Minnesota courts have reversed some bad environmental decisions recently, and MCEA has been leading the fight:
MCEA appealed the permit of a large industrial dairy expansion for failing to consider the proposal's climate impacts and won - forcing major policy changes at the MPCA
We secured the reversal of key PolyMet permits and the DNR has been directed to hold a contested case hearing
MCEA halted an unnecessary, expensive, fracked gas power plant in the Northland because the state failed to study the proposal's environmental and human health effects
Court decisions like these are rare, as University of Minnesota law professor Alexandra Klass pointed out in a Sunday article in the Star Tribune. The same article summed up MCEA's position on why courts are taking the side of clean air and clean water:
Kathryn Hoffman, CEO of the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, said she thinks the courts are stepping in because the mindset at both agencies has been shifting for years from viewing the public as the customer to seeing those seeking permits as the customer.
“As a result, increasingly we have seen agencies trying to get to ‘yes’ on these permits,” Hoffman said. “Courts are recognizing that. And they recognize that the laws actually require in many cases the agencies to look at the public first, to look at clean air, to look at clean water and to think of all of us as their customers, and not the corporations.”
Minnesota does not grade on effort and the real "customers" of our environmental permits are the people who drink the water downstream and breathe the air. MCEA is in court fighting for a thriving future for Minnesota.
All of our success in the past year is a direct result of support from people like you. To celebrate, we are holding a celebration at our St. Paul office on the evening of Wednesday, February 26th. Keep an eye on your inbox for the invite!
We are energized by these recent wins, and we hope you are too. We have a long fight ahead, but real progress is being made in the courts.