Deja vu — former Michigan elected official leads national energy policy, again

This article was republished here with permission from Great Lakes Echo.

By Eric Freedman, Capital News Service

A former top-ranking Michigan official is now overseeing national energy policy — again.

This time it’s the Biden administration’s new Secretary of Energy, former Democratic Gov.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/former-michigan-governor-leads-national-energy-policy/

Great Lakes Echo

Indiana lawmakers debate environmental regulation, rollbacks

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — As Indiana lawmakers debate dozens of bills addressing environmental matters, tensions are flaring over whether the state should adopt greener initiatives or step back current policy affecting water, energy and other resources.

While some measures in the General Assembly could bring reductions to Indiana’s carbon emissions and make stricter penalties for polluters, others would spur regulatory rollbacks that environmental advocates say could have long-lasting and damaging effects.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/ap-indiana-lawmakers-debate-environmental-regulation-rollbacks/

The Associated Press

Drinking Water Roundup: Dispute between two Waukeshas over Lake Michigan diversion, Ontario infrastructure grants

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Illinois:

  • Joliet Under Boil Advisory After Water Main Breaks – WGN9 TV

A series of water main breaks in Joliet this week prompted a boil water order in case of cross contamination during repairs.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/drinking-water-waukesha-lake-michigan-groundwater-contamination-ontario/

Grace Dempsey

2 nuke plants, 1 bribery scandal, no answers: Towns on edge

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — For much of the past four years, the residents of a pair of villages along Lake Erie have been on edge over the fate of their nuclear plants, which generate enough tax money to pay for nicer schools than their neighbors.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-2-nuke-plants-1-bribery-scandal-no-answers/

The Associated Press

With Line 5 closure, a ‘game of chicken’ over how to heat Upper Peninsula

By Kelly House, Bridge Michigan, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

The Great Lakes News Collaborative includes Bridge Michigan; Circle of Blue; Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television; and Michigan Radio, Michigan’s NPR News Leader; who work together to bring audiences news and information about the impact of climate change, pollution, and aging infrastructure on the Great Lakes and drinking water.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/line-5-closure-upper-peninsula/

Bridge Michigan

Wisconsin climate task force releases its recommendations

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A bipartisan task force that brought together environmentalists, the energy industry and others released its recommendations Wednesday for how Wisconsin might bolster its economy while addressing climate change.

The report from the task force, which was led by Lt.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/ap-wisconsin-climate-task-force-recommendations/

The Associated Press

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Recognition of tribal treaties, Michigan Green Bank, former Upper Peninsula mine sites

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Environmentalists in Wisconsin sue EPA over regulation rollback favoring coal plants, bankruptcy plan for Ohio nuclear power company upheld by appeals court, Prairie Island tribe prepares for massive investment in renewable energy, and Ford Motors to invest millions for electric vehicle construction in southeast Michigan

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Michigan:

  • Oft Ignored, Tribal Treaties Are Seeing Greater Recognition and Influence – The Daily Yonder

Across the United States, tribal treaties are becoming more and more influential in shaping legislative policy while also seeing greater recognition in courthouses, potentially reshaping the entire landscape of environmental justice.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/12/great-lakes-energy-michigan-tribal-green-mine/

Ian Wendrow

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Climate Jobs Illinois, Line 3, natural gas in Minnesota

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Michigan environmental justice advocates claim state can’t wait to 2050 for clean energy, Minnesota nuclear power plant to construct pilot facility to produce hydrogen energy, and Ohio nuclear energy company faces dangerous court motion from environmental groups.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/great-lakes-energy-illinois-minnesota-natural-gas/

Ian Wendrow

As policing and pandemic dominate election, climate pushed to back burner

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

State Sen. Jason Rarick co-sponsored a rare bipartisan energy bill this spring that sought to expand and improve Minnesota’s state energy conservation program.

The proposal earned support from unions, utilities, industry and environmental groups for its potential to save money and cut carbon emissions, but you won’t hear the Republican incumbent talking it up as part of his reelection campaign.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/policing-pandemic-election-climate-minnesota/

Energy News Network

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Michigan clean energy transition, pilot hydrogen production plant, Ohio nuclear bankruptcy ruling

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Michigan environmental justice advocates claim state can’t wait to 2050 for clean energy, Minnesota nuclear power plant to construct pilot facility to produce hydrogen energy, and Ohio nuclear energy company faces dangerous court motion from environmental groups.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/great-lakes-energy-clean-energy-michigan-ohio-nuclear/

Ian Wendrow

Great Aspirations: Great Lakes states grapple with climate change and carbon

In June 2017, when President Donald Trump announced that the U.S. would withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords, three states had an immediate reaction and plan.

New York, California and Washington announced formation of the United States Climate Alliance calling it a “coalition that will convene U.S. states committed to upholding the Paris Climate Agreement and taking aggressive action on climate change.”

With that action, New York led Great Lakes states in the effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, establish clean energy plans and fund initiatives to meet carbon reduction goals.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/great-lakes-states-climate-change-carbon/

Gary Wilson

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Illinois, Ohio coal plants closing; Michigan treatment plant upgrade, Wisconsin poor infrastructure

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Power company plans to shutter coal plants in Illinois and Ohio; upgrading of East Lansing water treatment plan will save on energy costs; and Wisconsin receives poor grades for both energy and water infrastructure.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/great-lakes-energy-illinois-coal-michigan-upgrade-wisconsin-infrastructure/

Ian Wendrow

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Wisconsin utility shutoffs postponed, Lake Erie wind farm, Minnesota mine legal win

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Wisconsin Public Service Commission extends utility shutoff moratorium, ruling that could undo Lake Erie wind farm project stands, and PolyMet copper-nickel mine gets critical legal win in Minnesota.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/great-lakes-energy-mining-utility-line-5-lake-erie/

Ian Wendrow

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Energy-efficient fertilizer in Minnesota, Ohio bailout law repeal, Wisconsin utility rate freeze

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: A new bill in Illinois could lead to closed coal plants being repurposed for solar power producing and storage; Minnesota agriculture startup exploring new ways to produce water and energy efficient fertilizer; Ohio lawmakers struggle over repeal of nuclear bailout bill as corruption scandal unfolds; and Wisconsin power utility Alliant Energy strikes deal to freeze electricity and natural gas rates for one year.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/great-lakes-energy-minnesota-ohio-bailout-wisconsin-utility/

Ian Wendrow

Illinoisans demand stricter coal ash rules, denounce state proposal

By Kari Lydersen, Energy News Network, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Illinoisans voiced their fears about coal ash silently contaminating their drinking water, or coal ash impoundments failing and deluging rivers with toxic sludge, during public hearings this week.

It was the latest step in a years-long debate in Illinois, which has the nation’s second-highest number of contaminated coal ash sites, according to a 2011 study.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/illinois-coal-ash-rules-state-proposal/

Energy News Network

A vacant lot in Gary, Indiana, will soon be home to a climate-friendly community

By Audrey Henderson, Energy News Network, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

An area in downtown Gary, Indiana, that still bears scars from a 1997 arson fire will soon boast an affordable housing complex with an eye toward energy efficiency and neighborhood revitalization.

The $11 million Broadway Lofts project, scheduled to break ground September 1 for completion in 2021, is part of Indiana’s Moving Forward incentive that targets net-zero, transit-oriented affordable housing.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/gary-indiana-climate-friendly-community/

Energy News Network

Survey analysis finds race plays role in perception, vulnerabilities to climate change in Indiana

By Enrique Saenz, Indiana Environmental Reporter

People across the U.S. are taking to the streets to protest racial inequity, saying that people of color experience a wholly different experience in the country than white Americans. New findings from a statewide survey indicate that the disparity extends to how Hoosiers of different races perceive climate change and its risks.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/race-perception-vulnerabilities-climate-change-indiana/

Indiana Environmental Reporter

Ohio lawmakers want ‘puzzling’ offshore wind ruling revisited

By John Funk, Energy News Network, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

A bipartisan coalition of 32 state lawmakers from Northeast Ohio has interceded on behalf of the Lake Erie Energy Development Company’s 20.7-megawatt demonstration offshore wind project, now before state regulators.

In a strongly worded letter to Sam Randazzo, chair of the Ohio Power Siting Board, the lawmakers objected to the board’s ruling in May granting a permit —  if LEEDCo agreed to shut down the wind farm’s six turbines from dusk to dawn eight months out of the year, Mar.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/ohio-lawmakers-offshore-wind-ruling-revisited/

Energy News Network

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio nuclear bailout repeal, Minnesota coal plants, Georgian Bay hydroelectric plant

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Great Lakes states join others to sue EPA over new reading of Clean Water Act rule limiting their oversight capacities, Minnesota regulators allow utility company to let coal plants sit idle for half the year, Ontario residents of Georgian Bay lobby against proposed hydroelectric plant, and Ohio’s governor seeks to repeal nuclear bailout.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/ohio-nuclear-bailout-minnesota-coal-georgian-bay-hydroelectric-epa/

