This is a press release from Gov. Mark Dayton. The wording of it, and the reasoning behind it, is so appalling one hardly knows what to say.
Does the Governor really think Minnesota will benefit by giving out environmental approvals like airline peanuts, without regard for the consequences? During the campaign I heard Dayton refer to the MPCA as the “Minnesota Pollution PROTECTION Agency.” There was sarcasm in his voice and most of the people in the green-oriented audience probably assumed he was referring to a problem needing a fix. I sat there wondering if he perhaps meant something different and more menacing. This question now seems answered.
Could this be a bribe offered legislative leaders to promote approval of a football stadium scam Gov. Dayton seems very anxious to impose on the state?
Note also that the EQB no longer has an independent staff. The senior staffers have retired and the small remainder merged into the MPCA’s environmental review shop.
Governor Dayton Moves to Simplify Minnesota’s Environmental Review Process
November 16, 2011
Executive Order Builds on 96% Success Rate in Permitting Reform
(Saint Paul) – Building on the Administration’s success in streamlining the permitting process for businesses while preserving environmental protections, Governor Mark Dayton signed Executive Order 11-32 today, ordering the Environmental Quality Board to conduct an assessment and deliver recommendations to improve Minnesota’s complex environmental review process.
The announcement builds on the Dayton Administration’s successful model of permitting reform. In just seven months, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency has issued more than 1,300 new permits within the Governor’s goal of 150 days or less. This 96% success rate in new permits has played a critical role in ensuring the department is “moving at the speed of commerce” so businesses can grow and retain jobs in Minnesota.
“What we’ve shown is that Minnesota can promote job growth and industry development by approving permits in a timely manner, while protecting our natural resources at the same time. Applying the same approach to the environmental review process allows us to continue making common sense reforms that address the concerns of both the business and environmental communities in our state,” Governor Dayton said.
Governor Dayton’s Executive Order calls for three significant evaluations to be conducted by the Environmental Quality Board, including recommendations on simplifying Minnesota’s environmental review process and governance, which are in line with the recommendations set out earlier this year by the Legislative Auditor. The order also directs the state to develop an environment and energy ‘report card’ to track the state’s performance and report results on environmental protections.
The Progress Report on Successes in Permitting Reform and Executive Order 11-32 are attached.