Proposed in the Minnesota House on Monday was HF 3094. The description of the Bill says “United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations nullified.” This short bill basically states that the EPA is unconstitutional and therefore no longer enforced in Minnesota.
First, it needs to be said that this bill has no chance of becoming law. The democratically controlled House and Senate will not pass it and Governor Dayton will not sign it. That is not the case in other States. A quick search revealed a similar bill was introduced in Idaho that only today (March 18th) was rejected after getting some press. Keep an eye out, this bill will do the rounds to different states.
What surprised me is that 2 of the writers of the bill are DFL (Democratic Farmer-Labor Party) members. Most of the Authors are from the Iron Range near the proposed new PolyMet open-pit copper-nickel mine proposal. I have sent ubiquitous emails to all 6 of the authors and I will share their responses.
UPDATE: 3/19/14 9:00am
Jason Metsa, Representative of district 6B, got back to me and said it was a symbolic bill in response to the EPA removing an variance to EPA rules. EPA changed it’s mind with pressure to stop allowing Mesabi Nugget from discharging four pollutants higher than state standards.
Here’s the thing. As the sponsors told reporters in Duluth they want to stop fighting the EPA and make it a State issue. But it was the EPA that was allowing Mesabi Nugget to ignore State of Minnesota pollution regulations. What the EPA did was to say the state is right and legislatures are attacking the EPA as federal interference… Irony.