Tuesday – Gov’s Environmental Review meetings begin!

Filed under:Brookings Routing Docket,Fargo-St Cloud,Uncategorized — posted by admin on November 25, 2012 @ 11:11 am

Starts in Rochester on Tuesday MORNING at 9:30 a.m.  Whose brilliant idea was that, who can show up at 9:30 a.m. on a Tuesday?

How did this slashing of environmental review, started under Pawlenty, continue under Gov. Mark Dayton?  It started right after Dayton got into office, with Executive Order 11-04:

E.O. 11-04 Establishing Goals and Procedures to Ensure that Certain Environmental Permits are Issued More Efficiently

That E.O. pushed the MPCA and DNR to ram through permits through FAST (and delay has NOT been a demonstrable problem, because the delays have been caused by applicants not providing required information) as if that “improves” environmental review.

And then comes Gov. Dayton’s Executive Order 11-32, which started this round:

Executive Order 11-32

He’s pushing for “streamlining” and those words are just so wrongheaded.  And they way he’s doing it, all this activity at the EQB making recommendations on “improving environmental review” and “governance and coordination” BEFORE they have the public meetings and this “Environmental Congress.”  So tell me, how is it that the fix isn’t in, and we’re now going through the motions after it’s already a done deal?  Do tell, how are these “oh-so-proud we’re DFL” Democrats any better than the “strip-the-funding-until-regulation-collapses” Republicans?  It’s bad news any way you look at it.

But yes, let’s look at it.

Here’s what the EQB released last week.  Deputy Commissioner Bill Grant (Settlement Agreement – ME3(Fresh Energy), Izaak Walton League, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, North American Water Office) now in charge of Energy Facilities Permitting, and Matt Langan (who now works for Xcel, so two different sources have said, way to go Matt… sigh… after blowing environmental review on CapX Hampton-La Crosse, omitting transmission where there’s a HUGE corridor, and saying there’s transmission where there is none, GOOD JOB!) were to do the “Report Card.”  They have no business doing any such thing, are uniquely disqualified.  But Matt left, leaving Bill Grant… that environmental review is in any way in his hands is disturbing.

Reading the Evaluation and Recommendations for Improving Environmental Review, maybe the Comments got through to some extent.  The ultimate recommendations are better than the draft, for sure.

OH MY!  The Recommendations for Environmental Governance and Coordination are even better, recommending no changes to recognizing that there isn’t sufficient staff to do the work.  The MPCA part could still be a problem, as it recommends MPCA address how to change, so keep on it!

Some of the meetings are this week, starting Tuesday at TOO EARLY O’CLOCK!  It looks to me that Ellen Anderson is doing for Dayton what Mike Bull did for Pawlenty (well, among other things), these dog and pony shows across the state.  I’ve been passing out handouts about this hoping to get folks to turn out and give them a piece of their mind about what “improvement” of environmental review should mean.   Handout – RW Forum

Blue Check Mark November 27 – Rochester, Wood Lake Meeting Center 9:30am – 12:00pm

Blue Check Mark November 27 – Bloomington, Normandale Community College 6:30pm – 9:00pm

Blue Check Mark November 28 – Duluth, Lake Superior College 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Blue Check Mark December 10 – Worthington, Worthington High School 3:30pm – 6:00pm

Blue Check Mark December 12 – St. Cloud, Stearns County Service Center 5:30pm – 8:00pm

Blue Check Mark December 14 – Moorhead, Minnesota State University 3:00pm – 5:30pm

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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace