Corporate interests and their buddies in the Minnesota Senate are pushing to weaken public participation in the environmental review process of industrial projects — and we need to stop them.
When the law does not require the environmental review of a proposed industrial project, the public has the right to petition for it. However, if the Senate proposal passed, only residents of the county or adjacent county where a project is proposed would be able to petition for environmental review.
Residents downstream and downwind of a proposed industrial project, like a factory farm or frac sand mine, wouldn’t be able to have their voice heard if they didn’t live in a certain county — and that’s just not right. All Minnesotans deserve to have their voice heard by our public institutions.
In fact, each of us — along with our air, water, land, and climate — are interconnected. No matter where we live, we all have a stake in how industrial projects impact our air, water, land, climate, and economy. Moreover, air, water, and pollution circulate — they don’t respect geopolitical boundaries.
Unfortunately, this proposal was included in the Senate Environment & Natural Resources Omnibus Bill and will likely be voted on by the full Minnesota Senate next week.