Category Archives: Pollution

Ely Explorers Paddle A Message of Wilderness Stewardship into Nation’s Capital

Ely Explorers Paddle A Message of Wilderness Stewardship into Nation’s Capital

Dave and Amy Freeman completed their cross-country journey from the Kawishiwi River to the Potomac. Two thousand miles and a hundred days after paddling away from the Voyageur Outward Bound School on the South Kawishiwi River, adventurers Dave and Amy Freeman have made it to Washington, D.C. The pair paddled their canoe – covered in signatures – up to the dock at the Washington Canoe Club this morning in cold, wet conditions.

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Protecting Our Wild Rice  Heritage

Protecting Our Wild Rice Heritage

Evaluating Minnesota’s water sulfate standard for wild rice. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is reviewing its standards for protecting wild rice in Minnesota. With funding from the Minnesota State Legislature, the agency conducted a two-year study to determine how sulfate—the presence of which in water has been linked to an absence of wild rice—and other chemicals affect the health of wild rice.

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Mining Truth Coalition Launches Summer Campaign

The environmental coalition Mining Truth, comprised of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Conservation Minnesota, and the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, has announced a new campaign. The “4 Simple Questions” effort is intended to educate the public about the risks of sulfide mining, and call on Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to adhere to…

Re-engineering Campcraft

With the ice off the border lakes and the summer paddling season underway, it is a great time to refine some camping strategies. One of the rules commonly broken in the Boundary Waters Wilderness is the prohibition of burning paper, plastic or foil in campfires.  The USFS has done research  on the burning of plastic…

New Version of PolyMet Environmental Review Released to Cooperating Agencies

A revised draft of the environmental review for the first-ever copper mining project proposed in Minnesota has been completed. PolyMet Mining Corp.’s new document has been distributed to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, tribal governments, and other state and federal agencies which are involved in the process. The release comes almost…

Anti-mining Activists to Open Office in Ely

New mine proposals in northeastern Minnesota have prompted a group of local citizens and businesses to plan an anti-mining “action center” on Ely’s Sheridan Street. The office will provide information to visitors and residents, and is expected to open by Memorial Day weekend. The effort is being spearheaded by Steve Piragis, proprietor of wilderness outfitter…

2013 Poll Indicates Public Opposition to Sulfide Mining Exceeds Support

48% of Minnesotans polled oppose sulfide mining in northeast Minnesota while 39% favor it. Results of the January, 2013 poll, sponsored by Minnesota Environmental Partnership, were the first to demonstrate that opposition exceeded support for the proposed mining. Annual polls on this subject have been held every year starting in 2008. Since 2009, there has…

EPA Issued Rule to Cut Haze over BWCAW

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park will both get added protection from haze under a new ruling from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. According to the EPA, the regulations should reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by about 22,000 tons per year and sulfur dioxide emissions by about 2,000 tons. An article…

Get the Lead Out

Despite a howling northwest wind and sub-zero temperatures across the Quetico Superior wilderness, many people are dreaming of warmer days and are making their summertime recreational plans. Fishing in the clear lakes of northeast Minnesota and adjacent Ontario, is for many, near the top of their dream list. Sorting through tackle boxes is one way…

Pollution Control Agency Ramping up Water Monitoring

State and local organizations, and even citizens, will begin monitoring lakes, rivers and streams in Minnesota’s Lake Superior North Watershed. It’s part of a new monitoring approach by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). The initiative is known as “Intensive Watershed Monitoring,” in which water experts from local soil and water conservation districts, the Minnesota Department…

Mining in Minnesota: Ely’s Steve Piragis Offers His Take on Keeping Wilderness Pristine

As northwoods mining takes center stage on the economic and environmental stages, a long time land use debate is resurfacing among neighbors who make Ely, MN their home. Steve Piragis, owner of Piragis Northwoods Company, is no stranger to that debate. He and his wife have run their shop and guide service since 1979.

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Suit Planned Over Tailings Basin

Three environmental advocacy a groups are planning a lawsuit over pollution violations from the tailings basins of the former LTV Steel plant near Hoyt Lakes which PolyMet Mining intends to use for its planned copper-nickel mining operation.

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Northern Minnesota Haze Rules Passed

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency passed new regulations aimed at reducing haze over northern Minnesota, including Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The MPCA board voted 7-1 in favor of the new rules, despite calls for tighter restrictions.

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