Bill gutting MPCA Citizens' Board passes House committee
J. Patrick Coolican
March 13, 2015 — 11:50am
A bill that would eliminate the decision making authority of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board passed a House committee Thursday and heads to another committee early next week.
The Citzens' Board was established in 1967 and is made up of nine members who can order environmental impact statements and make the final decision on the permitting of controversial projects.
Although the board only weighs in on a handful of the MPCA's 3,000 annual permits, Republicans and their business allies are outraged about a board decision last year requiring Baker Dairy to obtain an environmental-impact statement for a proposed 9,000-head operation near Choklo.
The vote Thursday of the House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee drew scorn from environmentalists.
Gov. Mark Dayton is against the bill, and a veto seems likely if it passes the full House and Senate.
The bill will be heard in Goverment Operations and Elections Policy Committee Tuesday.
A Duluth native who just barely lost Virginia's GOP gubernatorial primary said that politicians have not gone far enough in condemning the left for violence during a rally of white nationalists in Charlottesville. "I think that the left is going to try to use this as an excuse to crack down on conservative free speech," said Corey Stewart. "I think they're going to try to use this as an excuse to remove more historical monuments."