Busy week for the environment

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There is a lot happening this week to help protect and restore Minnesota’s environment.  Here are some highlights:

Great Lakes Compact
There will be a bill signing for the endorsement of the Great Lakes Compact tomorrow (Tuesday) at 11:45 a.m. in Duluth.

Renewable Electricity
The House will be voting on the Renewable Electricity Standard (SF4) tonight during a floor session that starts at 6 p.m.  If passed unamended, it will be headed to the Governor’s desk.

The Clean Energy Minnesota biofuels legislation has hearings in the House and Senate ag policy committees today and tomorrow, respectively. 

Global Warming
The Senate Energy policy committee will be discussing global warming on Tuesday and Thursday

Citizens Day at the Capitol
Bus loads of Minnesotans, literally, are coming to the capitol on Wednesday to help Protect Our Great Outdoors.  Trainings occur in the morning, then there’s a rally at noon in the Capitol Rotunda and meeting between legislators and constituents following that. 

Electronics Waste
You can’t throw away your old TVs and computer monitors in the trash anymore – because they are full of heavy metals and they’re not good to landfill.  Since the ban came into being last July, Minnesota counties have faced an increased burden from the mounting waste. And it’ll only get worse from here.  Enter in then the legislation to create a better system in Minnesota for recycling e-waste.   Once implemented, the manufactures of certain electronics would be responsible for recycling the same amount of e-waste as they sold the year before – as measured by weight.  So, if they sell a thousand pounds this year, they have to recycle a thousand pounds next year.  This has the nice incentive of rewarding manufactures who reduce the amount of heavy metals like lead that they use in products. This legislation gets its first hearing on Wednesday in the Senate environment policy committee.

It’s hard to believe that lobbyists outside of the environmental community are calling this a slow year so far.

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