- EPA presses MPCA to protect wild rice
- LaDonna Brave Bull Allard walks on
- PUC to hear Honor the Earth’s petition to investigate Enbridge’s pipeline data
- Dakota ‘Village of Well Being’ still hoping to get building code waiver
- Law enforcement bill to Enbridge for Line 3 protection reaches $500,000
- Gov. Walz gets low to failing grades on protecting our climate
EPA presses Minnesota to protect wild rice waters
Once again, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is being pressed by outside forces to protect the environment, the agency’s very reason for existence.
This time, the goading comes from the Biden Administration’s US. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It wants the MPCA to do a better job of protecting wild rice waters, MinnPost reports.
Political maneuvering has stymied efforts to improve Minnesota’s water quality rules meant to protect wild rice from sulfate pollution. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is pushing for action, something Minnesota tribal governments and environmental groups have sought for years, MinnPost said.
“[T]he EPA has informed the state agency that it is partially disapproving Minnesota’s most recent Clean Water Act Impaired Waters List because the list doesn’t include any rivers or lakes loaded with sulfate, which kills off wild rice beds over time,” it said.
LaDonna Brave Bull Allard walks on
A leader of Standing Rock’s resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) has passed on, Native News Online reports. LaDonna Tamakawastewin Allard, 64, helped found the Sacred Stones Camp on her family’s land, the first DAPL resistance camp, the story said.
PUC to hear Honor the Earth’s petition to investigate Enbridge’s pipeline data
Honor the Earth filed a petition last fall requesting that the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission (PUC) investigate data Enbridge used to justify building a new and larger Line 3 pipeline. The PUC will act on that request at its upcoming meeting Thursday, April 29, at 9:15 a.m.
Honor the Earth argues that since of the start of the Line 3 debate, Enbridge has made efficiency improvements and pipeline upgrades to its mainline system that already has added the pipeline capacity the company said it needed from the new Line 3.
Enbridge didn’t inform the PUC about this newly generated capacity during Line 3 hearings, Honor the Earth said. In effect, Enbridge secured Line 3 permits by withholding information. It wants the PUC to look at the data it didn’t have during its Line 3 review.
The PUC meeting will be held online. The public can view the proceedings via the Commission’s webcast.
Dakota ‘Village of Well Being’ still hoping to get building code waiver
Efforts to get a waiver from state building codes to construct traditional Dakota earth lodges are still alive and moving through the Minnesota State Legislature, according to Makoce Ikikcupi (Dakota Land Recovery).
Makoce Ikikcupi bought its first parcel of land in June 2019, 21 acres in Granite Falls along the Minnesota River Valley, according to an email from the group. They call it “Zani Otunwe, or Village of Wellbeing. “Centuries ago, this was a place where the Wahpe Oyate Leaf Peoples came back to heal themselves. It is a good place for us to heal ourselves as well,” it said.
The initial goal is to build seven traditional earth lodges, but to do so the group needs a waiver from state building codes. The bill didn’t make it through the Senate, but it is in a House omnibus bill, so it could still get approved in conference committee.
Law enforcement bill to Enbridge for Line 3 protection reaches $500,000
Payments to law enforcement agencies to reimburse them for Line 3-related expenses has now reached $500,000, the Minnesota Reformer reports. The arrangement continues to come under scrutiny.
The PUC approved Line 3 permits, and as one condition it required Enbridge to create an independently run Public Safety Escrow Account. In theory, it was supposed to be an arm’s length transaction; in reality, everyone knows where the money is coming from.
Experts in policing question the arrangement. Kevin Karpiak, an Eastern Michigan University professor, said he hadn’t heard of an agreement like the public safety account before. But it reminded him of other public-private law enforcement partnerships, like police officers providing security for college football games, he said.
“The ethical stakes of that new relationship changes who the police are indebted to,” Karpiak said.Minnesota Reformer
Gov. Walz gets low to failing grades on protecting our climate
A recently released Climate Action Report Card gives Gov. Tim Walz generally low marks. It was issued by leading environmental, progressive, and Indigenous groups representing the hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans who are working to build an equitable clean energy future.
Walz got one “B” for pushing utilities for clean energy and a “C” for switching to electric vehicles. He also got four “D”s and two “F”s. The F’s were for Funding Clean Transportation and stopping new fossil fuel infrastructure (think Line 3).