www.mnaction.org Saturday, August 23, 2014  

Unraveling our Water Protections in Minnesota?

You can take action on this alert by reading the information below and following the directions at the bottom.

Issue

Update on the Environment Budget Bill at the State Legislature

Background

Tell your legislators and Governor Dayton to oppose the Omnibus Environment Finance Bill (H.F. 1010) to protect our water and ensure that the intent of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Constitutional Amendment is upheld.

The bill includes a number of troubling policy provisions that threaten Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams and Great Outdoors.

Minnesotans care deeply about our lakes, rivers and streams; wildlife habitat; parks and trails; and natural areas. The number one reason 1.6 million Minnesota voters supported the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment was to clean up and protect Minnesota’s lakes, rivers and streams. Minnesota’s Great Outdoors is a value held close to Minnesotans’ hearts, with dedicated funds guaranteed by Minnesota’s Constitution. Unfortunately, this bill puts those values in jeopardy.

Rollbacks to Existing Policies to Protect Our Water
The Omnibus Environmental Finance bill contains troubling policy provisions that would weaken existing laws that protect our air and water. We oppose:
• Removing requirements for new coal plants to clean up their pollution;
• Exempting large ethanol facility expansions from mandatory environmental review;
• Threatening the future of native wild rice (Angustifolia variety), our state grain, by weakening the sulfate pollution standard for wild rice waters;
• Limiting protections for phosphorus discharges into Lake Pepin;
• Repealing protections for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area;
• Weakening permit standards for large factory farms;
• Weakening citizens' rights to request environmental review for a project and restricting citizen petition signers to only those who reside in the county or adjacent county; and
• Closing one of DNR's two critical tree nurseries and limiting tree nursery operations in the state.

We believe that additional revenue needs to be added to the environmental budget bill. We support adding a proposed hunting and fishing license fee increase to provide additional funds to the game and fish fund. We also support the proposal to raise the boat license surcharge to provide additional revenue for the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program. If the surcharge is raised this session, this would allow the conference committee to move some of the money allocated from the Environmental Trust Fund for the AIS programs back to projects recommended by the LCCMR.

Minnesotans value our lakes, rivers, and streams and our Great Outdoors. In order to ensure these great places are available for our future generations, we must ensure there is sufficient funding for conservation, restoration and enhancement of our lakes, rivers, streams, prairies and forests today.

We currently are at an historic low of one percent of general fund support – both the House and Senate bills take us below that modest share. The bills do not maintain our Constitution’s “traditional sources of funding” and are inconsistent with the wishes of the 1.6 million Minnesotans who voted to raise their taxes in tough economic times.

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, this bill significantly reduces Minnesota’s commitment to our water resources. Minnesota should be about Protecting Our Water – which is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but instead a long-held Minnesota value.

More Info

Message To Be Sent To
Your message will be sent to each of the following targets:

Governor
Your State Representative
Your State Senator
Message
A sample message appears below, which you may edit before sending.

Unraveling Water Protections in the Land of 10,000 Lakes


Dear Governor,

I am writing to ask you to oppose the Omnibus Environment Budget Bill (H.F. 1010) to protect our water and ensure that the intent of the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Constitutional Amendment is upheld. The bill includes a number of troubling policy provisions that threaten Minnesota’s lakes, rivers, streams and Great Outdoors.

We currently are at an historic low of one percent of general fund support – this bill takes us well below that modest share. The bill does not maintain our Constitution’s “traditional sources of funding” and is inconsistent with the wishes of the 1.6 million Minnesotans who voted to raise their taxes in tough economic times to protect our water.

Minnesotans value our Great Outdoors. In order to ensure these great places are available for our future generations, we must ensure there is sufficient funding to protect, restore and enhance our lakes, rivers, streams, wetlands, prairies, and forests today.

The Omnibus Environmental Budget bill contains a number of troubling policy provisions that weaken existing law to protect our air and water. We oppose:
· Removing requirements for new coal plants to clean up their pollution;
· Threatening the future of native wild rice (Angustifolia variety), our state grain, by weakening the sulfate pollution standard for wild rice waters;
· Limiting protections for phosphorus discharges into Lake Pepin;
· Repealing protections for the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area;
· Weakening permit standards for large factory farms;
• Weakening citizens' rights to request environmental review for a project and restricting citizen petition signers to only those who reside in the county or adjacent county;
· Exempting large ethanol facility expansions from mandatory environmental review; and
• Closing one of DNR's two critical tree nurseries and limiting tree nursery operations in the state.

I believe that additional revenue needs to be added to the environmental budget bill. I support adding a proposed hunting and fishing license fee increase to provide additional funds to the game and fish fund. I also support the proposal to raise the boat license surcharge to provide additional revenue for the Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) program.

In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, this bill significantly reduces Minnesota’s commitment to clean water. Minnesota should be about Protecting Our Water – which is not a Democratic or Republican issue, but instead a long-held Minnesota value. Unfortunately, this bill puts those values in jeopardy. Please vote OPPOSE H.F. 1010.

Sincerely,

Your name and address here


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