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Articles written by Kirsti Marohn


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  • Kirsti Marohn, MPR News|Nov 10, 2023

    A new report from an environmental advocacy group says wastewater treatment plants and sewage sludge are key pathways for so-called “forever chemicals” to contaminate Minnesota waterways. The report, by the nonprofit Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and a University of Minnesota professor, says Minnesota state agencies need to take stronger action to regulate PFAS in wastewater, as other states have done. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are human-made chemicals used in a variety of products, from nonstick cookware to fi...  Website

  • Kirsti Marohn, MPR News|Oct 21, 2022

    The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the Department of Natural Resources and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa announced an enforcement action this week against Enbridge Energy for water quality violations during Line 3 pipeline construction. Those include accidental releases of drilling mud at a dozen locations, and two other aquifer breaches at LaSalle Creek in Hubbard County and near the Fond du Lac Reservation. They also include discharges of stormwater from construction...  Website

  • Mathew Holding Eagle III and Kirsti Marohn, MPR News|Sep 16, 2022

    If you come into contact with people working in and around natural resources in Minnesota you may hear the term TEK. It's a popular buzzword, which, confusingly, has little to do with technology. It's the acronym for Traditional Ecological Knowledge, an umbrella term for information about the natural world collected by countless generations of Indigenous people. Through observation and life experience, they gained knowledge - what plants were good to make teas to soothe a sore throat, what bark...  Website

  • Hundreds of Minnesota facilities to test for 'forever chemicals'

    Kirsti Marohn, MPR News|Apr 1, 2022

    Nearly 400 wastewater treatment plants, industrial facilities, airports and landfills across Minnesota will begin monitoring for PFAS this year, state regulators said on Tuesday. They say the data collected will provide vital clues about how and where the ubiquitous compounds known as “forever chemicals” are getting into Minnesota’s air, water and soil. PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a large class of human-made chemicals known for their durability. They’re found in a wide variety of industrial processes and commerc...

  • DNR releases details of more Line 3 aquifer breaches

    Kirsti Marohn, MPR News|Mar 25, 2022

    The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has released details of more groundwater leaks caused by the construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline last year. The DNR has completed its investigation of three sites where crews installing the pipeline breached underground aquifers, causing uncontrolled - and unauthorized - flows of groundwater. State regulators previously identified one of the three locations, near Enbridge's Clearbrook terminal. In January 2021, crews installing the replacement...

  • Kirsti Marohn|Nov 19, 2021

    Minnesota plans to require hundreds of industrial facilities and other sites to test for PFAS, the troublesome human-made substances sometimes known as "forever chemicals." State environmental regulators released the draft plan on Tuesday, calling it a critical step in better understanding how the chemicals are getting into the environment, and potentially reducing their levels. "Unfortunately, PFAS is not just a concern in surface water and fish," said Katrina Kessler, Minnesota Pollution...  Website

  • Kirsti Marohn|Nov 5, 2021

    Eighteen months into the Covid-19 pandemic, the Carlton County jail has managed so far to avoid an outbreak. Of the roughly two dozen people incarcerated in the jail daily, just two have tested positive for the coronavirus, along with one worker. That's fortunate, because in the close quarters of a jail, a contagious virus can spread quickly. Public health specialist Holly Compo, who works in the jail, said they've followed state and federal guidelines - including wearing masks, quarantining...  Website

  • Enbridge to pay big fine for water mishap

    Kirsti Marohn|Sep 24, 2021

    Minnesota regulators have ordered Enbridge to pay up to $3.32 million for allegedly violating state environmental law by piercing a groundwater aquifer during construction of the Line 3 oil pipeline. Last Thursday, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources issued a restoration order and administrative penalty order against the Canadian-based company over the breach, which the agency says occurred in late January near the Clearbrook Terminal in Clearwater County. The breach resulted in millions of gallons of groundwater flowing out of the...

  • Kirsti Marohn|Sep 3, 2021

    Over a thousand people filled the grounds of the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul last week and vowed to continue their fight against Line 3. They erected tipis and held ceremonial dances and prayers. They listened to speeches by activists including Nancy Beaulieu, a founder of the RISE Coalition, which stands for Resilient Indigenous Sisters Engaging, who told the crowd that the crude oil pipeline endangers Indigenous treaty rights. "We're going to continue to show up, and we're going to...  Website

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