Water

FMR is proud to be a leading voice in protecting the water of our Big River and all the people and wildlife who depend on it.

From the banks of the Mississippi to the halls of the Legislature, our Water program strives to keep you up to date on important water-quality issues. (For political animals, here are all FMR posts related to legislative advocacy.)

Blog updates are also shared on social (Facebook and Twitter) and in FMR's Mississippi Messages newsletter.

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POSTS

Unexpected amendment undermines state’s buffer law

An unexpected amendment to the state's buffer law undermines Gov. Mark Dayton’s landmark buffer initiative by removing 50-foot buffers from as many as 48,000 miles of Minnesota streams.
 

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Agency rulemaking attack take three! Now with suspension of river phosphorus standards!

In yet another attack on state agency authority, SF 1283 requires legislative approval of most state water quality rules and standards and suspends Minnesota’s hard-won river phosphorus standards pending legislative approval.

SF 1283 (Newman, Ingebrigtsen, Utke, Eken, Tomassoni)
Status: Introduced and referred to Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Legacy Finance

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Agency rulemaking attack take two!

Another bill has come forward at the Minnesota legislature aiming to undermine environmental rulemaking by state agencies.
SF 769: (Kiffmeyer)
HF1285: (Pugh)

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Bill to eliminate Environmental Quality Board, rollback environmental review brought forward.

A bill recently introduced in the Minnesota Legislature aims to make dramatic rollbacks to Minnesota’s environmental review and permitting processes while eliminating the Environmental Quality Board.

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Buffer rollbacks persist at legislature

A handful of rollbacks to Governor Dayton’s landmark 2014 Buffer Rule continue to capture legislative attention at the Minnesota Capitol this session.

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Bill seeks to have judges, not experts, determine MN's water policies

Water quality standards must be based on expert science and public input. We need to reject rulemaking by judges and oppose this legislation.   

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House bill aims to replace the Legacy Amendment

A bill introduced by Republican Rep. Steve Green (Fosston) would require the state to conduct a new referendum to replace the Legacy Amendment with funds for a narrow list of highway and bridge projects and bar Clean Water Fund spending on most clean-up and restoration projects.

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Bill seeks to strip MPCA and DNR rulemaking authority and sunset all existing rules

Under H.F. 551, the MPCA and DNR would no longer have any rulemaking authority and all their existing rules would expire by 2022 unless the Minnesota legislature chose to enact them. The bill likely precedes others that will seek to give the legislature veto power over agency rulemaking, a move that will deny the public a voice in regulatory decisions.

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Opponents of Minnesota's buffer law claim it's an unconstitutional taking. It's not.

Legislators and testifiers opposed to Minnesota's buffer law continue to claim that the law is unconstitutional because it constitutes a government taking of private property without just compensation to the property owner. These claims are incorrect and misleading. The law would only be unconstitutional if it denied property owners every and all reasonable use of their land.

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Our 2017 legislative priorities

Water issues will once again be a hot topic during this year's legislative session. While Gov. Mark Dayton has made water a priority, House and Senate majority parties have signaled intentions to roll back policies and funding essential to protecting Minnesota’s rivers, lakes and streams.

Without a doubt, defending against these rollbacks and securing much-needed funding for critical water infrastructure will be our top priorities during the 2017 legislative session. 

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Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 20, 2024 - 9:30am to 12:00pm
West River Parkway and 36th Street/44th Street, Minneapolis
Applications due Friday, May 3 by 5 p.m.
Virtual and in-person
Thursday, May 9, 2024 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm
Hastings Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area