North Star Chapter
2327 East Franklin Avenue, Suite 1
Minneapolis, MN 55406-4420
For Immediate Release
May 15, 2017
Petition Challenges Policies That Would Dismantle Environmental Protections
(Minneapolis, MN (May 15, 2017) – Members of the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club today delivered a petition signed by 2,100 Minnesotans, calling upon members of the Board of Directors of the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce to re-examine their support of Chamber-backed policies that would dismantle Minnesota’s environmental safeguards protecting clean water, land and air. Specifically, these polices, recently vetoed by Governor Dayton, include:
- Gutting Minnesota’s Environmental Quality Board that provides a forum for agencies and citizens to tackle complex resource challenges;
- Allowing polluters to write their own environmental impact reviews;
- Severely limiting downstream residents’ and local governments’ rights to challenge mining permits;
- Allowing large industries to buy their way to expedited permit reviews; and
- Adding significant barriers for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and Department of Natural Resources to protect public resources while cutting agency enforcement budgets.
In addition, HF605, also recently vetoed by Governor Dayton, includes more than 30 hurdles that agencies must follow before making environmental decisions and allows any legislative committee to block these agency actions. The Sierra Club petitions calling for change were delivered to some of Minnesota’s most prominent businesses today including Target, General Mills, 3M, Medtronic, Polaris, and Hormel.
“Minnesota Chamber member businesses – through board participation and membership dues – give support to the Chamber’s legislative agenda,” said Margaret Levin, state director of the North Star Chapter of the Sierra Club. “Even if Chamber members aren’t vocally supportive of the legislation, they are guilty of allowing the business community’s political weight to be used to weaken protections for clean air and water.”
The petitions ask corporate leaders from Minnesota’s business community to speak “against rollbacks designed to protect our environment” and that these legislative provisions will “harm our environment and hurt Minnesota businesses and employees, hindering our important way of life.”
A copy of the petition is available here.