News/Events: Federal judge strikes down DAPL permits; MPCA favors Enbridge, fails the pubic, in Line 3 review, and more

In this blog:

  • Federal judge sides with Standing Rock, strikes down DAPL permits
  • MPCA favors Enbridge, fails the pubic, in Line 3 permit review
  • Condor and the Eagle on-line film screening and discussion Thursday

Federal judge sides with Standing Rock, strikes down DAPL permits

This just in, according to Earth Justice article: Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Prevails as Federal Judge Strikes Down DAPL Permits.

A federal court today granted a request by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe to strike down federal permits for the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.

The Court found the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers violated the National Environmental Policy Act when it affirmed federal permits for the pipeline originally issued in 2016. Specifically, the Court found significant unresolved concerns about the potential impacts of oil spills and the likelihood that one could take place.

Click on the link above for more details.

MPCA favors Enbridge, fails the pubic, in Line 3 permit review

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is in the middle of its review of Enbridge Line 3’s water crossing permit, one of the last regulatory hurdles for a project that threatens our state’s clean waters, our climate, and Anishiaabe treaty rights.

The MPCA had scheduled public hearings for Line 3’s water quality (Section 401) hearing in mid-March. Understandably, it canceled those hearings to keep people safe from spreading the coronavirus. Less understandably, the MPCA decided instead of rescheduling the public hearings at a later date, they wouldn’t happen at all. At a time when Minnesota is shutting grocery stores, restaurants and other non-essential services, the MPCA decided it would go on with business as usual and proceed as if in-person public hearings didn’t matter.

An opinion piece in the Minnesota Reformer laid out the reasons that the MPCA should delay its permit decision and reschedule in-person public hearings when conditions allow. The piece, headlined, State still needs to take public comment on Enbridge Line 3, was co-signed by Jim Bear Jacobs, founder of Healing Minnesota Stories.

We are at a critical moment. This is one of the key permits Enbridge needs for Line 3. So far, the MPCA has heard Enbridge’s side of the story, but has yet to hear from impacted and at-risk communities. This new virus shouldn’t be a justification for minimizing public input on this controversial project.

For fairness and transparency, the MPCA should extend the public comment period, reschedule the public hearings when conditions permit and dedicate a significant amount of time to hearing from those with opposing views. If that is not possible, they must deny the permits outright on the basis that the MPCA is unable to gather all the information it needs to make a judicious decision. …

This is not a letter we want to write.  Many of us would rather be focused on the safety of our families and communities. The MPCA’s stance is leaving us with a difficult choice, giving us a narrow window to comment on an issue of critical and long-lasting importance during a crisis.

Sadly, the same day the opinion piece ran, the MPCA announced its tepid decision to extend the public comment period by one week, from April 3 to April 10, and add three telephone town halls. MPCA leaders will never have to look those opposed to the project in the eye and hear their concerns.

Condor and the Eagle on-line film screening and discussion Thursday

Needing something to do while you’re sitting at home? The Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth is hosting an on-line film screening and discussion of the documentary Condor and the Eagle, tomorrow, Thursday, at 11:30 a.m. Discussion with filmmaker Clement Guerra & protagonists Casey Camp-Horinek and Bryan Parras will begin at 1 p.m. Click here to view the trailer and to register.

Suggested donations range from $10 to $50, depending on your ability to pay. Donations will benefit (1) the film’s community impact campaign, (2) UU-Indigenous partnerships for Earth/Climate Justice in 2020, and (3) the Sarayaku and other Indigenous Ecuadorian Amazonian communities recovering from a recent horrendous flood.

Film summary:

Indigenous environmental leaders embark on an extraordinary trans-continental adventure from the Canadian plains to deep into the heart of the Amazonian jungle to unite the peoples of North and South America and deepen the meaning of “Climate Justice.”

The Condor & The Eagle documentary offers a glimpse into a developing spiritual renaissance as the film’s protagonists learn from each other’s long legacy of resistance to colonialism and its extractive economy. Their paths take them on an unexpectedly challenging and liberating journey, which will forever change their attachment to the Earth and one another.



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