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Working to protect the Mississippi River and its watershed in the Twin Cities area
This year, more so than any in recent memory, numerous bills are near passage in the legislature that would undermine Minnesota’s foundation of environmental protection. Here is a quick summary of the bills FMR is following. At this point in the legislative session, things are very fluid and subject to change.
Both bills deeply slash general fund spending on the environment in Minnesota and both bills also contain numerous policy positions that weaken the State’s framework of environmental protections. At the time of this writing the status of these bills is very fluid and many of the policy provisions are the subject of negotiations between the Governor and the Legislature.
These bills contain numerous provisions that would be harmful to Minnesota’s environment including:
These bills also contain an excellent package of measures proposed by the DNR that would improve Minnesota’s response to Aquatic Invasive Species such as Eurasian Water Milfoil and Asian Carp.
These bills would attempt to save money for wastewater treatment plant operators by weakening enforcement of phosphorus pollution loading for eight months of the year. The result of which would be increasing rather than decreasing Phosphorous pollution to the Mississippi River and other waters. At the time of this writing this bill was included in the legislature’s Omnibus Environment Budget Bill. Read the recent Star Tribune editorial on this bill.
Under the pretense of pausing to study Minnesota’s water governance these bills would place a two-year moratorium on any State rules related to water resources. The moratorium would tie the hands of Minnesota’s state agencies and prevent them from enacting rules designed to protect rivers, lakes, wetlands and ground water. At the time of this writing this bill was included in the legislature’s Omnibus Environment Budget Bill.
These provisions would remove sulfate pollution standards for wild rice waters, threatening Minnesota’s wild rice production and Native American heritage. Read more in the Star Tribune.
For a more complete listing of bills that undermine Minnesota’s framework of environmental protections visit the Minnesota Environmental Partnership website.
Want to contact your legislators about your concerns about any of these bills? Here’s how: