant the habitats. >>Read More.


                

photo credit: Metro Transit

Minnesota’s Volkswagen settlement may pay for cleaner vehicles

(From Star Tribune) — Minnesota will spend $11.75 million on cleaner trucks, buses and cars if the state’s proposal for the first funds from a legal settlement with Volkswagen is accepted by the public and the trustee overseeing the massive federal litigation. If adopted, the plan is expected to result in reductions of about 1,000 tons of nitrogen oxides, up to 55 tons of fine particles, and up to 34 tons of greenhouse gases. In October, the German carmaker agreed to pay the U.S. government $15 billion for allowing its diesel vehicles to produce 30 to 40 times the amount of nitrous oxide allowed by U.S. air regulations. >>Read More.


Did 4 activists need to shut down an oil pipeline? Minn. court will decide

(From MPR News) — Nobody’s disputing the facts of this case. Four activists — three from Seattle, one from New York — tried to shut off an Enbridge Energy oil pipeline in northwestern Minnesota’s Clearwater County. They even filmed the action. Then they were arrested.Depending on how you look at it, these four people were either vandals trespassing on private property, or activists who needed to protect people from climate change. >>Read More.


Minnesota vs. 3M: A guide to the $5 billion mega-trial

(From Pioneer Press) — Call it the $5 billion Teflon trial — Minnesota’s biggest environmental lawsuit ever. When the trial of the State of Minnesota vs. 3M Co. starts Feb. 20, it will pit the state against what may be its most-loved company. The state attorney general will be taking on a $145 billion corporate behemoth and charging it with fouling the state’s water. The lawsuit hinges on the alleged damage caused by chemicals found in household items such as nonstick cookware and stain repellent. >>Read More.

Apply now to be a Minnesota GreenCorps Host Site!

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is now accepting applications from organizations interested in serving as host sites for the 2018 – 2019 Minnesota GreenCorps program year. Minnesota GreenCorps is an environmentally focused AmeriCorps program coordinated by the MPCA. The program places AmeriCorps members with organizations around the state to spend a year of service addressing critical environmental issues. Eligible organizations include public entities, school districts, not for profit institutions of higher education, and 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organizations.. Applications are due by 5:00 pm CDT on Friday, March 23, 2018.

Host site application materials, including a detailed guidance document and the application are available on the Minnesota GreenCorps website.

 


Weekly Environmental Trivia – Answers Below Job Postings!  

1. Quercus alba is the scientific name for what tree species, found in southeast Minnesota and known for its size and longevity?

2. The DNR estimates that what mammal species has declined by around 65% in Minnesota since 2006?

3. What term does the MPCA use to define waters that are no longer drinkable, swimmable, fishable, or useable in other, designated ways?

Upcoming Environmental Events

Cover Crop 101, February 21
St. Charles City Hall
Hosted by Land Stewardship Project

Hear about Mortensen Construction’s work in renewable energy, February 21
Maple Grove Library
Hosted by NW Metro Climate Action

Pack the Room + Rally: Line 3 Pipeline – Tribal Study Needed, February 22
Public Utilities Commission, St. Paul
Hosted by MN350

2018 Watershed Summit, February 24
Normandale Community College, Bloomington
Hosted by Izaak Walton League – Minnesota Division

Electric Vehicles: The Future Is Now, February 27
University Square, University of Minnesota-Rochester
Hosted by Fresh Energy

Jobs and Volunteer Opportunities

Interim Executive Director | Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center
Development and Membership Director | Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness
Loyal Donor Officer | The Nature Conservancy
Recycling Programs Specialist | City of St. Paul
Solid Waste Programs Supervisor | City of St. Paul
Administrative Coordinator | Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters
Administrative Assistant | Friends of the Mississippi River
Executive Director | Cannon River Watershed Partnership
Communications Director | Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness
See all job postings

Trivia Answers: 1) White oak. 2) Moose. 3) Impaired waters.


Did you receive the Environmental Insider from a friend? Subscribe here!

Follow Us:

   

Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Copyright © 2017
546 Rice Street, Suite 100, Saint Paul, MN 55103
www.mepartnership.org
 

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.