“Environmental groups implored Gov. Mark Dayton on Monday to push for changes to PolyMet Mining’s plans to mine copper, nickel and precious metals near the Boundary Waters,” writes MPR News reporter Dan Kraker.

They claim the changes will help prevent a potentially catastrophic accident in a water-rich and ecologically sensitive region of the state.

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources last week sent a 3,100-page preliminary environmental report on the project to the federal Environmental Protection Agency and three Minnesota Indian tribes for review. The DNR intends to release the study for public comment later this fall.

But the environmental groups, calling themselves Mining Truth, want Dayton to step in now. They say the report acknowledges that water quality treatment will be needed “indefinitely” after the mine closes to prevent water pollution from escaping.

And they say PolyMet’s plan to store mine waste does not take into account recommendations made in the wake of a major mine accident last year in British Columbia, Canada, when a tailings dam broke at the Mount Polley copper and gold mine, flooding nearby waterways with over 1 billion gallons of waste. (PolyMet does not own Mount Polley.)

“Since the Legislature has failed to act, and the Department of Natural Resources has not required PolyMet to implement the recommendations of the expert review panel at Mount Polley,” said Aaron Klemz with Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, “it’s up to Gov. Dayton to do what’s needed to protect Minnesota’s clean water.”

21 comments • Add yours →

“President Obama is expected to release this week a long-awaited rule governing overtime that could affect 5 million people as soon as next year, a source familiar with the plans confirmed to NPR,” write NPR’s Scott Horsley and Yuki Noguchi.

The proposed rule would more than double the salary cap under which most workers would qualify for overtime pay whenever they work more than 40 hours a week, the source said. The cap would be raised from $23,660 to $50,440, and indexed to wage growth or inflation, ensuring the cap would move with the overall economy.

The rule is still subject to a lengthy comment period, and is bound to face opposition from the retail and restaurant industries. Unlike the president’s push to increase the minimum wage, though, the overtime rule does not require congressional approval.

23 comments • Add yours →

Since the turn of the century, economists say workers’ share of all income generated has declined significantly. In the four decades after WWII, the “labor share” averaged around 64 percent. But since 2000, it’s been accelerating on a downward trajectory, and in recent years it hovered around 58 percent.

Today’s Question: Have your wages stagnated?

If you are willing to be interviewed on this subject by an MPR News reporter or producer, please share your story here.

6 comments • Add yours →