Ian Wendrow

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio pipeline, Indiana rejects rate increase

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: 713-mile Rover Pipeline at center of legal dispute between Ohio EPA and Ohio Supreme Court; Hi-Crush Inc., frac sand company filing for bankruptcy after reporting negative revenue, defaulting on loans; and Indiana regulators reject utility rate increase request.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/07/great-lakes-energy-ohio-pipeline-wisconsin-fracking-indiana-regulators/

Ian Wendrow

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Lake Huron nuclear waste storage plan dropped, renewable energy in Midland

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Ontario Power Generation formally withdraws its application to construct a repository for nuclear waste near Lake Huron; Illinois looks to construct offshore energy wind turbines but faces resistance; University of Minnesota may expand viability of geothermal energy in Midwest; and flood-ravaged Midland, Michigan, coming around on renewable energy.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/energy-nuclear-huron-renewables-midland-wind-geothermal/

Ian Wendrow

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Hydrogen-from-nuclear plants, coal tar and diesel fuel barge beached, Line 3 in Minnesota

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Federal grant launches pilot program for nuclear plants to produce hydrogen for fuel cells; Canadian barge loaded with fuel, coal tar runs aground near where Lake Superior meets Soo Locks and Lake Huron; Minnesota regulators approve new contested case hearing over Enbridge Line 3 permit, delaying project; and First Nations and university educators in Ontario demand halt to further mining exploration during pandemic.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/great-lakes-energy-line-3-indigenous-mining-nuclear/

Ian Wendrow

Lake Erie Wind Farm: Siting board conditions might kill project

A $126 million, 20.7-megawatt wind turbine project on Lake Erie has the go-ahead from state regulators after years of halting progress.

If construction is completed, the six-turbine Icebreaker Wind farm in Lake Erie, 8 miles northwest of Cleveland, would be the first offshore freshwater site in the U.S.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/lake-erie-wind-farm-icebreaker-board-conditions/

James Proffitt

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio wind power in Lake Erie, solar projects stall in Illinois, major Wisconsin coal plant to close

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Wind farm project in Lake Erie approved by regulators with potentially major handicap, Minnesota legislature approves first-of-its-kind renewable energy project for Prairie Island Indian Community, COVID-19 choking solar power projects in Illinois, and Wisconsin’s Alliant Energy to close 400MW coal plant.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/great-lakes-energy-news-ohio-wisconsin-minnesota-illinois/

Ian Wendrow

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: DTE Energy rate hike, Chicago firm fined for polluting canal

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Michigan Public Service Commission reigns in planned rate hike by DTE Energy, Michigan’s Lower Peninsula failed to meet energy grid reliability standards set by regional monitor, Hilco suburban development fined for failing to prevent pollution of Chicago canal, and renewables are forecasted to overtake coal as a leading source of electricity by the end of this year.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/great-lakes-energy-rate-hike-pollution-renewables/

Ian Wendrow

In Minnesota, an innovative virtual approach to home energy inspections

By Frank Jossi, Energy News Network, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Armed with her cellphone, Ellen Biales spent an hour last month transmitting video of her St. Paul home to an energy expert who asked questions and dispensed advice.

Biales was among the first Minnesotans to receive a virtual Home Energy Squad visit from the Center for Energy and Environment.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/minnesota-covid-19-coronavirus-home-energy-inspections/

Energy News Network

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Shale gas and coal groundwater impact, coal ash pollution in Indiana, Ohio EPA OKs mine despite protests

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Indiana residents are worried about insufficient measures being taken to address pollution during coal ash pond closure; Yale University study could help Ohio homeowners connect water contamination to shale gas and coal industry; Ohio EPA approves Athens County mine despite protests; Supreme Court ruling adopts new standard for Clean Water Act; and states and municipalities might not have the resources to make up for the federal government backing down on enforcement.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/energy-coal-ohio-indiana-enforcement/

Ian Wendrow

Lake Erie Wind Farm Divides Environmental Activists

The contested case of the Icebreaker Wind Farm has implications for renewable energy in the region.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/rust-resilience-lake-erie-wind-farm/

Belt Magazine

In the ‘climate refuge’ city of Duluth, a fight brews over the hometown utility

There has been a growing climate movement in Duluth, a city that advertises itself as an outdoor haven with access to fresh air, clean water and Lake Superior.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/rust-resilience-minnesota-climate-refuge-utility/

MinnPost

As energy use changes in the Great Lakes, so too does the world’s largest freshwater port

The Port of Duluth-Superior is one of the largest ports in the U.S., and its second largest commodity is coal.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/rust-resilience-coal-port-minnesota/

MinnPost

To protect people in the Great Lakes region from climate extremes, weatherize their homes

As climate change makes heat waves more frequent across the region and the nation, cities will need more tools to protect their residents.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/rust-resilience-climate-extremes-weatherization/

The Conversation

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Toxic coal ash, utility company water withdrawal, Line 5

Keep up with energy-related developments in the Great Lakes area with Great Lakes Now’s biweekly headline roundup.

