Crystal clear Great Lakes might not be so healthy

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

At Brighton Beach outside Duluth, the waters of Lake Superior are stunningly clear. Looking into about six feet of water, it’s easy to see smooth rocks at the bottom.

But Lake Superior has lost its long-held title as the clearest of the Great Lakes. A recent study showed that lakes Michigan and Huron have changed drastically.

Illinois sportfish recovery a result of 1972 Clean Water Act, scientists report

Read the full story from the University of Illinois.

Populations of largemouth bass, bluegill, catfish and other sportfish are at the highest levels recorded in more than a century in the Illinois River, according to a new report. Their dramatic recovery, from populations close to zero near Chicago throughout much of the 20th century, began just after implementation of the Clean Water Act, the researchers say.

Minn. company, executives charged in PCB case

Read the full story in Great Lakes Echo.

A federal grand jury in Minneapolis has charged two executives and their environmental company with fraud in the mishandling of toxic chemicals.

After Dynegy negotiates new pollution standard with Illinois EPA, advocates fear cleaner coal plants could close

Read the full story at Midwest Energy News.

Documents and emails obtained by environmental groups show that Dynegy representatives were in close contact with Illinois Environmental Protection Agency officials as the agency drafted changes to Dynegy’s responsibilities under a pollution reduction agreement.

Dynegy made significant specific edits to the text of the proposed new rules, changes which were incorporated into the IEPA’s next draft, according to the documents, which were obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

It’s not easy to decipher the likely impact of the complicated changes to the agreement originally negotiated between power companies and the state in 2006, known as the Multi-Pollutant Standard, or MPS.

But environmental lawyers and advocates fear the company pressed for the changes in order to be able to close one or more coal plants that have scrubbers installed to remove sulfur dioxide, while continuing to run or even ramping up generation from its dirtier plants without scrubbers.

In Northern Minnesota, Two Economies Square Off: Mining vs. Wilderness

Read the full story in the New York Times.

Proposed mines near the Boundary Waters have become the latest front in the fight over who gets to profit from America’s natural resources.

2018 Impaired waters list: Success stories surfacing for Minnesota lakes, streams

Read the full story from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

As Minnesota continues its statewide checkup of waters and lists those failing to meet standards, some good examples of protective and restorative work are starting to surface.

Water bodies that fail to meet standards are considered impaired. The impaired waters list represents an assessment of how well lakes and streams support fishing, swimming, and other beneficial uses. This assessment is mandated by federal law and requires a cleanup study for each impaired water body.

Great Lakes conference to discuss regional challenges

Read the full story at Great Lakes Today.

There are so many plans and programs in place to clean up the Great Lakes, it’s hard to keep track. In mid-October, environmentalists from across the region will meet to discuss their biggest challenges.