December 1st, 2012
Gov. Mark Dayton rolled out the plan early in his term — GUT environmental review and protection. What do Minnesotans think? This week we got a chance to tell him.
Surprise! The first meeting about the state’s environmental review was standing room only, when we got there a line started at the door going back and winding in. They’d supposedly expected 30-40 but got about 200, 175 signed in and I’d bet quite a few didn’t. Keep in mind that this was a meeting held at 9:30 a.m. on a weekday. Suzanne found a spot with just enough room for us to stand. As it was getting started, I noticed, DUH, that there was a white board behind me, so because there was no designated way to make comments other than holler, well, of course I did that too, particularly regarding FUNDING, because there was no mention of funding and how all the agencies are hurting to the point of being unable to regulate, anyway, a few of my comments (click photo for larger view):
There were meetings this week, and there are more the week of December 10 — SHOW UP AND LET THEM KNOW WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT THE STATE’S JOB ON ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
December 10 – Worthington, Worthington High School 3:30pm – 6:00pm
December 12 – St. Cloud, Stearns County Service Center 5:30pm – 8:00pm
December 14 – Moorhead, Minnesota State University 3:00pm – 5:30pm
I’ve posted before about Gov. Dayton’s brown environmental initiatives — right off the bat he muzzled and prodded MPCA and DNR to ram permits through:
And then he announced plans to “streamline” environmental review, and we all know what “streamline” means”
So at these meetings ostensibly about “environmental review” we were funneled into a “multiple guess” exercise about the “Environmental Report Card” and nothing about “Improvement of Environmental Review” or “EQB Governance and Coordination” which were reports that, in addition to the “Environmental Report Card” were approved by the EQB on November 14, 2012. There was a “comment” opportunity at the EQB, but there were maybe 5 people who commented, utterly ineffective solicitation.
EARTH TO MARS! With the EQB approving those reports November 14, BEFORE the public meetings, there was pretty much ZERO input into those reports. Although it’s heartening to see that there’s been some pull-back from the overt gutting of the EQB laid out in the draft report, and maybe, MAYBE, pull back from reframing the whole intent of environmental review, it’s a problem where the fix is in and where the important policy documents are done before we’re invited to join the game. Thanks, guys…
Here are the reports:
- Evaluation and Recommendations for Improving Environmental Review
- Recommendations for Environmental Governance and Coordination
- Minnesota Environment and Energy Report Card
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, someone like Bill Grant, formerly Izaak Walton League, now Dayton’s Deputy Commissioner in charge of Energy Facility Permitting, the guy who facilitated the CapX 2020 transmission buildout, and who promoted coal gasification, he has no business being involved in siting of utility permits. He has an egregious conflict of interest, having been part of energy project promotional efforts, and needs to be fired. Here’s Grant eing interviewed before the program started:
At two recent frac sand mining meetings in Red Wing and Wabasha, I handed out at least 270 flyers, , posted info on this blog and sent info out on lists. I’m hoping that had something to do with so many turning out. Frac sand was a major topic, I really stressed the need to fund the state’s regulatory agencies so they can do their job, and others way over across the room were not happy with how the discussion was an exercise in control of discussion. It’s safe to say that they got an earful.
Rep. Denny McNamara came in and worked his way back to a tiny open spot by us, he ended up next to Alan, and Alan quietly said hello and noted that they’d first met at a meeting in Cottage Grove regarding the 3M incinerator, and he gives Alan a nasty look and makes a gratuitous snide comment about “Oh, did you get a haircut?” and looks at the back of his head. EH? Alan said something in his oh so nice way, and I piped up from behind, “At least he doesn’t dye his!”
Denny McNamara’s trainer better put a muzzle on him. That guy is supposed to be representing the people in his district, and in that case he represented the interests of 3M, notorious polluter of the water and air, and he has the nerve to be a defensive jerk when there’s no need to be. If mere mention of meeting him at a hearing regarding the 3M incinerator elicits that brand of obnoxiousness, oh my, he must be guilty of more offensive rolling to corporate interests than suspected!
A google pops up this article right at the top:
Rep. Denny McNamara tonight plans to take an axe to a swath of proposed environmental projects that are paid for by Minnesota Lottery money.
McNamara, R-Hastings, is planning to initiate a challenge to about $8 million worth of projects that were previously recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR). The total bill recommends $52 million in projects that are paid over a two-year period out of the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, which is built up by Lottery proceeds.
Check out that post… Hey Denny, how about addressing the extreme environmental issues around Hastings? So glad he’s been ousted as Chair of the House Environment Committee.