Minnesota Supreme Court hands victory to PolyMet copper mine

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed an appeals court’s rejection of a critical air emissions permit for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine and sent the case back for further proceedings.

The Supreme Court ruled that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency was not required under federal law to investigate allegations by environmental groups and a Native American tribe of “sham permitting.”

PolyMet and the state agency took the case to the state’s highest court after the Minnesota Court of Appeals last March sent the air permit for the $1 billion mine back to the regulators for further review.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/02/ap-minnesota-supreme-court-victory-polymet-copper-mine/

The Associated Press

Minnesota lawmakers introduce anti-copper mining legislation

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota lawmakers are ramping up efforts to prevent mining companies from gaining a foothold in Minnesota with legislation that aims to slow or ban copper-nickel mining on the Iron Range.

Companion bills set to be proposed by state lawmakers and U.S.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/ap-minnesota-lawmakers-anti-copper-mining-legislation/

The Associated Press

Michigan judge nullifies crucial permit for mining project

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan judge has overruled state regulators who approved a key permit for a proposed open-pit mine in the Upper Peninsula, another delay for a project that has been debated for nearly two decades.

Administrative Law Judge Daniel Pulter invalidated a wetlands permit granted in 2018 to Aquila Resources Inc.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2021/01/michigan-judge-nullifies-crucial-permit-for-mining-project/

The Associated Press

Michigan proposal’s reliance on fossil fuel money splits environmentalists

By Tom Perkins, Energy News Network, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

Michigan environmental groups are at odds over a ballot measure that aims to boost spending on state park improvements using funding from fossil fuel extraction.

The state already relies on mining, oil and gas royalties to fund its park system. 

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/michigan-fossil-fuel-money-environmentalists/

Energy News Network

Minnesota Supreme Court weighs fate of PolyMet mine permits

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Lawyers for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine and state regulators urged the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday to defer to the judgment of the state Department of Natural Resources and reinstate three critical permits for the project.

Attorneys for the DNR and PolyMet argued that the agency acted within its authority when it decided, after years of public environmental review and permitting proceedings, that there was no need to hold an additional trial-like proceeding known as a contested case hearing.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-minnesota-supreme-court-polymet-mine-permits/

The Associated Press

Trump pushes mining with order, but effects are uncertain

BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — The Trump administration is seeking to fast-track mining projects and could offer grants and loans to help companies pay for equipment, administration officials said Thursday, as they offered details on a plan that critics said could spoil rivers and lakes in Minnesota, Idaho and elsewhere with mining pollution.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

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Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/10/ap-trump-mining-minnesota/

The Associated Press

New global standards for mine waste won’t prevent dam failures, critics say

By Judith Lavoie, The Narwhal

This story originally appeared in The Narwhal and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

New global industry standards for dealing with mine waste are not enforceable, fail to set measurable standards and will not protect communities, workers or the environment from disasters such as the 2014 Mount Polley spill or the deadly 2019 Brumadinho dam failure in Brazil, says an international group of scientists, community organizations and non-profits.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/09/new-global-standards-mine-waste-dam-failures-critics/

The Narwhal

Drinking Water News Roundup: Drilling fluid contamination, mining pollution concerns, tribal community 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:

Minnesota:

  • Nitrogen fertilizer restrictions in Minnesota begin September 1 – Successful Farming

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is reminding farmers and landowners that beginning Sept.

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Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/drinking-water-contamination-mining-grants-tribal-communities/

Emily Simroth

Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Back Forty mine setback, Illinois and Ohio utility shutoffs

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

In this edition: Controversial open-pit sulfide mine in UP faces major delays due to COVID-19, utility companies in Ohio and Illinois set to resume disconnections after pandemic-induced moratorium lapses, and Enbridge completes replacement work on Line 5 under St.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/08/great-lakes-energy-back-forty-mine-illinois-ohio-utility-shutoff/

Ian Wendrow

Conflicted Over Copper: Technological advances clash with environmental concerns in Twin Metals case

This is the third in a three-part series that will explore the history of Lake Superior and the Boundary waters, the communities affected by two proposed copper mines, the arguments in favor and against the mines, and what the mines might mean for the future of the Great Lakes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/twin-metals-copper-mine-minnesota/

Lorraine Boissoneault

Conflicted Over Copper: PolyMet copper-nickel mine has been trapped in litigation

This is the second in a three-part series that will explore the history of Lake Superior and the Boundary waters, the communities affected by two proposed copper mines, the arguments in favor and against the mines, and what the mines might mean for the future of the Great Lakes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/polymet-copper-nickel-mine-litigation-indigenous-environmental-groups/

Lorraine Boissoneault

Conflicted Over Copper: How the Mining Industry Developed Around Lake Superior

This is the first in a three-part series that will explore the history of Lake Superior and the Boundary waters, the communities affected by two proposed copper mines, the arguments in favor and against the mines, and what the mines might mean for the future of the Great Lakes.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/06/copper-mining-history-lake-superior-minnesota/

Lorraine Boissoneault

What are Joe Biden’s views on two of the most controversial environmental projects in Minnesota?

By Walker Orenstein and Gabe Schneider, MinnPost, through the Institute for Nonprofit News network

In late April, former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign held a virtual event with Minnesota supporters to promote the Democrat’s plans to address climate change and a clean environment.

