Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to Hear State-Level Environmental Justice Recommendations for Clean Power Plan

Contact:
Karen Monahan, 952-220-1453, karen.monahan@sierraclub.org
Sean Sarah, 330-338-3740, sean.sarah@sierraclub.org

Justice groups to hold press event before MPCA meeting leading up to the first-ever limits on carbon pollution in long-awaited Clean Power Plan

**ATTENTION ASSIGNMENT/PHOTO DESKS: On-site visuals/signage will include these messages: “I HEART CLEAN AIR,” “ACT ON CLIMATE” and “CLEAN POWER PLAN PROTECTS OUR COMMUNITIES.” Pollution and health impacts b-roll here.

BACKGROUND:  As the nation prepares for the first-ever limits on carbon pollution — the Clean Power Plan — Minnesota is considering how to implement these life-saving protections for the state. For decades, carbon pollution from industry and coal-burning plants have harmed communities, especially children, seniors and low-income families, while also destabilizing climate and playing a significant role in extreme weather events. In recent days, the U.S. Surgeon General testified at the White House Climate Health Summit that climate disruption will have a serious impact on human health.

The Clean Power Plan, soon to be published by the EPA in July, will not only curb the carbon pollution that directly contributes to climate disruption, but it will also reduce harmful air pollution, such as smog and soot and other toxic air pollutants.

WHAT:

Press event before Minnesota Pollution Control Agency meeting to hear Environmental Justice recommendations for state’s Clean Power Plan implementation

WHO:

Environmental Justice advocates, community members, health professionals, Sierra Club

Speakers:
Dr. Bruce Snyder, Twin Cities neurologist, teaches at the University of Minnesota Medical School

Shiranthi Goonathilaka, Urban Heat Island Intern, Kitty Anderson Youth Science Center

Louis Alemayehu, North American Water Office, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota, MN Interfaith Power & Light, North Star Sierra Club Board

WHEN:

12:30 PM, Tuesday, June 30 (MPCA meeting to follow on site at 1 PM)

WHERE:

Emerge (North Side), 1834 Emerson Avenue North, Minneapolis, MN 55411

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Sierra Club Statement: Legislative Session A Dismal Failure for Minnesota Values, Citizens

Early Saturday morning, the Minnesota House and Senate passed the Agriculture & Environment Omnibus budget bill and concluded the 2015 Minnesota Legislative Special Session. The Sierra Club North Star Chapter issued the following statement from State Director Margaret Levin in response:

“The Sierra Club is deeply disappointed at the passage of the Agriculture and Environment Omnibus bill in the Special Session. The final bill contains an alarming number of provisions which undermine the safeguards that have helped to make our state an environmental leader.

“The 2015 legislative session will be remembered for its unprecedented rollbacks of protections for clean water – at a time when our rivers, lakes, streams and drinking water face historic threats; for clean air, and for Minnesota’s irreplaceable outdoors legacy.

“Unfortunately, it will be also remembered for the missed opportunity to grow clean energy jobs and address the urgent threat of climate disruption, by failing to consider a responsible clean energy plan. Instead, this legislature chose to roll back smart policies like Minnesota’s net metering law; and instituted decreased electricity rates for large corporations, such as mines and paper mills, which will transfer those costs onto the backs of small business and residential customers.

“And, we will remember the legislature’s failure to address Minnesota’s need for a comprehensive transportation bill that would dedicate funding for a modern, statewide transportation system, including real options for transit, bicycling, and walking, and fixes for our crumbling roads and bridges.

“Some of the worst rollbacks were passed literally in the middle of the night, with no opportunity for public response. The backroom deals and lack of transparency are both troubling and insulting to the people of Minnesota.

“The Sierra Club’s members and supporters across the state will be carefully evaluating the results of this Special Session, and the votes taken by their legislators in 2015. For those environmental champions who stood up against proposals to gut our state’s protections, we thank you for your courageous leadership and look forward to continued work together.

“Minnesotans deserve and expect better from their elected officials, and will hold accountable those legislators who are responsible for endangering our clean water, communities and climate. We will make our voices heard.”