Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Bye-bye citizen overview of environmental issues in Minnesota

Why do Minnesotans put up with this?

"It’s a farce.  It’s more or less the equivalent of a courtroom where the prosecutor is also the judge."

by Alan on June 30, 2015, alanmuller.com

On June 23rd, the MPCA [Minnesota Pollution Control Agency] “Citizens’ Board” held its last meeting, the board having been abolished by the Minnesota Legislature with the consent of Governor Mark Dayton.

Some very smart, well-informed people must have written the environmental laws of Minnesota in the 1960s and 1970s. The Citizens’ Board seems to have been designed to keep the MPCA from becoming overly bureaucratic, self-serving, and too closely tied to the interests it was supposed to regulate. These, of course, are the normal evolutionary tendencies of a regulatory agency, kept down only by constant effort. No wonder the Chamber and “big-ag,” etc, wanted the Citizens’ Board gone.

Back to the June 23rd meeting, in the basement boardroom of the MPCA, beginning at 9:00 am and ending about 6:30 pm. What I observed, having been there all day, seemed rather different from the media reports I have seen. No need, however, to take my word for anything. You can see many of the documents and watch video of the meeting here.

One substantive matter was on the agenda: A sewer project, really a big community septic system, proposed by the City of Afton. It was opposed by two other neighboring Minnesota cities, Lake St. Croix Beach and St. Mary’s Point, a couple of non-profit organizations, and many individual citizens. They had asked for an Environmental Impact Statement to be prepared, and for a “Contested Case.” The objectors were well represented by lawyers, technical consultants, elected officials, and citizens.

(More here.)


Blogger Minnesota Central said...

Your readers might appreciate the City Pages story Big Ag is conquering Minnesota like a noxious, unkillable weed.

9:08 AM  

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