On June 23rd, the MPCA “Citizens’ Board” held its last meeting, the board having been abolished by the Minnesota Legislature with the consent of Governor Mark Dayton.
Some very smart, well-informed people must have written the environmental laws of Minnesota in the 1960s and 1970s. The Citizens’ Board seems to have been designed to keep the MPCA from becoming overly bureaucratic, self-serving, and too closely tied to the interests it was supposed to regulate. These, of course, are the normal evolutionary tendencies of a regulatory agency, kept down only by constant effort. No wonder the Chamber and “big-ag,” etc, wanted the Citizens’ Board gone.
Back to the June 23rd meeting, in the basement boardroom of the MPCA, beginning at 9:00 am and ending about 6:30 pm. What I observed, having been there all day, seemed rather different from the media reports I have seen. No need, however, to take my word for anything. You can see many of the documents and watch video of the meeting here. Continue Reading →