Last week, Minnesota Court of Appeals sided with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) in upholding the validity of recently adopted water quality standards. In the wake of the decision, the CGMC, Minnesota Environmental Science and Economic Review Board (MESERB), League of Minnesota Cities and Soybean Growers Association must determine whether to seek a review of that decision by the Minnesota Supreme Court.

The Court of Appeals decision deferred to the MPCA’s responses to the petitioners and side-stepped the question of whether the MPCA’s responses to our objections raised during the rulemaking process had some rational basis and was grounded in scientific evidence.

This sets a dangerous precedent that could stack the agency rulemaking process against those who raise objections during rulemaking, no matter how substantive. If the MPCA or other state agencies don’t need to justify their rulemaking in any reasonable or substantial way then there will be no way for cities, businesses and other organizations to have a meaningful role in the process.

Yesterday a memo was sent to the CGMC Board recommending that the CGMC participate in seeking review of this decision from the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Board will make a determination soon. This morning the MESERB executive committee voted unanimously to pursue Supreme Court review. A petition for review must be filed by Sept. 10. Assuming a petition is filed, there is no guarantee that the state’s highest court will take up a review of the case.