The White Bear Lake Restoration Association (WBLRA) represents the interests of the community of White Bear Lake that includes residents, businesses, and others that enjoy public access. In keeping with its mission to protect and restore White Bear Lake, the WBLRA filed suit against the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) under the Minnesota Environmental Rights Act. The WBLRA’s claims are supported by the U.S. Geological Survey’s study of the White Bear Lake water level problems. The USGS study states that the recent low water levels of White Bear Lake are directly related to increases in groundwater withdrawals authorized by the DNR. The lawsuit asks the court for an order that would set a protected water level for the lake, make the DNR restore the lake to that protected level, and prevent the DNR from authorizing groundwater withdrawals that would cause the lake to fall below that protected level in the future. The DNR has sought to dismiss the WBLRA’s lawsuit, but hasn’t disputed that White Bear Lake is impaired as a result of the increases in groundwater withdrawals. The WBLRA believes that its claims against the DNR are sound, and that this action will take significant steps toward restoring White Bear Lake and protecting the lake for future generations.
Greg McNeely, chair