An umbrella organization of more than two dozen environmental organizations has written legislators urging them to reject the House and Senate compromise on funding for environment and conservation programs, a measure that also includes a raft of highly contentious policy provisions on the regulation of land, air and water.
The Republican-controlled House is united with a group of DFL Senators from rural and Iron Range districts who believe Minnesota environmental regulation is overly burdensome and killing economic growth.
The environment bill, to be taken up today by the House and Senate in advance of the May 18 parliamentary deadline to adjourn, includes a number of provisions known to be anathema to DFL Gov. Mark Dayton, so its ultimate status is unclear.
The letter from the Minnesota Environmental Partnership lays out a series of objections: Moving money from cleanup funds to ongoing agency operations; abolishing the Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board; requiring regulators to complete new cost analysis and peer review science considered duplicative; exempting sulfide mining waste from solid waste rules; delaying certain clean water rules in the Red River watershed.
The group has also called "insufficient" the compromise language that would create buffers around waterways to protect them from pollution, a key objective for Dayton this legislative session.