The bill to reinstate public oversight of the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has been moving through the Minnesota Legislature. In the Minnesota Senate, it passed out of the State and Local Government Committee and needs to be heard in the Environment, Climate, and Legacy Committee before becoming part of the larger Senate bill that sets the budget and policies for the MPCA. In the Minnesota House, it was heard in the Environment and Natural Resources Committee and is ready to become part of the House’s larger bill to fund and set policy for the agency.
However, corporate interests and their allies in the Legislature are working overtime to continue a status quo that prioritizes corporate profits at the expense of the viability of small and mid-sized farms, the quality of life of rural communities, and our water, air, and land. We need to demonstrate widespread support for reinstating the MPCA Community Board (formerly the MPCA Citizens’ Board) now!
Please take just five minutes to send personalized e-mails to three key decision-makers: Governor Tim Walz, Senator Foung Hawj (Chair of the Environment, Climate, & Legacy Committee), and Senator Nick Frentz (Chair of the Energy, Utilities, Environment, & Climate Committee).
Governor Tim Walz has not committed to supporting or signing the bill. In fact, the MPCA has been asking the Legislature to put their consideration of this bill on hold. The administration must actively support restoring critical checks and balances to the agency.
Senator Foung Hawj needs to be thanked for championing this legislation and shown that we have his back as he fights for this proposal!
Senator Nick Frentz is an influential legislator who has not committed to supporting this bill. With a one-vote margin in the Minnesota Senate, losing his vote could kill the legislation.
By reinstating the MPCA Citizens’ Board, we will put decision-making power back into the hands of Minnesotans (as intended), ensure those most impacted by agency decisions have a meaningful place at the table, greatly increase transparency in the agency, and create meaningful opportunities for the public to make their voices heard.