In this edition: Chicagoans furious after smokestack demolition releases dust in Little Village, toxic coal ash to remain on Michigan shorelines indefinitely as coal plants close, Minnesota and Wisconsin natural gas plant opting away from water withdrawal for cooling purposes, Ohio consumer advocate pushing to divert energy efficiency funds to COVID-19 relief payments, and Enbridge’s project to replace part of its Line 5 pipeline under the St.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/great-lakes-energy-line-5-coal-ash-demolition-water-withdrawals/

Ian Wendrow

Enbridge seeks permits to build Great Lakes oil tunnel

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge Inc. applied Wednesday for state and federal authorization to construct an oil pipeline tunnel beneath the Michigan waterway that connects two of the Great Lakes.

The Canadian company wants to build a roughly 4-mile-long (6.4-kilometer-long) tunnel beneath the Straits of Mackinac.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/ap-enbridge-permits-great-lakes-oil-pipeline-tunnel/

The Associated Press

Regulation During COVID-19: Canadian, U.S. agencies lighten monitoring priorities

Oil companies successfully request lighter oversight amid coronavirus pandemic. Farmers support the move.

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Original Article

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/epa-suspends-enforement-covid-19-coronavirus/

George Elkind

Great Lakes Moment: Earth Day turns 50

Great Lakes Now Contributor John Hartig shares his own memories of the first Earth Day and the changes he’s noticed in the nature around him since then.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/great-lakes-moment-earth-day-turns-50/

John Hartig

Michigan’s efforts to root out and deal with PFAS contamination

In this web exclusive, Great Lakes Now looks at Michigan’s PFAS Action Response Team.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/episode-1012-web-extra-pfas-mpart/

Ric Mixter

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: COVID-19 impacting utilities everywhere and across industries

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/04/great-lakes-energy-coronavirus-covid-19-nuclear-solar/

Ian Wendrow

Minnesota Supreme Court agrees to hear PolyMet permit appeal

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court has agreed to hear PolyMet Mining Inc.’s appeal of a ruling that canceled three permits needed for its proposed copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota.

In January, the Minnesota Court of Appeals gave environmentalists a major victory by rejecting some of the most important permits for the planned mine.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/ap-minnesota-supreme-court-polymet-permit-appeal/

The Associated Press

Minnesota Court of Appeals sends PolyMet permit back to MPCA

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Court of Appeals sent an air-emissions permit for the PolyMet copper-nickel mine back to state regulators for further review on Monday, giving another victory to environmental groups who oppose the project.

The appeals court found that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency did not adequately evaluate whether the air permit requested by PolyMet was a “sham permit” — meaning one that didn’t accurately reflect the size and scope of PolyMet’s proposed mine.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/ap-minnesota-court-appeals-polymet-permit-mpca/

The Associated Press

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Mich. “energy freedom” bills, Toledo low-income community solar project, Minn. Supreme Court backs frac-sand mining ban

Catch the latest in Great Lakes energy news in Great Lakes Now’s fortnightly energy-related headline roundup.

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Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/energy-solar-low-income-court-appeal/

Ian Wendrow

Enbridge hires companies to design, build Great Lakes tunnel

By John Flesher, AP Environmental Writer

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge Inc. said Friday it has hired companies to design and build a disputed oil pipeline tunnel beneath the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan, despite pending legal challenges.

The Canadian company is forging ahead with plans to begin construction work next year on the tunnel, which would replace twin pipes that have lain across the bottom of the Straits of Mackinac in northern Michigan since 1953.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/ap-enbridge-hires-contractors-design-build-great-lakes-tunnel/

The Associated Press

Who’s in charge: Lack of storage facility oversight puts waterways at risk

In major lakeside cities around the Great Lakes, there isn’t a clear answer on who handles oversight of industrial storage facilities.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/03/seawall-inspections-industrial-storage-pollution-government/

Gary Wilson