Saint Paul, MN – February 9, 2015 – Today, a set of bills were introduced in the Minnesota Senate that directly attacks water quality standards set by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (SF689 and SF690, authored by Sens. Eken , Koenen, Rosen, and Hoffman). A companion set of bills were introduced in the Minnesota House last week.
The Minnesota Environmental Partnership, the state’s largest coalition of environmental and conservation nonprofits, issued this statement about the harm these bills would cause:
“These bills undermine the water quality efforts underway in Minnesota,” said Steve Morse, executive director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership. “They would add a costly, duplicative process and strip the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) of its long-standing authority to set standards and rules to protect water quality, including standards to protect our water from sulfide, sediment and fertilizer pollution. The MPCA ’s plans for protecting and restoring the quality of the rivers, lakes and streams, from which Minnesotans drink, as well as play and recreate in, are based on years of research and sound science. The set of bills introduced today are an assault to the executive branch’s authority and would allow the Legislature to intervene directly in the agency’s work and determine scientific standards. Our water quality standards must be set using sound, peer-reviewed science, not determined by politicians”
“These bills would require extensive additional, duplicative process, on top of the many years of work already done by the agency. They would be an unnecessary wasteful use of public money and would further delay actions to protect our water.”
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Minnesota Environmental Partnership is a statewide coalition of more than 70 environmental and conservation organizations working together for clean water, clean energy and protection of our Great Outdoors. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership engages state leaders, unites environmental efforts and helps citizens take action for the Minnesota they love.