The Omnibus Supplemental Budget Bill (SF3656) currently includes LOTS of anti-environment provisions that are bad for the health and welfare of all Minnesotans and our irreplaceable water and land resources. Please call the Governor and tell him to refuse to sign the bill (SF3656) if it contains the following provisions:
Nb Every call to the Governor is counted, and the issues raised in the call are counted too.The number to call is 651-201-3400.
- Rolling back of the Groundwater Protection Act’s authority to protect our groundwater unless the rule is approved by the legislature. (Article 2, Section 15(d)) The Minnesota Department of Agriculture must be allowed to implement farming practice regulation to address the excessive nitrate levels found in our groundwater and wells. These efforts must commence immediately as the nitrate levels in water our citizens consume on a daily basis are worrisome.
- Nullifying the water quality standard that protects wild rice. (Article 4, Sections 93, 109-115) Our Indigenous and Native citizens rely on wild rice. Minnesota is known for its wild rice. The provision eliminates the current sulfate standards in wild rice waters which will destroy our wild rice crops and likely violate the federal Clean Water Act.
- Prohibiting the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources from imposing conditions or requiring testing when a landowner transfers a groundwater permit to a new owner, even if the old permitted amount is no longer sustainable. (Article 4, Section 39) The MDNR must be entitled to review and reconsider permits under today’s conditions and standards.
- Requiring MDNR to pay for the installation of test wells if it denies approval of the groundwater appropriation permit. (Article 4, Section 40) This is not a good use of taxpayer dollars.
- Allowing the transfer of water from one body to another without a permit. (Article 4, Section 570) Agencies must retain authority to prevent transfers of polluted waters into our cleanest waters.
- Allowing the industry 16 years to meet water quality standards. (Article 4, Section 59) Our water quality standards are vital to protecting human health. Minnesota industry must comply with water quality standards and the federal Clean Water Act.
- Requiring legislative approval for fees set by the Pollution Control Agency. (Article 4, Sections 56, various) Program fees pay for the staff and other resources needed to protect our water and land. We cannot expect our agencies to fulfill their vital mandate if we do not give them proper funding.
- Delaying conversion back to pre-settlement condition of oak-Savannah, oak woodland or prairie. (Article 4, Section 95) We must continue to fund current efforts to convert the Sand Dunes State Forest to pre-settlement condition to protect our rarest species.
- Relieving enforcement of groundwater appropriation permit requirements.(Article 4, Sections 101 and 102) Our agencies must be afforded the ability to enforce permits to properly manage our water resources.
- Reducing Xcel Energy’s payment into the Renewable Development Account. (Article 7 Section 1) The provision would give Xcel a windfall of $10 million and short the Renewable Development Account that money which is meant to fund our critical clean energy technology and initiatives.