- River News
- Support our Work
- Mississippi River Challenge
- People & Places
- About the Mississippi
- Our Programs
- About FMR
- Contact Us
Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area
Photo: University of Minnesota
It's official: The effort to repeal rulemaking authority for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area has failed.
The bill sought to roll back vital environmental protections for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area (MRCCA) — a 72-mile protected corridor from Dayton to Hastings. Despite never having a hearing in the House, the repeal bill made its way into the final budget bill that passed in both the House and Senate at the end of the regular legislative session. Governor Mark Dayton vetoed this original budget bill, in part because of its inclusion of policy related items such as the repeal. Although some legislators continued to push for its inclusion, the repeal did not make it into the final, compromise budget bill passed during the special session.
The Mississippi River is one of Minnesota’s claims to fame and is a profoundly important ecological, recreational and economic asset. The effort to adopt state rules to update minimum standards and guidelines for the corridor to protect these assets is much needed (see link below). Fortunately, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has nearly completed a draft of the updated Critical Area standards. A repeal would have wasted this important effort, squandered a half-million dollars of Legacy funds and left our great river without these improved protections.
FMR is grateful to Governor Dayton, his staff and his administration for holding the line on protecting the Critical Area. Thanks also to all of you who helped prevent this harmful repeal. Your calls and emails to our state leaders may sometimes feel like a drop in the bucket, but together they formed a river of support for our governor to do the right thing and truly made a difference for the river!
The next steps for the Critical Area rulemaking process are not yet clear. A deadline to publish the draft rules within 18 months of the original authorization was missed at the end of 2010 and could prevent the Department of Natural Resources from moving ahead with the process without additional legislative authorization.
As always, stay tuned. We’ll keep you posted.