Looking over the schedules for the Minnesota Senate, we remembered this item on the agenda for Thursday:
Thursday, January 29, 2015***Revision 1: Agenda Addition(s)***
Committee on Environment and Energy
Chair: Sen. John Marty
Room 107 Capitol
Informational hearing on the purpose of environmental review, and the history and value of citizen involvement in the process
The agenda is still in process, so we asked the committee administrator for additional information for this hearing--which seemingly departs from the sort of random sniping about citizen involvement that we heard from industry lobbyists and one state representative at yesterday's House informational hearing before the House Mining and Outdoor Recreation Policy Committee.
In a pleasant surprise, Senator John Marty (DFL-Roseville) sent a note back:
For the past couple decades whenever the subject of environmental review comes up at the capitol, it is invariably described with negative adjectives.
Public engagement and environmental review are attacked as “burdensome” or unnecessary, and virtually all of the legislation on the issue is aimed at weakening the review process or exempting projects from environmental review.
It is time for the legislature to take a step back and look at the purpose of environmental review. This hearing will look at what environmental review is, why environmental review was established and how it enables local residents to ensure that their communities, their health and the environment are protected. [emphasis in original]
The hearing will be livestreamed on The Uptake' Senate Channel, and we'll be watching.
Photo: Senator John Marty and his family.
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