But while U.S.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

https://www.greatlakesnow.org/2020/05/joe-biden-minnesota-mining-line-3-pipeline/

MinnPost

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.

Read Now at Great Lakes Now.

Original Article

Great Lakes Now

Great Lakes Now

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

Ian Wendrow

January 17, 2020

This week:  Trump Administration Attacks on Water and Environment + Minnesota Court of Appeals Reversed Three Permits for Mining Operation + Will Your Representative Stand for Clean Water? + Tell Your Senators–Don’t Delay Action on Toxic Chemicals (PFAS) in Drinking Water + Trump Rollback of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

Trump Administration Attacks on Water and Environment

The Trump Administration recently initiated several setbacks to existing environmental laws and announced veto action for legislation that protects water supplies.  Together, we can raise our voices to prevent harmful changes to the laws that keep our families and communities healthy. Our country’s environmental legacy has strong bi-partisan support; and residents throughout the Great Lakes region have always stepped up to take action when asked.

In the coming weeks, you will receive more emails from us that give you a way to VOICE your concerns about the attacks on water and environment.  Hopefully, you can take the time to add your name to petitions and other actions to educate decision-makers and protect what we all value-clean water!

Minnesota Court of Appeals Reversed Three Permits for Mining Operation

Two dam safety permits and the permit to mine for the Polymet Mine in Minnesota were rejected by the Minnesota Court of Appeals stating that criticisms of the mining company were not adequately reviewed by a neutral administrative law judge.  As a result, the decisions for those permits now moves to a contested case hearing. WaterLegacy, the organization that appealed the permit decisions, applauded the Court’s decision for a more rigorous and open review of the permits.  In a separate legal case, Minnesota state regulators face charges of suppressing concerns from the U. S. EPA about a water permit for this mine and destroying records.

Will Your Representative Stand for Clean Water?

A resolution introduced into the U.S. House of Representatives denounces U.S. EPA initiatives that make our water less safe by weakening the Clean Water Act. Introduced by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-Mich) and Chris Pappas (D-NH), the resolution allows voters to check if their elected officials will stand up for clean water.  The resolution opposes recent and proposed actions by the U.S. EPA including repealing science-based protections for streams and wetlands, weakening toxic pollution discharge limits for power plants, and refusing to develop regulations to avoid and minimize spills of hazardous substances.  Freshwater Future will keep you posted on this resolution and provide ways to communicate with your officials.

Action: Tell Your Senators–Don’t Delay Action on Toxic Chemicals (PFAS) in Drinking Water

The U.S. EPA has known about the risks posed by the family of toxic chemicals called PFAS for decades and failed to act.  Our communities can’t wait any longer for action from EPA. No one should have to worry about whether their water is safe.

Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed, with bipartisan support, the PFAS Action Act (H.B. 535). Earlier this week, we sent an email asking you to sign this petition to ask your Senators to move PFAS solutions forward.  This important piece of legislation will:

  • Protect drinking water from PFAS by requiring the EPA to create a drinking water standard for PFOA and PFOS within two years.

  • Protect the Great Lakes, rivers, and streams from PFAS pollution by listing PFOS and PFOA under the Clean Water Act within two years.

  • Protect our air from PFAS by making PFOS and PFOA hazardous air pollutants under the Clean Air Act.

  • Require corporate polluters to clean up their PFAS contamination by listing PFAS as hazardous substances under the CERCLA Act or the Superfund Law.

  • Protects our communities and workers, especially our firefighters, that are using these harmful products.

Now it is up to the Senate to pass the PFAS Action Act to reduce ongoing PFAS releases into the air and water, set limits for drinking water, and clean up polluted sites. Please sign this petition to ask your Senators to vote in favor of the Senate version of the PFAS Action Act.

A screening of a new documentary on PFAS, No Defense will air at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, February 19th.  No Defense centers around the stories of people that live on or near Wurtsmith Air Force Base in Oscoda, Michigan, and drank water poisoned with PFAS chemicals — water that still flows from the former base today, contaminating the surrounding town, lake, and the people who live there.

Trump Rollback of National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)

On January 1, 1970, President Nixon signed the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) with overwhelming bipartisan support from Congress.  This landmark legislation required a review process to identify and reveal significant environmental, social, economic, or public health impacts of federal actions.  The Trump administration proposed weakening this process under the guise of “streamlining” and “permitting reform.”  The gutting of NEPA would send us backward, particularly with the provision to exclude climate considerations from NEPA reviews for federal projects (e.g., oil and gas drilling and the permitting of coal power plants).  Another proposed change is to restrict public comment on federal environmental reviews.

Stay tuned for opportunities to take action to prevent these harmful changes to our laws that keep our drinking water and surface waters clean and safe.

PFAS Test Kits – GIFT a KIT!
Freshwater Future believes everyone has a right to know what is in their drinking water, regardless of what’s in their wallets. We have partnered with the University of Michigan Biological Station and other donors to offer PFAS testing for homes on private wells at reduced rates. You can help make our kits even more accessible by selecting Gift a Kit at check out. We’ll use your donation to send a kit to someone else as part of our “Pay What You Can Program”. Get (or gift) your test kits today!

Original Article

Blog – Freshwater Future

Blog – Freshwater Future

https://freshwaterfuture.org/uncategorized/freshwater-weekly-january-17th-2020/

Alexis Smith