The name comes from a Dakota Indian word meaning “sky-tinted water.” Water is part of our state’s very identity.
Lake Superior holds 10 percent of the world's unfrozen fresh surface water. And the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, along with the Superior National Forest, contains 20 percent of all the fresh water in the entire U.S. National Forest System.
But these resources are threatened.
You can act now to protect the Lake Superior watershed and the Boundary Waters from toxic mining pollution.
Join us to protect Minnesota’s clean water as a legacy for your family and for generations to come.
Tell the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: We Need Environmental Justice Now!
Read more: Environmental Justice
Protect Minnesota’s Natural Wild Rice (Manoomin) from Sulfate Pollution
Wild rice is Minnesota’s state grain, a vital plant for fish, waterfowl and wildlife, and a critical food and cultural resource for many Minnesotans. Natural wild rice stands are vulnerable to sulfate pollution from mining and other industries, which is why, since 1973, Minnesota has had a rule that limits sulfate pollution to 10 parts per million (ppm or mg/L) in wild rice waters.
But This year the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) will be proposing a change in Minnesota’s Wild Rice Sulfate Rule. Take Action now and tell the MPCA to preserve the sulfate limit and apply it year-round to all wild rice waters.
Ignoring Evidence, MPCA Moves Forward on Altering Wild Rice Sulfate Rules
"We already know that the existing sulfate limit is effective and reasonable. But PCA, ignoring evidence that the equation they are developing is flawed, continues down this path and away from protecting wild rice. They are developing this very complex and flawed process based on pressure from the mining industry and Iron Range lawmakers when their primary concern should be protecting wild rice." - Paula Maccabee, WaterLegacy Advocacy Director and Counsel
You can read the full story about the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's plan in the Duluth News Tribune.
#KeepItInTheGround: Video From Extreme Extraction Event Now Online
Minnesota risking toxic pollution to the Boundary Waters, Lake Superior and the Mississippi River by a form of mining with a 100% failure rate in water-rich environments - "That's just plain nuts!"
Video from the June 2016 community discussion at Little Earth, Cafe Con Alondra: Pipelines, Sulfide Mining and the Era of Extreme Extraction, is now available to watch online.
More video, including WaterLegacy Advocacy Director and Counsel Paula Maccabee's full comments from this Extreme Extraction event can be found on WaterLegacy's YouTube channel.
EPA Concerned over Minnesota's Lack of Pollution Oversight
"In two recent letters, top officials at the EPA’s regional office in Chicago appear to concur with the allegations raised one year ago in a petition by the group WaterLegacy, that Minnesota lawmakers are restricting the ability of MPCA officials to do their jobs when it comes to regulating the state’s mining industry.
The EPA is in the midst of an investigation into allegations by WaterLegacy attorney Paula Maccabee, charging that the MPCA has, for years, failed to enforce water pollution standards on the state’s taconite mining industry. Among the allegations raised by Maccabee is that the state Legislature has, in some cases, stripped the MPCA of its authority to regulate certain discharges from taconite plants."
Read more: WaterLegacy Research and Advocacy
Mining Pollution Loophole Bill Approved
“This whole situation is an invitation that anytime an industry doesn’t like a rule, they shouldn’t comply and ask the Legislature to study a change and drag the process out for years. That’s very contrary to the law.” - Paula Maccabee, WaterLegacy
In the midst of a federal investigation of Minnesota for failing to regulate mining pollution, the state Legislature has approved a bill that would prohibit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency from enforcing sulfate standards included in a mining permit issued to US Steel in 2011.
Nurse's View: PolyMet Sulfide Mine Threatens Downstream Health
Aggie Cook, Volunteer President of the Minnesota Public Health Association, stressed the need for a health impacts assessment of the proposed PolyMet sulfide mine project in the Duluth News Tribune.
"The Minnesota Public Health Association and other leading medical and health organizations in Minnesota — including the Minnesota Nurses’ Association, the Minnesota Medical Association and the Minnesota Academy of Family Physicians — have called for a detailed assessment of the dangers posed by the PolyMet project to human health before the state issues permits for the project. This assessment has not yet been done."