Last week, Governor Dayton issued an executive order creating an eight-member committee to advise the MPCA. This committee resembles the recently dissolved MPCA Citizen’s Board, but it lacks statutory decision-making authority and appointment to the committee does not require legislative approval.

The committee will provide advice to the MPCA commissioner (the chair of the committee) on four main areas:

– Reviewing scope and adequacy of environmental review documents, including environmental assessment worksheets and environmental impact statements

– Issuance, reissuance, modification or revocation of certain permits

– Adoption or revision of agency rules

– Requests for a variance from an agency rule

Cities or city organizations may find themselves before the committee on NPDES and stormwater permits, adoptions of rules and variance requests. The impact on cities remains to be seen and will depend on both the composition of the board and the agency’s deference to the committee.

The period to apply for a seat on the new advisory committee opened the day after Gov. Dayton announced the committee’s creation. There are eight open spots and we believe Greater Minnesota should have representation on this group. Please consider whether you or someone at your city (even private citizens) would be interested in serving. Applications are due Aug. 27. Information on the application process can be found here.