Dayton replaces nixed environmental citizens board to advise MPCA

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Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order to create a replacement to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Citizen's Board, weeks after it was abolished during the special session.

This new Governor's Committee won't have the same power the previous board held over environmental regulations in the state, but instead will serve as an advisory panel to the MPCA, the governor announced Tuesday.

The committee, chaired by the MPCA Commissioner, will include eight citizen members who will serve four-year terms. The group will meet regularly in order to "guide the direction and enforcement" of Minnesota's environmental protection laws, providing recommendations in four main areas:

  • Reviewing scoping and adequacy of environmental review documents, including environmental assessment worksheets and environmental impact statements.
  • Issuance, re-issuance, modification or revocation of certain permits.
  • Adoption or revision of agency rules.
  • Requests for a variance from an agency rule.

Dayton followed through on his promise to recreate a citizen advisory committee after the Citizens' Board was abolished, saying in Tuesday's announcement: "As regulators make decisions, and enforce our state’s environmental protection laws, Minnesota citizens need and deserve a seat at the table."

However, Republicans have criticized the governor for trying to recreate the board after he eliminated it earlier this year, the Pioneer Press reports.

Dayton is encouraging Minnesotans to apply for the newly created committee. Those interested can submit an official application through the open appointments process, which is coordinated by the Secretary of State's Office by completing an open appointments application form.

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