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IMPORTANT: LAKE SUPERIOR ALERT (Action needed by 9/29)



**************A SPECIAL LAKE SUPERIOR ACTION ALERT***************

* PLEASE FORWARD AS WIDELY AS POSSIBLE TO INDIVIDUALS & ORGANIZATIONS IN MINNESOTA.
* Also, please announce at meetings, conferences, and in newsletters & other publications during the month of September 1997.
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MINNESOTA'S POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY IS NOW REVISING ITS STANDARDS THAT LIMIT THE DUMPING OF TOXIC CHEMICALS INTO LAKE SUPERIOR AND INLAND WATERS.  

Will you write a letter today, urging the agency that Lake Superior should have the strongest possible protection. We have until September 29th to write.
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							August 26, 1997

Dear Friend of Lake Superior:  

	The Great Lakes provide drinking water, food and recreation for millions of North Americans. Yet in 1995, industries and wastewater treatment plants in Minnesota legally released more than 24 million pounds of toxic chemicals into the state's air, water and land.  Many of these chemicals bioaccumulate (or, build up) in the food chain and may end up on your dinner table.  Not surprisingly, every year the number of fish consumption advisories in Lake Superior and the rest of the Great Lakes continues to grow.

	Many of these toxic chemicals are linked to human and wildlife health problems such as increased rates of breast and prostate cancers, reproductive disorders, weakened immune systems, and behavioral disorders. Recent research has found the following health problems: 

* * PCBs have been shown to depress the IQ*s in children born to mothers who ate contaminated Great Lakes fish; 

** Toxic poisoning has been linked to the demise of natural lake trout reproduction in nearly all of the Great Lakes; only in Lake Superior do native lake trout still successfully reproduce; and,

** Mercury, a wide-spread contaminant throughout Minnesota*s environment, can be harmful to the nervous system and brain, especially in developing human fetuses. 

	These problems persist despite improvements to water quality in the past 25 years. Stronger measures are needed to protect the health your family*s health.

GREAT LAKES INITIATIVE:  A NEW TOOL TO PROTECT MINNESOTA'S WATERS

	In 1990, Congress enacted the Great Lakes Water Quality Initiative (GLI) to require all Great Lakes states to adopt stronger and uniform water quality standards. The GLI was specifically designed to offer greater protection for humans and wildlife from toxic chemicals that bioaccumulate in the food chain.  The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is now revising its water quality standards to comply with the tougher federal protections.  Under the GLI, Minnesota has a special opportunity to provide a protective designation for Lake Superior to reduce and eliminate discharges of the most dangerous pollutants. 

MINNESOTA'S STANDARDS ARE NOT ENOUGH TO PROTECT YOUR FAMILY'S HEALTH

	 As part of the Great Lakes Initiative, Minnesota can designate Lake Superior as an Outstanding National Resource Water (ONRW), the most protective designation under federal or state law.  Unfortunately, the MPCA*s proposal supports an inadequate designation for Lake Superior that will allow new or increased discharges of the most dangerous pollutants. The agency*s proposed standards do not adequately protect people and wildlife from toxic chemicals such as mercury, PCBs and dioxins.    

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MINNESOTA SHOULD STRENGTHEN ITS PROPOSED STANDARDS BY:

** adopting an Outstanding National Resource Water designation for Lake Superior which would protect people from new or increased discharges of the most dangerous and long-lived chemicals into Lake Superior.
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	MPCA*s proposal does not go nearly far enough to protect Minnesotans from the risk of cancer, let alone other health effects such as infertility and weakened immune systems.

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HOW YOU CAN HELP:
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	The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is holding hearings and taking comments until September 29, 1997. You can help protect Minnesota's waters and your family*s health by writing a brief letter.

	Please write today, urging the MPCA to provide greater protection for human health by adopting an  Outstanding National Resource Water designation for Lake Superior.

Please send your letter to:	

Commissioner Peder Larson  
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Water Quality Division
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, Minnesota   55155-4194

	Send a stronger message to the MPCA!  Attend one of five regional public hearings that the state will be conducting between now and September 29th, and submit your letter or testimony in person (see attached dates and locations). 

	As a native of Michigan, I know how important the health of Lake Superior and other inland waters is to people in Minnesota. I urge you to let the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency know that the people and wildlife of Minnesota deserve the cleanest environment possible.  A strong GLI, including an Outstanding National Resource Water designation for Lake Superior, will move us in the right direction. 

Thank you for your help. 

							Sincerely,						

							Mark Van Putten
							President and CEO

P.S. For too long, Minnesota's waters have been a dumping ground for toxic chemicals. Now that we have the tools to reduce this assault on our environment and health, your support is needed. Don't miss this opportunity. Please write today or attend a hearing.

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MINNESOTA PUBLIC HEARINGS ON THE 
GREAT LAKES WATER QUALITY INITIATIVE
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NWF MINNESOTA PRE-HEARING TRAINING WORKSHOP 

The National Wildlife Federation (NWF)will conduct a pre-hearing training workshop to assist people who would like to speak out in support of strong water quality protections for Minnesotans and Lake Superior at one of the upcoming hearings. The workshop will assist participants in preparing to speak at the hearings and drafting written testimony or comment letters.  Refreshments will be served.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14 (7:00pm - 9:00pm Central Time) 
Dewitt Seitz Building 
394 Lake Avenue South
Room 319A
Duluth, Minnesota 55802

Please RSVP as soon as possible to: Lisa S. Yee, NWF, Lake Superior & Biodiversity Project Organizer (313) 769-3351, or e-mail: yee@nwf.org
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MINNESOTA POLLUTION CONTROL AGENCY HEARINGS

All listed hearing times are Central Time. Citizens can participate by submitting either oral or written data, statements, or arguments. Statements may be submitted without appearing at the hearing.  If you plan on speaking, please arrive early.

September 15, 1997	            
(1:00 pm - 4:30 pm)		
Coates Plaza Hotel		
502 Chestnut Street		
Virginia, MN			
				
September 16, 1997	           
(1:00 pm - 4:30 pm)					
Community Center 			
317 W. 5th Street 	          		
Grand Marais, MN
			   
September 17, 1997
(note: two separate hearings)
(1:00 pm - 5:00 pm and
7:00pm -9:00 pm)
Commissioner*s Boardroom
St. Louis County Courthouse
Duluth, MN 

September 24, 1997		
(9:00 am - 4:30 pm)			
MPCA Boardroom
520 Lafayette Road North
St. Paul, MN	

NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION CONTACT PERSON
For more information, or directions to the pre-hearing training or one of the hearings in your region, please contact:

Lisa S. Yee, Lake Superior & Biodiversity Project Organizer
National Wildlife Federation
Great Lakes Natural Resource Center
506 E. Liberty, 2nd Floor, Ann Arbor, MI 48104-2210
Ph: (313) 769-3351  Fax (313) 769-1449
E-mail: yee@nwf.org
 
CHECK OUT THESE  WEB SITES FOR MORE INFORMATION:

http://www.greatlakes.nwf.org/superior/home.htm
. . . for info on the *Outstanding National Resource Water* designation for Lake Superior and other efforts to protect Lake Superior. 

http://www.greatlakes.nwf.org/wq/report.htm
. . . for NWF's report, "Bringing the GLI Home"--a status report on the Great Lakes states' GLI compliance.

http://www.greatlakes.nwf.org/toxics/hcc1-int.htm
. . . for NWF's report on toxic chemical effects on hormone systems