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Protecting Minnesota Waters

A January Series – Presented by Active Voices and the Climate Action Team

January 14, 12pm 1pm: What are the Top Water Issues Facing Minnesota today? | WATCH LIVE HERE

Presenter: Steve Ring, Chair – Water and Wetlands Stewards, Sierra Club North Star Chapter

Steve will share the top water quality and quantity challenges facing our state, and give a preview of what water policies will be considered by the Legislature this year. Steve leads the chapter’s team of water experts, volunteer leaders and activists — the Water and Wetlands Stewards — leading the Sierra Club’s work at the state level. Steve is a retired Minnesota Department of Health scientist and longtime Sierra Club leader. One of his most impactful experiences was serving as technical advisor on the environmental challenge when the State of Minnesota set a sulfate deposition standard to prevent the impacts of acid rain.

January 21, 12pm – 1pm: Real Solutions: Environment & Climate in the 2024 Legislative Session | WATCH LIVE HERE

Presenter: Peter Wagenius, Legislative and Political Director, Sierra Club North Star Chapter

Peter will give a preview of what is coming up this session and how he works with legislators to shape and promote bills. The Sierra Club anticipates major opportunities for environmental protections this session, and is working to make clear the difference between real climate solutions vs. “fake” or greenwashed ones. In addition to serving as the chapter’s Legislative Director for the last four years, Peter brings broad experience in public policy, political campaigns and community organizing including at the state legislature and as Policy Director at the City of Minneapolis.

January 28th, 12pm – 1pm: Litigation and Community Advocacy to Protect Minnesota Waters | WATCH LIVE HERE

Presenter: Paula Maccabee, Advocacy Director and Counsel for WaterLegacy

Paula Maccabee, Advocacy Director and Counsel for WaterLegacy, will speak about the need to protect Minnesota’s clean waters and the communities that rely on them, particularly from the threat of copper-nickel sulfide ore mining. Paula will explain WaterLegacy’s litigation to prevent PolyMet mine pollution in the Lake Superior watersheds and advocacy to protect water quality and health throughout Minnesota. She will address what can be done to oppose new threats posed to tribal lands and waters, wild rice, and the downstream St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers by potential Talon Metals “district-scale” sulfide ore mining. With Minnesota’s history of lax regulatory oversight, citizen advocacy has become essential to protect water quality from powerful interests and prevent sacrifice zones in the name of energy transition.

Paula, a graduate of Yale Law School, has served as WaterLegacy’s advocacy director and counsel for the past 14 years. She has worked for more than four decades in public interest law and policy and has represented clients to convert coal plants, reroute power lines and pipelines, remediate pollution, and oppose projects that pollute air and water and destroy wetlands. WaterLegacy has been recognized by national and Minnesota-based groups for its environmental stewardship and effective advocacy in alliance with tribes and other partners.

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